Do you ever feel like you’re failing at this whole motherhood thing?
Me too, sister.
I look at the moms in my circle and feel like I’m the runt of the litter.
- Jessica’s house looks like Joanna Gaines decorated it (shiplap and all), while my walls are covered with two-year old abstract crayon art.
- Cassidy’s girls were potty-trained straight out of the womb while my boys couldn’t give a crap about it (literally).
- Ashley’s kid has never even tasted sugar while my little stinker just downed a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies when I left the room.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when you’re focused on everyone else’s strengths and your own weaknesses, isn’t it?
But here’s the truth…
You are uniquely qualified with the strengths and skills needed to be your child’s mother.
Not Jessica. Not Cassidy. Not Ashley.
Because the mommy fog is currently so thick, though, you may have a hard time seeing your own strengths right now. Our goal today is to help you cut through the fog so you can see your strengths more clearly and then help you leverage those strengths to make you the best mama you can be for your child.
There lies the challenge, and I think I have just the thing to help us get there…
What is the Mamanalysis exactly?
You may have heard of the ever-so-popular SWOT Analysis used by corporations and professional individuals to assess their internal strengths and weaknesses and their external opportunities and threats.
Not to toot my own horn, but the Mamanalysis is basically a really clever name I made up for a SWOT analysis for moms. Toot toot!
We’re going to take an honest look at what you rock at (and what you don’t really rock at), identify the obstacles you may face on a daily basis (you know, little things like sleep deprivation), and then figure out how we can use all this information to make you an even better mommy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A few minutes of peace and quiet (ask your hubby to pile the kids in the car and take them to the car wash–our kids think that’s the biggest treat!)
- The FREE Mamanalysis printable (found below)
- A pen
- An honest, open mind
Are you ready? Let’s get started. Start by clicking the button below to download your free Mamanalysis to fill out with me.
Knowing Your Strengths:
Things You Rock At
Sometimes it’s hard to look beyond the mom with the messy bun and jelly-stained t-shirt staring back at you in the mirror and remember who you are as a person.
You are a strong woman with your own personality traits, skills, and accomplishments.
Need some help remembering what makes you so one-of-a-kind? Jot down the answers to these questions on your Mamanalysis sheet:
- What are your natural-born giftings and personality traits? In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” What makes you YOU?
- What are you good at? Think about your skill set. Maybe you’re good at homemaking. Or perhaps you’re a top notch corporate exec. Or maybe you’re really good at parenting itself (if you are–can I give you a call?).
- Do you have expertise or skills that can make a difference in your home? Think about what you have been successful at doing outside of the home. Where did (or do) you excel in the workforce? Are you a kick-butt project manager? Can you sell ice to an eskimo? Are you a crazy-talented graphic designer? Write it down.
- What characteristics do OTHERS value in you? Hint: Ask your husband or best friend.
If you’re having trouble coming up with answers, maybe an example will get your wheels turning. Here’s what mine looks like:
Example: Things I Rock At…
- I am sensitive to the needs of others and can usually anticipate them.
- I love talking to my kids about Jesus and God’s word and making it come alive for them.
- I’m skilled at writing and creating curriculums.
- I’m a creative visionary.
- I’m resourceful and great at finding answers to my questions.
- I enjoy cooking, and I’m pretty good at it.
This is not the time to be humble, my friend. I want you to look at this list and think, “Ya know what? I AM pretty fabulous.” Because you are.
Knowing Your Weaknesses:
Things You’re Not So Great At
Before we take stock of our
weaknesses things we’re not-so-great at, we need to have a little talk.
Your temptation here is going to be to beat yourself up over these.
We have plans for these weaknesses…but for now, we need to find out what we’re working with.
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably keenly aware of your shortcomings, but here are some questions that might help you see them from different angles:
- Which of your personality traits cause you and those around you the most grief? Are you impatient? Anxious? Indecisive? A bit *too* organized?
- What skills are you lacking? Maybe you’re like me and stink at organizing. Or maybe your pork chops taste like cardboard. This doesn’t say anything about who you are as a person. It’s just meant to be an honest assessment of your skills.
