how do you measure the worth of a mom?

If you could peek in my living room right now and see me you’d see a mom with puffy eyes from crying the night before because she was overwhelmed and didn’t feel like she measured up. You’d see a four year old with his superman shirt on backwards because he dressed himself. You’d see a living room window with handprints on it as the morning sun streams into the living room and dances across the floor which has Easter grass littered about.

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You’d see me.

The imperfect trying and feeling like she’s not enough so often mom.

And I would hope that I wouldn’t apologize for not having it all together, but would rather move the new bats and balls off of the rocking chair and would offer you a cup of coffee from my favorite red Keurig and I would look in your face and smile.

I might have tears in my eyes.

But that’s okay. It’s real.

Sometimes you and I we like to try to measure our worth as moms based on a bunch of external variables. There is always one more thing to do or go or try or change or update or learn or implement or create. And those things, so many of them are awesome. They’re great. Our world is full of opportunity and adventure and places to go and things to see.

But sometimes life is full of ordinary. Or hard. Even with good mixed in.

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It’s the sound of my boys downstairs now telling each other that they should have a pillow fight with the pillows that are for sure on the floor instead of on the couch. But truth is, there will be a day in my home where the pillows are never left on the floor and they’re always on the couch.

There will be a day where the stickers are no longer stuck to the table and lightsabers aren’t on my living room floor and my laundry can be done in several loads a week.

There will be a day where I don’t hear I hate you mom when I take away media.

There will be a day when the car seats are no longer in the back of my truck. And, in fact, I won’t need all those extra seats and I won’t joke that I need the this vehicle stops at railroad crossing sign on the back.

There will be a day where the abundant supply of boxed macaroni and cheese with the powder doesn’t sit in my cabinet.

There will be a day when I don’t need to cut the tags out of every piece of clothing for my four year old.

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There will be a day when the muddy parts under the swing will be covered with grass because the feet don’t drag the grass away.

There will be a day when I don’t cut everything tiny and slice grapes in fourths and the plastic plates sit unused.

There will be a day where it will be quiet and I will long for the days when I would say can you all hold it down a bit?

There will be a day when little ones don’t hide in their room and sneak Easter candy the day after Easter.

There will be a day when I can shower without hearing a knock on the door and the words can I have a snack? even after I told them to not bother me unless it’s an emergency.

There will be a day when we will look back and remember.

And chances are, even though it’s overwhelming and hard, that you and I will not see where we stumbled. We will not focus on the fact that our living room had Easter grass on the floor and wrappers and fingerprints on the window. We will not remember how we could never find sock matches and we won’t us all of that to judge us as moms.  We won’t remember the pile of dishes in the sink or that the floor needed to be swept three times a day.

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We will see where we were brave.

When we thought we couldn’t keep going and yet we did.

We’ll remember how we made that boxed macaroni and cheese and how there were always fingerprints on the fridge and how sometimes when there was the pump foam soap our little boys pumped it all out and made a car wash for their matchbox cars (yes, yes, yes. . . that just happened here). We’ll remember when we brushed away the tears and put on a smile and just kept going. We’ll remember the sleepless nights and endless supply of coffee. We’ll remember smiling at our kids as they ran up the front steps. We’ll remember that we loved them no matter what and sometimes even though we felt lost or unimportant that we just loved them anyway.

How do you measure the worth of a mom?

It’s not in all the things that you think you should be doing. It’s not in perfect birthday parties. I just had one for my daughter Grace. I bought two $1.99 rolls of streamers from Target, a poster board, and some cupcakes. And that was okay. It’s not all the stuff – it’s the heart behind it. I know, I know. Maybe sometimes you feel lost. Maybe you feel like you’re short changing your kids. Maybe you don’t know that you’re doing enough. Maybe you just want to cry that you need a break but don’t want to admit it.

I know. That’s okay.

Here’s the deal.

The truth is that your worth as a mom is immeasurable.

You cannot be replaced.

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You make a difference. I know, you could tell me these are just things that moms do. You could pull out your to-do list and show me everything that you haven’t finished. You could tell me how your life is messy and that this isn’t what you thought it would be. You could tell me how you’re tired. You could tell me everything that you think isn’t perfect.

And I will tell you, there is no perfect, there’s only real.

Real moms. You and me and the mom next door and the mom at Target and the mom in the airport who travels and the mom driving to soccer and ballet and the mom who is at work but wishes she could be home and the mom with the the 4th grader struggling with math and the mom who wonders if she matters. You know what? We don’t have to have it all together and have it perfect.

