MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Play To Your Strengths

Posted by mbamommy on January 25, 2012

My friend Rebecca over at unexpecting! recently invited me to write a blog post talking about Motherhood Lessons for MomsTalkNetwork. You should go read her post about what she’s learned as a Mom: nobody’s perfect. It’s awesome…and so, so true.

I find it ironic that she invited me when she did. I’ve been mulling this idea over in my head for a couple weeks now. There are a million lessons I’ve learned since becoming a mother almost exactly 5 years ago. Give yourself a break. Take time for yourself. Focus on your marriage. Give lots and lots of hugs. Take deep breaths in crisis moments. Cherish the kairos moments. Go to the gym. Etc, etc.

But, what resonates most with me, at least recently, is this idea of playing to your strengths. I mean…..

If you’re a coach of a football team, would you put your quarterback in as a linebacker?

If you’re a soccer coach, would you put your fullback in as your center forward?

If you’re a choir instructor, would you assign a tenor part to a soprano?

If you’re a manager, would you put your IT guy in front of your biggest prospective client?

Probably, not, right? You’d probably play your strongest team member…the one who has the natural inclination, the “at-bats” experience to succeed, the one who has spent time training just for this moment. Not the one who thinks the should be doing it.

So, why in the world do we do that in our daily lives?

I do it all the time when my brain gets going with the “shoulds”. I should be working. I should be stay at home. I should be doing more/less/different than what I’m doing right now. I have this ideal in my head of what my life should look like. And, guess what? It’s not. Not even close. And you know what? That’s ok. It’s more than ok, it’s absolutely perfect in its own imperfect way.

But, I struggle with reminding myself of that on a regular basis. When the should demons start up, that’s when I start getting annoyed at J because he forgot to bring S’s bunny to school when he dropped off the kids one day. Shouldn’t he know better? We ALWAYS bring bunny. And, now I have to go home, grab bunny, bring her to school, sneak in to S’s class without her seeing me and sneak out without Z seeing me through his adjoining classroom. Ugh.

The should demons guilt trip me into doing bath time with J when all I want to do is finish cleaning up in the kitchen, get lunches packed for tomorrow, and then kiss my sweet kiddos goodnight. Because frankly, I’m pretty much out of steam; it’s been a long day, after all. Instead, I force myself to help out, which annoys J because I’m annoyed with the kiddos, which makes for an unpleasant bed/bath time. And then I’m annoyed because after we’re done J sits on the couch and watches TV while I’m in the kitchen cleaning up, packing the lunches (God forbid I let J pack a lunch…he does it all wrong!) and wishing I could just collapse on the couch.

When, in reality, if I stepped out of the situation and did what I wanted to do, it allows J to have his daily quality time with the kiddos and me to finish up my tasks such that we finish at the same time and can collapse on the couch together.

The should demons force me to fight against the natural flow of what my life is. I don’t want to work full time (at least not in a role that requires me to work outside my home…but give me a WASM role that allows for some flexibility? I’m all over it.) and yet I feel like I should be contributing more to our family finances than I currently do. If I were completely honest with myself, I’d admit that I’ve got it pretty good right now. If those damn should demons would sit still and be quiet, I could look around and appreciate my life for what it is.

Here’s a few things I’m really good at: running the house, keeping the kiddos on schedule, running errands, taking breaks for myself, and working on and off throughout the day. I’m good at creating a balance with all the different things I juggle. After 5 years, I better damn well be a ninja master at it.

Here’s a few things I’m not really good at: missing the kid’s school activity because I have to work, spending all day in an office or traveling and not seeing the kids in the morning and at night, having so much stress weighing me down that I can’t see the kids for the sweet little rugrats they are, and letting J take some of the household responsibilities because he doesn’t do them the way I do. It’s not that he does them wrong, it’s that I spend waaayyyy more time at home and if something is off or misplaced or the wrong brand is purchased it annoys me.

So, why….WHY….do those stupid little should demons keep coming back and biting me in the ass?

That’s my biggest Mom lesson so far. Play To Your Strengths. Embrace them and live them like the warrior-ess you are. Recognize what you’re good at with this new life that includes dependents. Do them. And tell those should demons to go suck it.

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5 Responses to “Play To Your Strengths”

  1. This was a very nice post. I enjoyed reading your blog today very much.

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  2. beccareed said

    I love it. I felt so much of myself in that…not that I have had 5 years to be a ninja master or anything, but there are so many times I know I should step back and let my J handle something and decide to get all up in it anyways and then I’m cranky and ruin the whole experience. I think these motherhood lessons are so worth reading. The “omg, me too!” feeling can connect you with a mom you’ve never met, or one that’s just across the country. Thanks again for participating!

    • mbamommy said

      Thanks, Rebecca! I agree, I get a lot of solace from reading other bloggers. Kind of a lifeline, no? Thanks again for inviting me, I really appreciate you thinking of me!

  3. […] I quit that JOB. A full time agency job, with all its stressors, travel, and demands on my time and mental bandwidth turned out to not be what I wanted. I could have done the job. We, as a family, could’ve manage the travel, the hours, the chaos, the craziness. But I realized that I didn’t WANT to. Yes, it was great to have the extra money. Yes, it was fun to be challenged and work with smart, engaging peeps. But, I wasn’t sleeping. I was eating poorly, not working out and drinking too much. I wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t being true to myself and playing to my strengths. […]

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