Setting Realistic Expectations with Self, Spouse, and Kids

Setting Realistic Expectations with Self, Spouse, and Kids


Thanks for tuning in for
Gospel Solutions for Families on the Mormon Channel. This show is all about offering
practical, relevant tips for raising children in faith. I’m your host, Amy Iverson. Today we are talking about
balance, something a lot of us can struggle with
from time to time. How do you set
realistic expectations with yourself, your
spouse, and your kids? Joining me to talk
about helpful tips is a woman who deals with trying
to balance her life every day. Nicole Carpenter is a busy wife,
mother, author, businesswoman, and founder of MOMentity.com. We’re excited to
learn from her today. Now, I know that you and
I are both moms of twins. Yes. So I’m guessing that played
in a little bit to the way that you had to figure
this out for yourself before you even started
helping other people. Absolutely. In fact, it’s because
of those twins that I, well, spiraled
into a deep, dark place. And I don’t know–maybe
you can relate. I had a year. Yeah, mine was about 18 months. But we had two kids. We had a beautiful
daughter and a son. And I thought that our
family wasn’t complete. So I convinced my husband
for just one more. Oh, no. Yes. And then the one more
turned into two more when we realized that we were
expecting identical twins. And as you know,
a twin pregnancy is really taxing, and then
even having one infant, let alone two, at the
same time is really hard. And then trying to raise two
more children on top of that–I had four kids in five years. And I realize that
so many people have a lot harder
challenges than that. But for me, that
about did me in. Yeah, so you had
to figure it out. Yeah, so I gave all that I had
to my family, which was great. And I was glad that I could. But what happened–when the
twins were about 18 months old and could begin to do things
on their own and I had a moment to breathe, I realized that I no
longer loved myself in my life. I’d forgotten who I was. You’d given yourself all away,
and you forgot who you were. Yeah. I think that happens
to a lot of moms and even people who aren’t moms. It just happens in
various situations. And so I know that you’ve
come up with some ways, some steps if you will, that we
can maybe find ourselves again. Absolutely. I call those steps
mom resolutions. There are six of them. And they actually came
in a very organic way. I was in a very bad
spot, and I knew that I needed to
make some changes or I would have serious
consequences to my family, possibly my marriage. But I didn’t know where
to go or how to go. But I needed to make changes. I couldn’t expect those
around me to change. I had to change first. I’m a writer. And so the only thing
that I knew to do was to just write and just type. I remember I stayed up late
one night, my laptop open, and I was just typing as fast
as I could–and just words and sentences. And some of it was really scary. Some of the things that were
there were dark and scary. But through that
process, six things came to light that I was
not doing that I could do. And I went to work on those
six things immediately. And immediately I
found myself again. And I realized that these
six things helped me, but they could help
so many other people. And so those six
principles–like I said, I call them mom
resolutions–they became the base or the foundation
of MOMentity.com. OK, and I think
just writing things down is one step in its own. Sometimes people
have to talk it out. Some people just
need to write it out. So let’s talk about
some of those steps. What are they? So the six mom resolutions–the
first is “I am valuable.” And I had to realize,
like many of us do, that I have a value besides
changing diapers and hot meals and folded laundry. And then number two
was “Dreams are real,” and that was probably the
biggest point of my pain, that I had put my dreams
on the back burner and I had put them on hold. And probably one of your
dreams was to be a mom. Absolutely. So there was one. But maybe some others
were neglected. Yeah, and for many of us, that
is such an important dream. But we’re sent here for a bigger
mission than just motherhood. There’s other aspects
to that as well. And when we forget
about that, we’re actually forgetting about
a piece of who we are. OK, so when you realize
that dreams are real, what do you do about it? Well, even just
acknowledging that you are meant for
different things can help put that spark
back in your eyes, a little jump in
your step, and helps you realize that there
are bigger things. Maybe you have to wait
a little bit for them, but they’re there. Now, I have to say, I do
think that some moms out there are saying,
“This is my dream, and this is my big dream,
to have this family.” And so I think we have
to point out that, if that is your
dream, that’s enough. Yeah, and they’ll know it. You don’t have to have
something bigger necessarily, but motherhood is huge. Yeah, it’s huge. I think the difference is
that if that’s their dream and that’s what
they’re all about, they’re going to be happy. Fulfilled. And joyful and fulfilled. And that’s fantastic. And I wish that it were
that easy for others. Yeah, not everyone
is OK with that. And I always made the
joke–I’ve worked full-time, I’ve been at home full-time. I’ve kind of done a mishmash. But nobody ever gives