Our kids need us.

Not perfection.

That’s worth.

They need you, even if you feel like you’re messing up or not enough or have those days when you want to quit.

So today, rise up, and be real. Be you. Keep doing the ordinary awesome things that you do that sometimes feel like they’re just what moms do. Keep loving your kids. Keep trying. Keep it up.

Someday you and I will look back and we will say we did it.

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And you know what? We will. And even though life is messy and not perfect and we have those moments where we fall the moments where we rise up will outshine them all. We will see where we soared and we will remember the moments that mattered most. Those are the things that you need to see today. To remember. To look at.

Onward brave mother. Onward.

You have awesome to do.

Still wondering about worth? Watch this:

Expand the Happiness Ripple. Together.

Two weeks ago I wrote an article title Cancer of Not, When Did Making Fun of Each Other Become Okay? In it I wrote about the cool (and awesome and inspiring and motivating and insert any other totally empowering adjective) tutu runners Monika and Tara. I wrote about how Self Magazine made fun of them and then kind of apologized to Monika stating they didn’t know she had cancer and never would have ran the article if they had known.

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That inspired the title.

Cancer shouldn’t be an excuse for poor behavior.

We simply shouldn’t make fun of each other to make money.

As the weeks have passed, I’ve been blessed to get to know Monika and Tara more. Tara has shared with me how she’s trained, cried, ran, given, and kept going. Running. And yet, she really was lost in the whole fiasco. Where was her apology? Why weren’t we looking at them as two women who were empowered to look at the challenges of life and instead of dwelling in the difficulties were running together? Why didn’t we celebrate the power of working together and supporting each other?

Why was it the tearing down?

Why is cutthroat more profitable than sincerity?

This isn’t the first time Self’s editor, Danziger, has had to address a Self folly. In 2009 the mag landed in hot water after running a Photoshopped image of Kelly Clarkson on its cover. After getting flack for the digitally-slimmed Clarkson, Danziger wrote a post on Self.com admitting to Photoshopping, but stood by its decision. “Yes. Of course we do retouching,” she wrote. “Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best.”

That is what is tearing us down, making us self-conscious. . . poisoning the team. Yes, team.  Tearing each other down fragments us as a culture, a team of women.

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When Tara wrote me to talk about her experience as the “other tutu” girl, the first thing she mentioned was being excited that her photo was going to be in Self Magazine and then feeling duped and dejected when it was in the BullShit Column. Can you imagine that? She sent in one of their most empowering pictures, that moment of victory, that feeling of success to a magazine. Then, the magazine came, and it was the exact opposite.

It’s the dagger in the back moment.

The fact that Self Magazine removed its editor is something our society does as a band-aid. Someone had to be responsible so they got rid of an editor. But the editor wasn’t the problem. The culture of the magazine, the culture of beauty. . . that’s part of the issue.

We don’t hold ourselves accountable for any of this. Why are we buying magazines that touch up photos in that way? That feeling we had when we supported the tutu girls. . . why does it fade so quickly?

Look at Monika and Tara. Running together. Supporting each other. Believing in each other. Challenging each other to do more. Not quitting. Holding each other up when they feel like stopping. Laughing and crying and pushing each other to do more. Sending in their picture to a magazine hoping that it will inspire others? (And you know what? -It truly has inspired not just several, but millions and millions, despite the angst that should never have happened.)

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You know what Self Magazine did right? They are getting rid of the BS column altogether. . . (of course not till after the next issue. . . can’t do something powerful at the expense of profits.) But they are doing it.

That matters. No more BS. More real.

I’d like to see all women’s magazines take one more step.

Pledge to show grace.

Pledge to exude empathy.

Pledge to change the culture.

Pledge to build up.

Pledge to encourage.

Pledge to see the good.

Pledge to be part of this Happiness Ripple that Tara describes. The Happiness Ripple? That’s the result. That’s the good that came from the angst, the pain, the dagger in the back. That was women standing up and saying “enough”. That was men standing up and saying enough.

I ask you to take a stand for the tutu girls today. Go to your Facebook. Go to your Email. Go to your phone. Find someone you know who’s been hurt and slighted and tell them you understand. If you hurt them apologize. Share happiness first. Empower each other. Be kind. Be good to others.

And you know what? Stop supporting companies that don’t make us better. And. . .

