What does being a “successful parent” look like to my unmanaged brain? This, I think, is really a good place to start. I will get into why later. But, first, really, what does “success” look like to my unmanaged brain?

A nice clean home. The children are all accomplished musicians, and proficient athletes. Everyone’s hair is clean, cut, and styled. Everyone’s clothes are clean. We share inspiring conversations over home-cooked breakfasts every morning, we share song and stories, happily, after prayers at night. The children love each other, and stand up for each other, and are, by the way, perfectly socially mature. The children love me, and hang on my every word when I am teaching them about their monkey brains and their prefrontal cortex. The children love Bryant, and want him to explain that scripture in the Bible again so that they can know how to apply it to their lives.

Take some time to look at your own list – it’s good to have it written down. Look at what your expectations are, what you want, and then look at the reality of what IS. What IS going on in my parenting, in real life? “Notice the discrepancy that YOU are creating.” (That’s Brooke Castillo, actually. I’m letting her chime in on this discussion. Ha ha.) It is all in our minds, my friends. If we are the ones judging our parenting success on these things outside of us – our children’s behavior, for example – then we are the ones creating that discrepancy.

Take a second here to consider this:

“Instead of allowing our unconscious, unsupervised brains to picture all of those (magazine-perfect things), what I recommend is that you drop the part about what it’s going to look like on the outside. Instead, just picture what YOU are going to be like. What’s going to happen inside of you. Who are you going to be. What do you want to do. How do you want to show up. How do you want to handle real-life, when it happens.

Real life is like a real home. I love to walk through model homes. They are beautiful and clean and everything is new. But model homes don’t have any of the stuff in them that we actually need to live as people. Real life is not like a model home.”

I love this. I’m all in. This is the human experience! And it is amazing!

So, in my managed brain, what does successful parenting look like to me? What it looks like to me is the best version of me that I can be – warts, bald spots, temper tantrums, and all. Those don’t make me – those don’t define my success. It looks like me letting other people be themselves. It looks like me not judging anyone or even any circumstances. It’s all rigged in my favor. I already know that. Successful parenting to me looks like creation. The creation of children, yes. But also the creation of a home – a real home. The creation of an eternal, happy, beautiful relationship with my husband. The creation of space for others to join our family, without judgement. Creation of the life I want to live. Creation of a “heaven”, because of the thoughts that I think about my home, my children, my husband, myself, my God, my world.

Successful parenting looks like love. It looks like me aligned with the God of love. It looks like me stepping into that alignment – into that love.

“Love is always going to serve you best. It is going to create your best results for yourself because … it’s going to drive your best action. You are your best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love.”

There is more that Jody offers us on this – on the idea of successful parenting. But I need to close off today’s MONDAY MOTHERHOOD MATTERS. Let’s get into it more tomorrow.

“Let’s define success as the things that are in our control.”


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