you a standing ovation for finishing the laundry. No. Which I felt like I needed. I’m like, “Where is the button
for someone to give me a hand, that I just put all these
twins’ laundry away?” So it’s hard to get that
validation sometimes when you’re doing laundry and
cleaning and changing diapers. OK. So that’s step number two,
acknowledging your dreams. What about number three? Number three is “Define
and protect my roles.” And that’s kind of what we’re
talking about right here. Our roles are the
responsibilities that we have. So it would be
mother–or father, for the dads that are
watching–spouse, home manager. It might be employee, employer,
soccer coach, PTA president. Whatever those roles
are that you have, it’s really important
that you define them and that they’re
very clear to you. And then we work
to protect them. And there’s a couple of those
roles that hide–one probably being daughter of God or child
of God–because we forget to fill that part of us when
we’re taking care of others. And then oftentimes we combine
parent with home manager. So we spend all day
managing our home, and then we wonder why our kids,
our toddlers are at our ankles, whining and complaining. Our teenagers might
be throwing us shade. And we’re trying to figure
out why we’re so disconnected. And it’s because
we were actually doing the laundry and the
cooking and the bills, and all of that falls
under home manager. And we weren’t actually
paying attention to our kids. And do you recommend
writing these down? Absolutely. To make it very clear. Absolutely, yeah, you need
to know what they are. And so with those two
specifically–parenting and home manager–have you
found the best way to set times or days? I mean, we just have
to separate those two. Well, in our mind. So really, the truth is that
we’re a parent and a home manager at the same time. You’re a parent to the kids
that you’re carpooling. You can cook dinner and work
on homework at the same time. So often those two roles are
happening at the same time. The difference is how we’re
looking at it from our mind. If we know that we’re being
a mom and a cook, or a home manager, in that moment,
then we can switch back between browning hamburger and
helping with the math problem with a much better attitude. So I’m not the only
one who doesn’t– No, no. OK, good to know. All right, so what’s
next on our steps? OK, so number three was
“Define and protect our roles,” and number four is to
“leverage our time.” OK, how do we do that? Yes, so once we know
what our roles are and we become passionate
about protecting those roles and not becoming less of
a person in those roles, then we can use our time to
make the most of those roles. And that would be cooking dinner
while we’re helping our kids, doing as many things
at once as we can, making sure that the machines in
our life are working for us–so keep that laundry cycling,
the dishwasher running. What can you do while you’re
waiting in the carpool line? Those are all things that we
can do to leverage our time. But first we have to know what
those roles are so that we are clearly using our time. Do you think there are times
when we have to really–I found myself having to do
this with my kids because we’re multitaskers. I am, anyway. OK, so when you want
to be that parent, that you sometimes have to put
everything else aside and have that eye contact,
and just, that’s all you’re doing at the moment. And I think sometimes
we forget to do that. Yeah, some of the hardest things
is putting the world aside and being there for our kids,
because the world’s beeping at us in our pocket, all
the alerts on our phone and the email that we
know we need to get to. And one of the tips
that I actually teach for this that does fall
under leveraging our time is a strategy that’s not new,
but we can use it in the home just like we do in business. And that’s time blocking–so
giving yourself time for Mom, time for work. And if you leave the
house, that’s easy to do. But if you’re working in
the home, those lines blend. So when are you Mom, and
when are you working mom? Or when are you Mom, and when
are you doing the chores? And then in that time that
you’re Mom, you are Mom and you are present
and you are coloring or you’re playing
Candy Land or you’re talking about boys
with your teenager. Whatever it is that
you’re doing, you’re there and you’re present. And the good thing is that it’s
easier to be at peace with that because you know, “I have
time set aside later.” There’s a time for everything. I think these days we
complain a lot about teenagers always on their phones. But I was reading
a study recently from Common Sense
Media, and they were saying that
40 percent of kids feel like their
parents are distracted when they’re with them, by
gadgets, by their phones or whatever. And I think that’s something
we can learn from as parents, that we have to be present,
too, with all our tech– Yeah, I’m just as guilty. Tucking the kids in at night,
and I do tuck them in at night. But they actually like us to lay
by them till they fall asleep. And so then I’m
pulling my phone out. And on more than one occasion,
one of my kids has said, “Mom, will you put your phone
away and cuddle with me?” And that’s hard. That hurts. No, we’re not perfect. Nobody’s perfect. And it’s a constant