Buy a tutu. 

Thank you Tara and Monika for trusting me with your story. Thank you for being inspiring. Thank you for making those tutus. thank you for being women that empower each other. Thank you for being real. By the way – Tara told me the coolest part is this Happiness Ripple that she’s seen happy from this. Light outshines darkness. Good prevails. 

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This article was coauthored by Dan R Morris. Dan is my business partner and friend, founder of Blogging Concentrated, speaker, business coach, and writes LettersfromDan.com.

To read Tara’s response please go to It Could Be Worse.

All images are courtesy of Monika Allen and Tara Baeze.

To purchase a tutu visit Glam Runners.

to the mom wondering if it matters

It matters. Here’s why.

The other day my eight year old came in the house crying. His new jeans, without holes in the knees – which mind you typically lasts only a matter of days before he just happens to dive in the grass – now sported a big gaping hole with a bloody skinned knee poking out.

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His tough demeanor was gone. Now he was just the boy, the boy in need of his mom, and someone to quickly stop that bleeding. As I stood there dabbing that knee and picking out gravel and trying to calm down the hysterics I remembered. I had this vivid memory of sitting on my parent’s counter, crying terribly, as my mother did the same thing to my skinned knee. I remember sobbing and listening to her try to calm down my own hysterics.

It’s okay, Caleb. You’re tough.

Gradually the sobs subsided and the tales of bravery and running and scootering on a road that had gravel and salt left from the winter emerged.

Thanks mom.

And he was off.

All of the drama. The tears.

And I was left in a bathroom with a pair of jeans that now had a hole and blood stains. With foot prints on the tub and a towel on the floor. With three bandage wrappers sitting on the counter and a tube of antibiotic cream waiting for its cap to return. And me. With my tshirt and hair in a pony tail and jeans. While dinner cooked on the stove and my tea kettle whistled. With ear buds and my cell phone on the counter and someone already calling mom from the living room for me.

That’s motherhood.

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Oh, you and I can dream about the days that we thought motherhood would be. About the moments at the table doing crafts and organized rooms and moments of bliss. But, even though motherhood is sprinkled with them here and there and tucked into corners so much of motherhood is racing to the door when the child is crying, dropping what we’re doing, and running down to the road and picking them up.

It might not feel like it’s enough. Or that it truly matters. You and I might race through life with our hands in the air and wish for a moment to breathe.

You might feel unnoticed.

You might feel like no one cares.

You might wonder if it all even matters.

No one sees those moments in the bathroom.

Those times where you tediously scrape and pick out pebbles from your child’s knees. Or the times in the middle of the night where you sleep on the floor next to your three year old’s bed holding their hand because they had a bad dream. They don’t see you wandering through the grocery store with a list in hand and a budget in your head and you saying no to things even when you wish you could say yes. They don’t see you in the laundry room folding clothes and digging through the basket in the morning trying to find that matching sock. They don’t see you online trying to understand the new math way of dividing so that you can teach it to your frustrated fourth grader who is waiting for you.

They see you. On the outside.

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But you? You on the inside?

You in the everyday. That sometimes get lost in our busy world of agendas and places to go. But those everyday moments – they are the moments that build your motherhood story. They are the times when you become stronger and braver. They are the times when you say no to sleep and yes to rocking. They are the times when you read the story just one more time or walk to the kitchen to bring water up to the six year old’s room at bedtime. They are the times holding a neb mask to a fast, calming down fears, holding hands in the store, laughing at cartoons, dishing up spaghetti, wiping away tears, and doing a whole lot of ordinary.

They are the moments that make motherhood.

They are the moments that when you and I are grandmas that we will laugh about and share. They are the things that we’ll look back and remember and sigh and think about. They are the things our children will remember.

I don’t remember how I fell when I was seven.

I do remember my mom.

I remember her hugging me.

Wiping my knee. Telling me I will be okay. Just like I did with my Caleb. Just like you do.

My knee has no scars from that fall.

But my heart remembers.

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Sweet mother. Sweet, sweet, sweet mother don’t discount the ordinary. Don’t just think it’s something that you just do because moms just do those things.

What you do is amazing.

It’s not a little thing. Those moments build a life. Nurture a child. Tell others that they matter. They are moments of love. Of giving. Of being a mom.

That is what life is about. Not about perfection and having our act together all the time. It’s about the little things. About loving. About being real. About being okay with not knowing the answers. About being.

