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Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.

How to Mother from YOUR Strengths

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How to Mother from your TalentsMy favorite cookie cutter shape is the circle with the smaller circle in the middle. It looks like a little donut and you can pop out the middle circle to create another tiny circle cookie. Two sugar cookies are better than one right!? I have fond memories of duking it out with my sister for Grandma’s few precious tiny circle Christmas cookies. The silly adults were fighting over the peanut squares, but the tiny circles were the true gold. Okay, the peanut squares are ridiculously good too.

Santa blogWhat’s your favorite cookie cutter shape? Come on, this is a very serious and important question! Don’t even tell me your fave is the weird Santa Claus one that when frosted looks like a strange little blob. (But if you did pick the Santa Claus one that is totally cool, be you….but really, the blob? That’s what you picked? No really, it’s cool.)

Anywho….

Just like the many shapes of cookie cutters, so are each of us unique as moms. Did you like that segue (I know, I had to look up how to spell segway correctly too, don’t worry). We have all been blessed with a unique combination of strengths and experiences that allow us to mother just as we were meant to.

“God’s design is perfect. He created us. Does it make us perfect? In a sense, yes. We’re who He uniquely chose to mother our children. We can’t improve on God’s design. Yet often we try to squeeze ourselves into molds of motherhood that don’t fit.”    -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Imagine how much less stressed we’d be if instead of trying to become the kind of mother that we clearly are not, we would just mother from our strengths.

What does it mean to mother from our strengths?

It means embracing our strengths and using them as a mom. I’d say one of my strengths is creativity and when I’ve mothered from my creativity the boys and I have had days that have shined! One of my favorite memories is taking my boys around our yard and finding different things in nature to make “Jesus crosses” with. We had so much fun exploring that day and they learned how to create, about Jesus, and had fun outdoors. Those kinds of activities are in my wheelhouse!

One of my weaknesses is probably interior decorating. I’d say I have a unique sense of style, I know what I like and I can pin for hours exactly what I’d like my house to look like, but I just can’t seem to translate it onto our walls! The boys are three and still the walls of their “nursery” are bare except for a small cross and their little footprints, which we made at the local clay art store. Previously, I’d see how beautiful some of my friend’s nurseries and kids’ rooms were and I’d get a little down and stressed comparing. I felt like I was lacking as a mom, because my children didn’t have rooms as pretty and well put together.

This is one of those weaknesses that to me isn’t worth stressing over. Instead of comparing, I’ve grown able to admire my friends’ talents in this area, compliment them, and be content that my kids’ rooms probably won’t look as perfect. And that’s okay, because they don’t seem to miss it. Some weaknesses are not worth your stress!

Cookie cuttersThere are some weaknesses that are worth working on! I hate yelling at my kids. I noticed when they became toddlers, I become a yeller. That is not a behavior that I wanted them to see from their mother and certainly not one that I wanted them to pick up. I remember my boys fighting and screaming at each other and I’d eventually get upset and scream back at them, “STOP SCREAMING NOW!” Hmmmm, now in a child’s brain, I’m sure that really made a lot of sense to them. Mommy is screaming at us and telling us not to scream. This is a behavior that I’ve prayed out of me and worked really hard to change. I hid a lot in the laundry room or in my closet to cool down (eat chocolate) and then emerged again with my super mom cape. Some weaknesses are worth working on!

Here are some ideas to mother from your strengths:

1.) Identify your super powers: Do you know what your strengths are? Where are you thriving in your life? Where you are thriving is probably where you are strong. Share your strengths with your kids! If you don’t know your strengths, ask a friend who you trust or take a personality inventory. Where are my fellow ENFJ’s at (Myers Briggs)?

2.) Choose the right crew: If you have good momma friends, you know how blessed you are! Schedule regular time with them. Good momma friends are the ones you can be yourself with. Always be on the lookout to build your crew! You can never have enough awesome momma friends; you learn something from all of them. Also, recognize if a friend is causing you consistent stress or drama and be content that it may be time to let them go.