daily struggle. OK, leveraging our time. And what’s next? “Cherish our children.” And that’s because, in this
role of parenthood, sometimes we only see them as
the person that’s making the mess or the
conflict that they’re causing in our home. And we forget to see them as
our Heavenly Father sees them and love them and nurture
them and cherish them, because we don’t know how long
we get to spend with them. OK, I think that’s a
good reminder for us. And what’s your last tip? “Everyone needs playdates.” That includes us. So we need time away
from our family. We need time with our spouse. And for those of
us that are working towards those dreams
that are in our heart, we need to create
opportunities to network. How important do you think
it is for moms and dads alike to have time with their
peers, with their friends? I think that’s so important. It’s so important. It might be the most
important thing in regards to dreaming in motion or making
those dreams happen while you still take care of your kids. So I think that making
time for what matters most is nothing new. We know that we’re
supposed to be doing that. But why is it so hard for
us, especially as moms, to do that, to prioritize? Possibly because we
want to be everything to everyone all of the time. And it’s hard for us to say no. I’m a big believer in no. Me, too. Absolutely. A huge believer. But a lot of people have
a hard time with it. What is the best way to say no? Because sometimes you have
to say no to good things. How do we do that? And oftentimes aren’t
we choosing between– Two good things. Yeah, two good things
or something that’s better and something
that’s best. I mean, it’s not
always an easy choice. And I think first we’re
actually saying yes. So if we go back to those
roles that we defined, this is where we protect them. So think of, like,
your top six roles. It’s probably parent and
spouse, maybe it’s caregiver or neighbor or your
Church calling, whatever it is–your
six most important. And we’re going to
protect those fiercely. And in order to do so, we have
to say no to everything else. So first in your mind,
you’re saying yes to those things that are
most important to you. And when you know that
you’re doing that, it makes it really easy
to say yes–or I’m sorry, to say no to those things that
are infringing on those things that are most important to you. So if somebody asks you
to coach a basketball team or to run for PTA president
or to go on a business trip, it might be easier to
say no to those things, because you’re first saying yes. And I like, actually,
how you map this out, that when you do it–because
let’s give some people some real–this is how you do it. OK, moms. This is how you say no. First you say yes. Right, there’s actually
a three-part process. It’s a yes-no-yes formula. So first we’re saying–it’s
a yes to those most important things on our list. But also we’re going to
physically say yes to whoever it is that’s– OK, so let’s role-play this. Yes. Hey, could you be the
new PTO president? You would be so great at it. OK, so I’m going to
take a deep breath because I know that that
doesn’t fall in my six most valuable things to me. So I’m going to say yes to you. Thank you so much
for thinking of me. I am flattered that you
think I would do a good job. So there’s our first yes. Now, our second step is a
clear, matter-of-fact no. Zero maybes. You’re not allowed to
use “Maybe” or “Let me think about it” or “Let
me check my schedule.” So then the next part
would be “Unfortunately, the book that I’m writing or
the business that I’m building or the great hobby that I have
are taking up time in my life right now.” Or you could phrase
it differently and say, “Unfortunately,
even though I love my kids, there’s not a space for
that in my life right now.” So that’s our second step. And it can be said differently– Or you can be
honest and just say, “I’m barely hanging on
to my life right now.” Absolutely. So that’s not going to happen. OK, and then you end it
with kind of a yes as well. Yes, so you’re going to
affirm the relationship. Or you might be able to come
back around with something that you are comfortable with. So I would say, “But thank
you again for thinking of me.” And then maybe I could offer a
suggestion of somebody else who I think would do a good job. Or maybe I know that in
the spring I’m not as busy, so I could say, “But I would
love to help with that spring carnival.” I like that. Yeah, so yes, no, yes. There you go, everyone. You know how to do it now. So do it. And it can be done in a text,
in an email, face to face. You have to do it or
else you go insane. Remember, no maybes. No maybes. Now, also, you
talk about setting those realistic
expectations with yourself. So you just set one
in that role play with whoever was asking
you to be PTO president. But you have to set them with
yourself, with your spouse, and with your kids as well. So let’s talk about
those three roles. How do you kind of
prioritize those? Well, really they’re probably
all on an equal plane because we can’t really say
that our spouse or our kids are more important. I think what it comes down to
is having real conversations with our spouse. “What’s really most
important to you? I can’t do all of these things. What’s most important to you?” And if our spouse