Keep on keeping on. And in your heart today, today as you go through your day filled with ordinary moments may the truth that those ordinary things are truly the most beautiful moments of motherhood fill your heart.

It’s not the big stuff.

It’s you. Now.

Be brave and carry on.

Thanks mom.

And that means you, too.

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So in case you wonder if it matters? Well, it does. Every single bit of it matters.

Onward.

You’ve got awesome to do.

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All photographs used by permission and credited to Hannah Nicole.
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

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before motherhood.


Maybe you didn’t know how motherhood would change you.

I heard that sometimes you miss all you do. That sometimes you look back and wonder what to do now. Sometimes you need a reminder of the before and after. You, the mom, in your life, at this moment, need to remember. To see, to breathe, to move, to believe, to laugh, to cry, to move.

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Knowing that you know.

Knowing that you know in your mind and your heart that you are a powerful woman. You are brave, wonderful, and full of creativity. You can listen to all that you think you should be doing or should have been doing or think that you need to do or you can stand in front of your mirror and see the warrior, the beauty, the strength that you have. In being you. In living a life of movement. And giving of self.

Did you see you before you became a mom?

Did you see how strong you would become or how helpless you can feel in the same moment? Did you  know how much a hand in your hand in the store mattered or how quickly you can move to get your child out of the way of a backing up car. Did you know how you’d laugh and hurt at the same time? Did you feel the depth of love and crazy frustration you can have for someone at the same time?

And now, now look at you.

You would give of yourself for those creatures in your house you spill juice, leave legos on the floor, slam the door, forget their homework, tell you they don’t like dinner, pull all the clothes out of the drawer, yell I hate you, grumble about doing chores, and are always hungry for anything but what you have your home. You push yourself and work hard and answer phone calls and fight for them. You are not just a mom, dear friend.

In some ways, motherhood sets us free.

Before motherhood.

You didn’t see your motherhood strength.

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Oh you were strong. You have always been strong.

Motherhood just unleashes a new kind of strength.

I know. You miss it sometimes. You would sit across the table from me, and if it’s like my table it now has marker stains and sticker remnants left on it, and you might tell me that you don’t feel very strong right now. You’ll tell me you feel tired. That you don’t think that you’re measuring up. That you wish you had more time. That your kids don’t like you. That you’re bored. That you never know what to make for dinner or that you hate laundry. That you knew time would go so fast but you didn’t realize it was this fast. That you’re scared. Worried. Hoping that you’re doing this motherhood thing right.

The truth is that it would be rooms of us moms all saying the same thing.

All of us moms. A collective group of women in a journey of life filled with moments of utter joy and devastating heartbreak and whole bunch of normal and moments of tediousness and moments where you are stuck dealing with a toddler who has a tantrum because you cut their sandwich into triangles instead of squares (You know they switch that up all the time, right?) You and me and all of us women who are also moms have this bond between us – a bond of loving someone else with all of hearts who oftentimes doesn’t seem to appreciate all we’re doing.

Motherhood is an empowering thing.

It could be easy for us to sit in everything that is hard. You and I could sit around the table and lament about our mistakes and complain about the every day. But, that’s not what you’re about. Not me either. Oh we can chat about the challenges and the frustrations, but you know, we’re not going to stay there. It’s about seeing. Remembering. Knowing that our mindset and our hearts make a difference. It’s in being willing to be a friend for others when they’re alone. It’s in seeing our lives and moving forward even though we’re exhausted.

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Before.

Motherhood changes us. It takes a woman and makes her face her own self. It’s like forcing us to look in the mirror and then while we’re looking all of our struggles are exposed. Perfectionism, comparing, competition, vanity, worry, and more. Then we deal with it.

One cannot be the same.

As you catch your breath running through the daily grind race you become stronger and in fact, discover self. You’ve learned the art of counting to ten while while dealing with four year olds who refuse to go to bed. You know that sometimes to avoid angst that you need to cut ties. You learn how to fight. For yourself and for your kids. You can see past the airbrushed perfectionism of today’s culture and instead focus on the real beauty of the every day. In lives that aren’t perfect and maybe look like a shattered Hallmark dream. You’re willing to move forward, to love, to give, to fight, in a life of moments that are challenging and where you often feel alone.