3.) Banish comparing: Comparing yourself to other moms causes unnecessary anxiety, stress and increases your insecurities. If you are confident in your strengths and content with your weaknesses, you’ll be better able to compliment and build your friends up for their strengths rather than tear yourself down because of comparing.

4.) Increase your box: Like I mentioned earlier, some weaknesses are just not worth worrying about. Figure out which weaknesses you are just going to be content with, because they really don’t impact your family in important ways. Then figure out which weaknesses might just be underdeveloped strengths. Those are the ones worth working on. We are always told to think outside of the box. Well, I think it’s okay to think inside the box as long as you’re always expanding your box. As moms and in life in general, constant learning keeps our minds young and helps us be our best self.

“Instead of fighting God’s design, let’s start recognizing and honoring our unique, God-given personalities! After all, it’s the message we’ve given to our children their entire lives: You’re special. God made you like no one else in the world. However, many moms believe the complete opposite about themselves. We create in our minds an image of a “good mother” and judge ourselves on whether we live up to it.” -From Mothering from Scratch by Melinda Means & Kathy Helgemo

Enough!

Love,

Natasha

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32 thoughts on “How to Mother from YOUR Strengths

  1. ❤ !!! I will have to check out that book!
    My favorite tip is the one on thinking inside the box. For me that also means looking at the things I've always wanted to try to do but haven't yet. Some of my weaknesses could definitely be turned into strengths if I worked on them a little more. And some like yelling I would like to eradicate. 🙂
    Sharing!!

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  2. I love this concept! I’m not crafty, and when I try, we’re all stressed. I am, however, a writer and I plan on working with my daughter to make a book together. I think it will be great! Thanks for the ideas and for sharing at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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  3. First of all, I have to say you had me chuckling!!! You have such a good sense of humour! The quotes are such beautiful meaningful ones. And I agree, there are certainly things we can improve but our ability to uniquely mother is one of our God-given gifts! As always, love your writing 😘

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  4. Love the post!! Yes a good mom crew is so important. I have a nice little group of ladies that I work out with… or we drink wine. LOL. My favorite shape has always been the stars because I like doing the icing.

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  5. Cute post! I noticed I became a little bit of a yeller myself, def a weakness I am trying to get better at! It’s not easy lol.

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  6. I love this post!! And if it makes you feel better, I am decorator challenged as well ha

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  7. Such good advice! It can be exhausting when we find ourselves trying to keep up. My daughter and I bake together, read, color, but the crafting goes straight to Grandma!!

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  8. This is such a great post. I yell too much, and am working on that. I also really need to stop comparing. You are so right that we all have different mothering strengths, and I need to work more with them.

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  9. Amen to the NO comparisons…it just robs you of joy!

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  10. “Identify your Superpowers” yes!! I love it!! Play to your strengths and appreciate others’ strengths.

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  11. I’ve been meaning to but haven’t yet read Mothering From Scratch—I’m going to get it on my list soon! Thank you for the wonderful reminder to mother in our own ways and not get down on ourselves with comparisons.

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  12. Love how you turned the idea of a cookie cutter into something so beautiful! I hate it when I yell too! It makes me feel out of control.

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  13. Absolutely love this post!!! What a wonderful reminder to focus on the positive and be easy on ourselves.

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  14. I like the advice to focus on our mom superpowers. It’s also good advice to surround yourself with a “crew” that is supportive.

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  15. Yes! I recently posted something similar to the quote you shared from Mothering from Scratch. We are not perfect mothers, but thankfully we are THE perfect mothers for our children! I often need to be reminded not to compare myself to other moms. It is so easy to do! I love the idea of focusing on strengths and not worrying about unnecessary weaknesses.

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  16. HI Natasha, we all lose our cool some days. Here are the best two books I have read about parenting that have made a big impact on my life. I have been able to manage and respond to stressful situations with such ease… because I learned how from the books.

    Top on my list:
    1- Kids are worth it, by Barbara Coloroso. She also has a video with the same title. She can be very funny. If you are more of an audio kind of person, listen to her.

    2.- P.E.T. Parent Effectiveness Training. Another excellent book! full of scenarios and examples we all can relate.

    I would love to hear your comments if you read them. Stay well, VL

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