were an employer and we knew we had all these
things we needed to do, we would probably sit down
with our employer and say, “I can’t do all of these. What’s most important to you?” So let’s have that
conversation with our spouse. “What is most important to you?” I know that my husband loves our
bar to be cleaned of clutter. And yet what’s one
of the first things that I do when I come home? Set all of the junk
right on the bar. And there are some things
that he doesn’t care about. But that’s one of them. And also, it could be that his
most important thing is just to have 20 minutes with you
alone at the end of the day or something. Without me out of energy or too
tired to even make eye contact because the day’s been too long. So I think that is a little
easier to do with your spouse because they’re a grown-up. But I think sometimes it’s
hard to talk to your children about their expectations of you. I was talking to friends lately. My son couldn’t believe I
couldn’t come on this one field trip. He was very upset. You can’t make it to
every single soccer game and every single thing. How do you talk to your kids
about their expectations? OK, so that goes back to
mom resolution number two, “Dreams are real.” And it goes back
to that idea of, how are we going to balance
doing the things that we love, following our dreams and raising
this family that we love? Because these are
two fantastic things. And I think it’s important for
us to sit down with our kids and explain to them,
“This is something that Mom really wants to do.” I know when I was
writing my book and I was under a contract
to have the manuscript turned in to my editor,
there was a deadline. And these chapters
had to be written. And so I gathered the
family and we sat down and I explained
to them, “This is something that is really
important to me, something I’ve always wanted to do. And I need your help. And that means that I might
not be able to pick you up from soccer practice. It means that I might not be
available right after school.” Whatever it is that is changing,
we need to address the change, because the kids are
sensitive to the change. They don’t really care
that you’re not there. Well, they do. But what’s bothering them most
is that things are shifting. So we need to acknowledge that. Explaining it really well. And maybe it would
make them feel good to know they’re
supporting you. Yeah, and then engage them. Is there a reward
in it for them? What do they get out of it? Is there a special trip
to the ice cream store? Is there extra
money for the family so that they can
go on a vacation or do the sporting event
that they want to do? How does this affect them? And also, let’s talk a little
bit about–I think a lot of times moms have a hard time
taking time for themselves. So I’ve told a lot
about myself today because I’m a big
believer in no. I’m a big believer in spending
time with your friends. And I’m a huge believer
in time for yourself. Absolutely. So sometimes that can make
us feel guilty, though. I know every time I try to plan
my girls’ trip with my friends, we all feel guilty
leaving our families. How can we prioritize having
that time for ourselves without guilt? Yeah, well, first I
think sometimes we think that this time for
ourself has to take all day. “Well, if I put myself
first, the role of me, if I put that first,
then that’s selfish.” But the truth is that
on a daily basis, it probably only needs to be
10, 15, maybe 45 minutes at most if you’re exercising, too. And then that still
leaves over 20 hours, 23 hours if you aren’t including
sleep, that all of these, this time that you can
spend on someone else. When it comes to
something like a weekend getaway with your
girlfriends, I would look at more of the week or the
month and just think, “Well, how am I blocking out my time? And if I’m gone
for the weekend–” You could make a pie chart. This is only a
teeny little sliver. Sure, let’s get
the whiteboard out. And let’s look and see. If this is the time I’m
spending with my friends, what am I doing the weekend
before or the weekend after so that my loved ones will
feel like their cup is full? How can you help people
listening know–maybe they don’t know what
their dreams are. Maybe they don’t know
those roles specifically. Do you have a way for us to kind
of visualize that and realize what our roles are and
what should be a priority? Yeah, so first, if we want to
know what our roles are–just grab a pen or a pencil and a
piece of paper and just jot down all of the different
things that you have. And some people might
be in the high teens. Honestly, you only can handle
about eight major roles at a time without totally
feeling overwhelmed. And then if we’re throwing in
dream management into that, that’s a whole different list. So you would write down
things that you like to do, things that are easy for you
but seem to be a little harder for other people. Sometimes our talents
are so easy for us, we don’t even realize
that they’re talents. And our talents are always
an indicator of our dream. OK, so that’s an easy
way to find out– Yeah, because the dream
that you have in your heart is a part of who you
were created to be. Therefore, you have the
special talents and the gifts that you need to
make that happen. So we talked about saying no. And I don’t want