So lets look and remember. Lets remember the before motherhood moments and remember them with fondness and then celebrate the woman we are now. You need to see that.  You need to know that even while you are a mom that you are still you. That it is good to cultivate your dreams too. You are not just a mom, but now are a mom and you and it’s this awesome and beautiful mix. You need to remember that all those little things that you want to brush off like all the crumbs on the floor are actually the little things that pile together to make your beautiful life story. Those moments, the hugs, kisses, tucks into bed, bandages on the knees, texts to teens, all of that – that is your motherhood story being built one minute after another after another.

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After motherhood.

You know there is no after.

There is only before.

Rock on powerful mom. Yeah, you. You’re powerful. Brave. Changed. A fighter. A woman empowered. A lover. A nurturer. A giver. A prayer. A dreamer. A cleaner (haha). A mom. A woman with her own beautiful and unique and amazing story.

Take today by storm.

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What is your brave mother story? Be ready to share yours – there’s a new project coming. And who today can you remind that they are brave? Do that. Those words, those notes, those friendship moments matter. 

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ten things moms need to remember

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1. Expect that you will make mistakes. Like me when I tell everyone can’t you just be quiet for one teeny second because otherwise I am going to go insane comment last night. Overboard? yes. Even though the noise was ridiculous and I really needed it quiet. We make mistakes. In that moment I didn’t count to ten, didn’t give the most calming and empowering parenting response – I just let my emotion and irritation with noise dictate my response. After a bit, and a little quiet, I came back and apologized for my crabbiness. That noise? Someday, truly, I will miss it.

2. Don’t let the mistakes define you. So I made a mistake. Mistakes happen and they don’t define motherhood success. In fact, if a mistake bothers you, then good — it shows that you want to grow, you want to change, you want to be better. Learn from the mistake. For me? Often it is that counting for just a bit {that I forgot} before I respond or using a kinder tone when I do respond. I also try really hard to learn from the mistakes. Many times it is about me letting go of the things that I think are urgent {email, laundry, and more} and putting down my agenda so that it matches the family agenda.

3. Pick up. Try again. Encourage. Okay. Tough love here. I’ve been in groups where we talk about how hard it is to be a mom and all we have to do every single day. We laugh about the hard stuff and lament and complain and then we walk away. Enough. Let’s laugh, lament, complain {it’s okay to share about those hard days}, and then pull up our boot straps and encourage. If we leave a conversation with the thoughts of this is way too hard I can’t do this then we’re just reinforcing that we can’t do it. Encourage each other. Talk about the hard day {that’s okay}, but then instead of remaining in that work to encourage and move on. It’s that grace element of motherhood. We all need it. We all need to extend it.

4. Bottom line motherhood is hard. I’ve written it over and over and over. And over. Being a mother is hard work. We’ve got to deal with labels and updates and posts and all of this talking about all we could be doing. But, seriously? Seriously most days are work. It’s work without all of the honors – the awards, and accolades, and way-to go moments. Blessed work, but still work.

5. The day in and day out is just normal. Sigh. The everyday will not look like a pinterest pinboard {see the pinterest perfect real mom}. The real day will look rather boring. Get up, make breakfast, get kids dressed, clean up spills, switch laundry, etc. And that? That is okay. That is good. That, my friends, is the normal that we all crave when life goes a bit haywire.

6. Add an element of surprise to your day. Sit down on Sunday night and write down one thing that you are going to do each day to surprise your family. Maybe one day it will be breakfast for dinner. Another day will be sweet notes for your kids for lunch. Plan it. If it’s not planned it simply will not happen. In fact, grab a piece of paper right now and write down one thing that will bless your family later today. Root beer floats for dessert? I think that will be mine.

7. Schedule time for you. I know. There are some that would argue, but honestly you must have quiet space within your week to recharge your batteries. Maybe there is some show you love {me? I’m an Amazing Race junkie — secret dream — me to be on there. Can’t you see it? grin} and take time to watch it. There is NO guilt in taking time to recharge. Get up early and have quiet time and pray. Schedule a time every so often to get coffee with a friend so that you can laugh, lament, complain and encourage. Guard that time. And do NOT feel guilt when you need to step back and recharge.

8. Keep writing your gratitude list. Make it a habit to take two minutes writing everything that you are grateful for. I like to do this in the beginning of the day – it helps give good and healthy perspective for the day before the mass chaos begins. Click 2 Minute Grateful List to grab your free printables. Make this a habit and put your list in a place where you can reference it throughout the day. In fact, post your grateful moments as a facebook status update – that’s empowering.

