How to Find Your Why As A Mom + Why It’s So Important
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Mom life can feel extremely monotonous sometimes. It can be a challenge to maintain a sense of purpose because moms often feel unimportant and undervalued.
To make it worse, we fall into the trap of calling ourselves “just a mom.” But there’s no such thing. I know you know this deep down. We have an endless number of roles to fill, and all of them matter.
We’re important. We’re shaping our children’s foundations, creating a cozy home, nourishing tiny bodies with healthy food, and the list goes on.
In real life, moms are the glues that hold the entire family together.
So why do we feel so blah all the time?
It’s because we lose sight of our why – the reason behind the reason behind the reason behind the reason why we do what we do. And no, that wasn’t a typo 🙂
You and I know how important our “jobs” are, but it can feel so boring and insignificant on the average day. Baths and cleaning up toys and meal prep and cleaning up toys and laundry… It feels so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
And then there’s the part where we constantly compare ourselves to other moms – motherhood gives us endless opportunities to feel inferior, like we’re failing every day.
It’s hard to find purpose in the mundane daily life of motherhood.
Don’t get me wrong – I do love being a mom, and it’s not always hard. It brings me joy nearly every day. But there are hard seasons sometimes. So how do we work our way through the challenges and hard seasons so that we can live with purpose in motherhood?
We find our why.
What is A “Why”?
Your why is the reason behind everything you do as a mom. It’s the motivation behind your day-to-day activities – even those which seem monotonous.
Finding your why is one of the most important things you can possibly do for yourself. Having this clear understanding of the overall purpose behind the never-ending daily tasks is so powerful.
Knowing your why as a mom gives you direction in your life, and having that direction allows you to make confident decisions every day. You’ll know why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you’re turning down invitations and opportunities that you normally would have accepted before understanding your reasons.
In order to make the mundane feel less blah, it’s important to have a purpose that’s bigger than yourself, whether it’s having to do with raising your kids, setting goals, or finding something that belongs only to you (which is super important as a mom!).
When you don’t have a why, these sorts of intangibles don’t seem so urgent, so it’s easy to forget about the longer-term, bigger picture – how do you want to raise your children?
Purpose Vs Why: Aren’t They the Same Thing?
In short: No.
A purpose is an intention – it helps you to create an impact or a desired outcome. A why is about why we do something, the meaning behind it, and the feeling we get from doing it.
For example, in relation to this blog, my purpose is to help overwhelmed moms find simple solutions to the struggles of mom life. My why, however, is twofold: I truly do get satisfaction and joy from helping you moms enjoy your lives and find the time to do everything you need and want to do – it always feels good to help others. But I also hope to gain personal benefits from helping you. I want to help support all of the “extras” that come with growing kids – sports, family vacations, dinners out, and the like. So part of my why is to create some extra income to allow the flexibility to create those memories for my family.
Is additional income my purpose? No, not at all. It’s a small part of the reason why I do what I do.
Regardless of the difference between purpose and why, the ultimate goal is that we all want to live a meaningful life, and we want to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing to achieve that meaning.
Why Do You Need to Find Your Why?
- It gives you purpose.
Knowing your why gives you a reason to get out of bed every morning. Instead of just going through the motions all day, your actions become more meaningful – even the boring stuff turns into a labor of love, like cleaning the bathroom and making lunch for your kids. You’re able to set goals and do what it takes to achieve them because you can see the reason behind the goals, and not just the goals themselves.
- It gives you focus.
When you have your why, your goals become easier to achieve because you’re hyper-focused. You gain a clarity that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t know why you were doing what you were doing. You’ll gain a perspective that allows you to see what is and isn’t important, and you’ll be less tempted by distractions.
- It makes the monotony less… monotonous.
Day-to-day mom life can get a little boring sometimes. It can feel like you’re stuck in Groundhog Day. Knowing your why gives you the will to get stuff done and find meaning in doing it. You’re no longer simply cooking dinner for a bunch of ungrateful little people – a dinner that they most likely won’t even eat. You’re nourishing your amazing children’s bodies with healthy food while you create connection and community around the family dinner table.