to sound negative, because I think another
huge benefit for moms out there is helping one another. So how can we help one
another, support one another? Does that alleviate
some of that stress? Or does it make it more so? What do you think? That’s a really good question. And that’s a tough one, right? I think that when we have
our own roles handled, it’s easier for us to reach
out and to serve someone else. And if we’re being
overwhelmed all the time, then we don’t have the
capacity to serve others. So it’s almost like, when
we’re on an airplane, the stewardesses
always remind you that in case there’s
an accident, a crash, and those oxygen masks drop,
you put yours on first, because instinctively we would
always put it on our kids. And the same goes for life. Make sure that your
own life is in order because then, when you know
your neighbor’s stressed out or somebody’s car
breaks down, you are the one that
can go and help. Now, you talked about
that time of your life where you were overwhelmed. I think we’ve all had those. For you, these steps happened
immediately, you said. What can you say to
the moms out there who maybe have done some of
these things and it’s still not helping? Well, I think it’s
important to realize that this isn’t just a
door that you walk through and everything’s different. Life balance is like
a roller coaster. It’s cyclical. So even though I may have
had one of my biggest dips when the twins
were 18 months old, I’ve had another really
big dip this year. And I might have
another really big dip in a couple of years from
now or two months from now. You never know. So it’s more about
having the tools that you need so
that you can manage the dips, the corkscrews,
the loop-de-loos, and just know that you’re going
to be able to make it through to the other side. You feel like you
have those tools now? Yeah, absolutely. And so when you
get out of whack, would you recommend just
going back to that number one that you talked to about? Yeah, back to these six. And write them down? And how often do we need to kind
of do a check with ourselves, would you say? It depends on the person. In my experience with myself
and the women that I work with, you can feel it. You start to feel that bubble,
like, “Ah, what’s going on? Why is everything out of sync?” And honestly, if I really
have to narrow it down, it usually comes down to the
one thing that I am forgetting, and that’s time with myself
and with my Heavenly Father every morning. And if that’s not happening,
then everything else starts to spiral. How much do you think
judgmentalness comes into this? When we’re talking about
how we judge ourselves and how we judge
other people, I think that that could be a big
help if we could all just get over that and quit it. If that happens,
will you let me know? Because I don’t know if
that is even possible. I wish it were. I think the more confident
we are as a person, the easier it is for us to leave
those judgments on the table. There is good guilt,
and that’s the guilt that we feel when our
life is not on course. How do you recognize that? How do you recognize when you’ve
gotten a little bit, maybe, too selfish? You start to see the
effects in the people that you care about around you. You start to notice that there’s
resentment with your spouse or that your kids
are acting out. And those are our good moments
to look and think, “Well, what’s the cause of this? And do I have something
to do with this? And if so, then I can change.” And then the guilt that we
feel–I call it the mom guilt or that negative guilt–it’s
usually coming from an outside source. So if it’s internal
guilt, often it’s a reason that we can
change or should change. It might even be the
Spirit telling us that something needs to change. And if it’s coming from
an external source, it’s probably just people
that we don’t care about. And if they don’t like
us for who we are, then that’s their problem. Isn’t that the crux of it all? If we could get to
that point where, number one, we’re not
judging other moms and being supportive, and
then we don’t judge ourselves, it could solve a lot of
these problems, I feel like. I think so, too. All right, well,
what final tips do you have for women out there
who may just be struggling, who may feel totally
out of balance and overwhelmed right now? It probably starts with
grounding ourselves every day–so finding out our value. Mom resolution number
one is “I am valuable.” But we find that value
through our Heavenly Father, not through the
clothes in our closet or our hairstyle or our makeup. So if there’s somebody out
there that’s struggling, I would encourage them to just
wake up an extra 10 minutes. I know that’s hard. I’ve been the mom that didn’t
sleep for years and years. But just wake up
an extra 10 minutes early with a notebook and the
scriptures and some quiet time and just do that for a few
days, and journal the difference that you feel. And that’s probably the
very best place to start. You feel like that is really
the basis for all of it? It is. Isn’t it? I mean, our relationship
with our Heavenly Father, and even our role as mother
is a divine responsibility. And I think sometimes we
forget the importance of that. So you’re talking
about waking up early, talking to your Heavenly
Father, doing your scriptures. And those are things we know
