(Each month my impact list members get a special Impact Message from an expert in whatever area we are focusing on. This month, I took the chance to write as the expert on communication. I wanted to share that message here because it really spoke to some readers. If you’d like to get other impact messages in the future, sign up to be on the email list!)
Being a mom is super special, but what about the times when it feels so much less than special? What about the times when it feels downright overwhelming?
On a few occasions (actually many if I am going to be totally transparent with you), I’ve said out loud, “I’m overstimulated right now. Can everyone just stop saying ‘Mom’ for at least five minutes.” And like 30 seconds or less later, someone says, “Mom.” What the heck?
I’ve felt guilty about not wanting to hear the word mom, to be sure. I know that there are women out there who long to hear someone call them mom. I understand what it means that I have three children and some women aren’t able to have any. But to be real, it doesn’t change the feeling of overwhelm that I get when so many things are constantly being communicated to me.
At one point in my mom journey, when my kids were all a bit younger, I can remember discussing with my husband the fact that I felt totally overwhelmed sometimes by the amount of constant communication I would get from my kids. We even joked (not joking) that the kids said “mom” habitually with really nothing to say following that. That’s real life, y’all. They did this for sure.
And I came to totally understand over time how my mom used to completely “ignore” us when I was a youngster. We would literally be saying “Mom” in her ear and she would totally not hear us. It’s a self-defense mechanism that I have taken on myself. You have to have mental/psychological self-defense mechanisms when you are a mom. If you don’t have them, then learn some.
As a communication consultant, I often think about the communication I have with my kids and lament how much I need to follow my own advice. I mean, dang. I know how to do this better, but when it comes to dealing with my kids, I can sometimes feel as though I know nothing at all.
Have you ever felt that false incompetence? It’s not true, but it would be hard to convince me in the moment that I am competent about anything. I can feel defeated and deflated. In some cases, it’s a total mom fail and requires an apology.
So I’ve forced myself to listen to my own advice, the advice that I get paid to give other people, and I want to share a bit of that advice with you this Mother’s Day.
Here are the steps in the A4 Mindset Method that I use with clients. They work super well for our Mom Communication, too.
- acknowledge what you are telling yourself in your mind about what is going on and how you are handling it. Our self-talk is our first line of defense against the rigor of Mom Communication. Are you feeding negative into your mind by festering on how hard it is or how overwhelmed you are? Are you fussing and complaining and ranting to yourself about what others are not doing?
- acclaim what you want to be feeling and saying and replace the negative with more positive and empowering self-talk. Focus on how you can handle the situation and on what you are thankful to have the ability to do. Find ways to speak into situations so that you can begin to make changes in the things that are most impacting your Mom Communication.
- act on your acknowledgement and acclamation. Do something now about what you think and what you say to other people. Be proactive in changing the narrative that is happening in your Mom Communication.
- assess and assess and assess. Always be thinking about what you are thinking. Change the story. Rework the narrative. Never allow yourself to get stuck in dialogue (either internal or external) that focuses on negative and runs to the side of overwhelm.
- Rinse and repeat these four steps daily.
Our Mom Communication is super important in keeping us powerful and productive in our role as mothers. Nothing destroys your power more than negative and disempowering communication, both with yourself and with other people.
So this Mother’s Day, think better. Use your mind to make the tough job of motherhood just that much less stressful and overwhelming. And give yourself some grace when you mess up. Take it from me, you will mess up. Failure is the best teacher because it reminds us of what we don’t want and sends us in the direction of better.
Blessings for you, and please share your thoughts with me by hitting reply. I’d love to know what you are thinking and to help you shape those thoughts one day at a time.
Connie Benoit Sirois
Author | Speaker | Trainer
We are called to love others as ourselves. Our communication gives us continual opportunities to do this. We should never miss a chance to honor others. I’d love for you to read about my mission.
Find out how to increase your ability to have a positive impact on others, even when situations and people are negative.