- It makes you happier.
Having a clearly defined why adds depth and dimension to your life. You’ll feel more fulfilled by the things you need to get done, while being motivated to do them.
Challenge: Create A Mom Mission Statement
The quickest and simplest way to sort out your why as a mom is to create a mom mission statement.
A mission statement is a summary of your aims and values. In order to have more of those days that make you feel fulfilled as a mom, you’ll want to make a statement or declaration of what you want your life to look like.
Speaking from experience, I know that it doesn’t often occur to moms to have a mission statement. But it’s a very powerful way to figure out your why and remember it when you’re having a rough day.
A motherhood mission statement gives you clarity and perspective regarding your role as a mom. It will help you live more intentionally, which helps you focus on what you’re doing and why so that you can better choose what serves you and what doesn’t.
Businesses and other organizations have mission statements to define their goals and values. It keeps the company focused on what matters. So why wouldn’t we do this for ourselves? Why wouldn’t we want to remember what matters to us when we’re either bored from monotony or overwhelmed from having too much to do?
I highly recommend using Jennifer’s action plan for creating a mom mission statement. She starts with brainstorming, then moves on to creating a meaningful mission statement that flows.
This will take some time, but I know you’ll find that it was time well spent once you get yours done. Find quiet space to gather your thoughts, and leave and come back to it as you go – looking at it with “fresh eyes” will help to give you clarity.
Extra Tips for Finding Your Why
Beyond creating a mom mission statement, there are other things you can do to help you find your purpose – and in finding your purpose, you’ll be on your way to finding your why.
#1 – Find something that’s just for you – and make time to do it.
Many moms want to feel fulfilled, but struggle. However, purpose doesn’t typically show up until you act. If you don’t already have an activity that’s only yours, try new things until you find one.
Marie Forleo says that “clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” You can think about things to do alllll day long, but actually trying out some new and different interests will help you find something quicker.
Try an art class. Start a blog. Volunteer at your local food bank. Just get out and do something just for you.
#2 – Stop comparing.
With the way social media is these days, it’s challenging to avoid the comparison game.
But your why is yours alone – not your sister’s, not your mom’s, and not your best friend’s. Find what makes YOU happy and fulfilled, and do it. And don’t worry about what anyone else has to say about it!
#3 – Connect with friends.
Even if you don’t think you need friends, you do. I’m extremely introverted, but I feel so refreshed after a couple of hours with a few friends.
It can be hard to make and nurture friendships when you’re busy with family life, but all of us need friends that we can trust and rely on.
You don’t need to get out of the house alone to get friend time – get the kids together to play! I have a group of friends that meets weekly. It started as a way to get our homeschooled kids around other kids for the sole purpose of playing together, but now I can’t imagine my own life without these moms in it.
#4 – Take care of your body.
You won’t feel your best – physically OR mentally – if you’re not sleeping, eating, drinking, or exercising enough.
And you won’t find fulfillment anywhere if you’re not feeling good about yourself.
True self-care comes from taking care of the necessities first.
#5 – Be grateful.
It’s all too easy to focus on the negative around us. Whenever you catch yourself dwelling, make it a point to turn it around and practice gratitude by naming something you’re grateful for.
Maintaining positivity and gratefulness makes life feel so much better. You’ll be fulfilled and uplifted by the positive aspects of your life rather than feeling weighed down by what’s missing.
What you’re doing now isn’t meaningless. Motherhood is SO important.
You’re literally raising up the next generation of humans. You’re blessed with the opportunity to love, care for, and raise another human being and to help him or her grow into an amazing person.
But that’s a lot of weight to carry sometimes, and I know that you don’t want to feel like you’re “just a mom.” Because you’re not.
Finding your why will remind you of this. It will give you the ability to create a loving, peaceful home environment where your kids will thrive – AND where you’ll thrive as a mom.
Once you have it in place, whenever you feel doubt, exhaustion, or like you want to give up, all you’ll need to do is go back to it to get on track again.
I’d love to hear your motherhood mission statement! Share it in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.