9. Step back and appreciate. Every once in a while I simply step back and look at my day through fresh eyes. I’ve had those days when every single hair on the back of my neck stands up and I cannot figure out for the world of me why I am so frustrated. Step back. Break the pattern of the day. Pull out those gratitude lists that you’ve written. Remind yourself that this is a season, a short season, one that someday you will look back at with a bit of nostalgia.

10. Moms matter. Ending with that because, well, that’s the truth. Remember that today as you go through your normal routine and pull up your bootstraps and keep going and writing your gratitude list. You’re awesome. And amazing. And, as my almost seven year old tells me, you rule mom, you rule.

We can do this.

Moms rule.

for more motherhood tips please read 20 motherhood tips and 20 {more} motherhood tips.

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Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.

Hire a Mom: 12 Reasons she’s the Best CEO you Know.



Oh yeah. Don’t ever dismiss motherhood as just being something that we all do. No matter what your life story – if you work or stay at home or do a combo of both – motherhood is work. It’s a job, and not just any job, but rather truly it’s like being the CEO of the craziest energy ridden start up company kind of awesome job ever.

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Think about it – at this moment you’re in charge of one of your own start up company. (And trust me, I’m right in the middle of building a company – the awesome Blogging Concentrated -   and I’ve learned some lessons about start up companies. ) So here for you – in case you have ever wondered am I really doing anything and accomplishing much in these motherhood years? – here is a list of twelve reason why you, the mother, are the best CEO around.

1. You get no sleep. Ever. Or if you get more than six hours of sleep it becomes something that is worthy of an update on facebook like hey guess what? there is hope and there can be a night of sleep once a month. Motherhood from the moment it starts is pretty much that moment when you give up your sleep card. And then when you sleep you’ve got that ear always alert, always aware, and always ready for a little one to find you. and hahah…if your four year old end up sneaking into bed with you then you sleep with feet in your face, then elbows, then hands, and then back to feet as they complete rotations throughout the night. A start-up is the same. No sleep. You give of yourself for your investments.

2. You believe that tomorrow will be better. Yes, this. Sometimes we can get stuck in the minutia of our every day and then be super super hard on ourselves. So you messed up today – it doesn’t define tomorrow. Not one bit. Learn from the lessons of today and then move on. That’s what moms do. We keep moving forward. That’s what you do – from enrolling them in new classes to deciding I’m trying this for dinner or I’m going to change up the routine or in having faith that whatever season you are in will evolve into something beautiful. Because remember, seasons change. In business and start ups we’re constantly moving forward looking at the future and letting that define today. Sitting in the past makes today mirror that, but believing in the future brings life to today.

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3. You work incredibly hard. You do. Don’t dismiss your work as nothing. Remember number one? You get no sleep? Well, when you operate day after day with no sleep and keep pulling up your boot straps, well, that is working incredibly hard. And there are some of you who are simply tired and yet, you bravely keep plodding forward. Sometimes motherhood is pushing the hair behind one’s ear, calling a friend, and believing that all this hard work will pay off. And the work often is tedious, boring, and the same thing again and again. Listen. The same thing layers upon itself and that becomes a life story. A company is built on not only vision, but also daily routine tasks that must be done for growth. Those things, those working hard moments, are the foundation of success.

4. You feel like you’re crazy. Hahaha. Yes. I do sometimes. And running a startup often has those moments when one looks at what they’re doing and the words what in the world am I doing? escapes the mouth. Motherhood is so like this. Like just the morning I answered the question could I have just a little bit of ice cream? Yes. At eight in the morning. And then, when I said no it’s morning. I was told that today is now the worst day ever. Ha! Motherhood is filled with these crazy moments where you are uttering phrases you never thought you would and wiping up applesauce from the floor and driving all over and being super grateful for the baristas at Starbucks. Remember even if it feels crazy it still matters and makes a difference. It’s movement.

5. You make things work no matter what. Yep. Moms are  the coolest inventors ever. No tape? We’ll take packing tape and cut it into little strips. No matching socks? Well, today’s new cool thing is to wear unmatched socks (yeah, that’s what my kids heard a couple days ago.) Nothing for dinner? Ha. We can make things magically work together from those bare pantries. Motherhood creates ingenuity. It pushes our creativity to the limits. Let me tell you – there is nothing that you cannot do when pushed to the edge. Well, except clone yourself. If you’ve got answer to that – I’m listening. And I’m sure all the CEO’s out there are listening as well.