we’ve learned our whole lives. Right. Easy to forget, though. Maybe that is part of the
steps that we have to do. When you talk about your value
as your number-one thing, sometimes it’s really easy
to lose that when all of this is going on in your life. Yeah, and often
it’s the first thing that we drop when
life is really awful. It’s really easy to
turn to our Heavenly Father for love and support,
and then when life goes great, we stop. We stop turning to Him. And then it goes bad
again, and we wonder why. And then we realize it’s because
we weren’t doing the things that we’re supposed to do. And it’s that same
cycle that we see. How much of that was a part
of you coming out of your dips that you talked about? I know without a doubt
that my Heavenly Father is who guided me through and who
gave me the information that I needed to help myself
and, hopefully, help a lot of other people. And I know that when I’m
feeling lost or overwhelmed or stressed out,
it’s not because He’s turned his back on me. It’s because I’ve
turned my back on Him. And how much did your spouse
play in all of this, too? He’s a great guy. And he loved me
through all of it. And I think that ultimately
he just wanted me to be happy. And he’s been a great support. And he’s used to living
with a crazy person who has to be busy all the time. So I don’t do well just sitting
on a couch not doing anything. And is this something that–how
young can we start teaching our kids these steps? Because I just think if we
had started this long ago, maybe we wouldn’t hit these
dips that we’ve all had. Yeah, I think that–first
by example, right? I mean, hopefully
my daughter has overheard a lot of the training
calls and the conversations that I’ve had. And hopefully she’s
learning these things, but I think that we
teach by example. Do your kids see you loving
yourself and speaking highly about yourself? Or do they see the look
that you gave yourself when you passed the mirror? I know the day that my books
arrived from my publisher before my launch day,
and I opened that book, and there was my dream in a box. And my daughter was
right next to me, and I was able to
say to her, “Look, you can do anything you want to
do if you put your mind to it.” And I showed her by
example that it’s possible. I hope that she
remembers that day. And I think that as parents,
that the first step is probably leading by example. You have this
website, MOMentity, where you say you hear
from a lot of women. What is their main
struggle today that you’re seeing come
in to your website? That’s a good question. I think that most of us just
struggle with trying to do it all–“How am I good at home
and at work and with my kids?” And I think that the number-one
thing that they need to work on is just learning to
define those roles. And that’s part of your steps. Let’s just review one more time,
before we go, your six steps. For those of you out
there struggling, we know. We’ve all been there. OK, these are the six. First, find your value. I’m going to let
you say the rest. I remember the first two. I am valuable. Dreams are real. Define and protect your roles. Leverage your time. Cherish your children. And everyone needs playdates. Nicole Carpenter is an author
and founder of MOMentity.com. She has shared some
great tips today for setting realistic
expectations for ourselves, our spouses, and our kids. Thank you all for tuning
in, and join us next time. Gospel Solutions for Families
on the Mormon Channel. Subscribe to the podcast on
mormonchannel.org, the Mormon Channel app, or on iTunes.

10 Replies to “Setting Realistic Expectations with Self, Spouse, and Kids”

  1. really good message, for ways to say no to your kids look up Christian comedian Tim Hawkins he has a whole joke set about saying no. he said his kids call him Dr. No.

  2. I love how you said some of this applies to everyone, though it is true that Moms seem to need this guidance most of all. I particularly like the step of defending your roles. In the world, it may be hard to defend your role as a Mom, and how important that is to you and to your Heavenly Father, but then it is also important to defend your out-of-home roles to other members of the church who might be judging you for not being just a Mom. I feel very strongly that being a Mom has been attacked as being lower than anything else, or all a woman is good for, when truely it is the best job you can have. That being said, it is probably the hardest and most physically and emotionally demanding job you can have, and it is important to have both validation for those efforts, as well as time away from being mom to develop other parts of your being.
    Thanks for all the great insight you guys always provide!

  3. there is such a lack of appreciation for a woman who is "just a mom" these days that we dont think of the broad influence motherhood has on a womans children and the world. time to bring back the wise old saying "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world". this realization can make self appreciation vastly more possible and life enjoyment possible. also if you have this kind of appreciation for your self as a mother it will rub off on your spouse and he will have more respect for yourr role as well. just a thought.

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