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6. You move at an exponential pace. Running a start up means almost always feeling like one is sprinting. And motherhood is in fact the ultimate marathon run at a sprint pace. Just make sure to take breaks and breaths. Like those 11 minute naps where you say don’t wake me up unless it’s an emergency and then you get woken up with the emergency of needing a rice krispie bar immediately. Motherhood is life in motion. You give, you move, and they grow. Those toddler who can’t decide between the orange dinosaur shirt and the red and blue striped shirt will soon be asking for their own phone and unlimited texting. It’s movement. Take a moment to savor it because next thing you know you’ll be watching them flip the tassel over at graduation.

7. You are being told to do this or that and yet you just do what you need to do. Everyone will have an answer and a solution to your life. Listen to them. Learn from them. But, just as we do in our company, you must ultimately decide what is the best decision for your family. Sure that craft looks crazy awesome on pinterest, but then, it might not work for your family. It’s adapting, giving yourself grace, and developing a filter that doesn’t allow all the expectations to be definers of success. Do you know what really matters? It’s those moments of pause where you scoop up your four year old and hold him for just a bit and tell him you love him. It’s in fighting for teens even though you might be the enemy. It’s in loving and giving and not quitting.

8. You are grateful for moments. My goodness. If there is anything I’ve learned in the last six months it is to be grateful for the moments. Little things matter. And sometimes, in fact, often, you have to choose to make a moment happen even though there doesn’t seem to be time. For instance, when I was in Boise we drove an hour to Oregon because I had never been to that state (and I’m on a quest to go to every state in the country – that was the last one west of the Mississippi). It’s the same with motherhood. There will always be one more thing on our to-do list, but there won’t always be a six year old who wants to sit in our laps and read a story. There are only a certain number hours in a day and certain number of days in a year and a certain number years when they live in our roof. So, even though it is hard, create those moments and be grateful. Gratitude makes a difference.

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9. You have learned to laugh. You’ll make mistakes (like in a business – we’ve missed flights, forgotten things, etc…) And when you make mistakes it would be easy to sit in angst or regret or irritation. But that gets one nowhere. So learn to laugh. When my ten year old Brennan was two he decided to get into the flour. (This was before we were a gluten free house). And well, there was flour absolutely everywhere in my kitchen. I came in and because of the ridiculousness of the situation I took a couple pictures, laughed, and then vacuumed everything. Including his hair. Learn to laugh. Our kids need to see us laugh – they need to see the smiles – they need to see us enjoying motherhood.

10. You have learned to align yourself with those who make you better. There is a quote by Mark Twain (the graphic is on the finding joy blog facebook page) that states Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be great.  Listen. There is no time for angst in your life. No time for perfectionism, competition, and all of that stuff that distorts us from being the best us we can be. You, as a mom, need to align yourself with those who love you for you. You are willing to wake up at 3am and listen to you on the phone. With those that you can open the door to your home and you don’t feel the need to apologize for dishes on the counter. You need real. And, sweet mom, in order to attract real one must be real. Remember, in life there really isn’t perfect there’s only real. So find those that love you for you. Who align yourself with is a very powerful thing.

11. You know there is always something else to do. Laundry, email, cleaning, dishes, reading, folding clothes, reciting spelling words, sweeping, vacuuming, combing hair, phone calls, etc… the list keeps going and going and going. Our to-do list for Blogging Concentrated? It’s a google doc that is six pages long. And always growing – not shrinking. And that is okay. That’s good  - that means we’re moving and that life is moving. Nothing to do is boring anyway. Right?

12. You see motherhood as a gift even though it’s work. These moments will happen most often late at night when the kids are asleep and you have that moment of perspective. It’s work, my friends, but in the midst of this life giving journey is the realization that you are changing the world. A CEO is no different – being able to work and run a company comes with profound gratitude for the gift of work. You’ve got this -> One day, one smile, one you can do this and I believe in you moment after another. You will be tired. You will fall down. You will wonder if you’re crazy. You will have tears in your eyes. But you will persevere. And what you’re doing is raising the next generation. That is life changing.

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And the sanity saver for all CEO’s? Find three things every day that you’re grateful for. Just three. And they can be things like I got to drink all of my coffee while it was still hot or my four year old only changed clothes three times. Just look for them. Those moments of gratitude are the moments that give us perspective and allow us to be thankful for the gift of today.

Tell me – what would you add?

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To find out more about my start up visit Blogging Concentrated or check out our facebook page at BCFacebook