- What makes you want to pull your hair out? Noise? Clutter? Dirt? Clingy children?
- Do you have bad habits? I’m not talking nose-picking here (though you should probably kick that habit). More like starting projects and not completing them. Guilty as charged.
- What are you afraid of? Again, we’re not talking spiders or heights. Think about those deep-in-the-pit-of-your-stomach fears like the fear of not having control or the fear of judgment.
- What about you annoys others? Yep, you’ll want to ask your hubby again. Don’t worry, if he’s anything like John Legend, he loves those “perfect imperfections.” 😉
I know it’s not easy to look at your less-than-lovely attributes, so maybe looking at mine will make you feel a little better.
Example: Things I’m Not-So-Great At…
- I hate making decisions.
- I’m disorganized.
- I’m easily distracted.
- I’m very slow-paced.
- I’m highly sensitive to outside stimuli like light and noise.
- I have a short fuse and become angry quickly.
See? You’re not that bad!
Seriously, though, don’t be discouraged. We all have our flaws, and identifying them is the first step to improving ourselves.
Things That Get in My Way
Now that we’ve looked at your internal strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to look at your surroundings and figure out what is threatening your success as a mom. Here are some questions to help you identify those threats:
- What outside obstacles (or people) are getting in your way? Maybe you’re sleep-deprived because the baby isn’t sleeping through the night OR struggling to get everything done because you work outside the home OR constantly on edge because your mother-in-law is always giving you her opinions.
- What circumstances magnify your weaknesses? Does clutter bring out your inner Hulk? Do lots of decisions make you shut down? Do rainy days make you want to curl into a ball?
- Are there any major changes coming up that might throw you a curveball? Let’s face it, this is a season of major changes: new babies, potty training, big moves, job changes, etc. Those changes can have a MAJOR impact on our lives and moods, can’t they?
This was the toughest category for me, but here’s what I came up with:
Example: Things That Get in My Way…
- Too many decisions can make me shut down.
- Noise can really set me off.
- Social media can be a huge distraction.
- Too much social activity can drain me.
- Potty training boys is really hard. (Seriously, guys, really hard.)
If you’re having trouble, pay attention to your surroundings for the next few days and jot down some notes when you feel like your mothering is being threatened by what’s happening around you.
Things That Will Make Me a Better Mom…
You know what you’re good at. You know what you’re not-so-good at. You know what’s getting in your way.
What’s the next step?
Let’s figure out how to leverage all this to make you a better parent, eh?
This can work a few ways:
- You can apply your strengths in ways you haven’t applied them before.
- You can face certain weaknesses head on.
- You can figure out how to get around some of your weaknesses.
- You can come up with a pre-emptive plan for overcoming threats.
These questions will help you find opportunities for improvement:
- Are there opportunities to better utilize your strengths within your home? Use your project management skills to manage the family schedule. Put your graphic design degree to work and create a fun coloring sheet for your little one. Use your sales experience to sell those veggies to your toddler. The possibilities are endless!
- Do you need to address any of your shortcomings? Yes, sometimes weaknesses are just weaknesses, but sometimes, they are actually hurtful behaviors that need to be addressed. My pastor has said that there’s a difference between constitutional weakness (I literally cannot focus on a conversation when there’s a TV on or music playing) and sin (I am really quick to lash out at my kids over little annoyances). If some of your weaknesses fall into that second category, consider how you might go about addressing them.
A personal note: I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that I can’t be a “good mother” on my own. I need someone bigger than myself–Jesus Christ– to help me! If you’re feeling the same way, check out “What Makes a Good Mom?” from Desiring God.
- Can you work on developing a new skill set? Just because you’re not skilled in a particular area right now, doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills. Take a class, teach yourself, or better yet…ask an older mom to teach you!
- Are there any outside tools, services, programs or people you can utilize? Take advantage of other people’s strengths. Don’t have time to clean the house? Enlist a cleaning service (using code 30SAVESM to save 20%) if your budget allows,or the help of a generous relative if it doesn’t. Need to recharge? Hire a certified babysitter once a month so you and your husband can go out. Hate coming up with meal plans? Let eMeals do the planning for you.
- Can you change the way you do something? Albert Einstein, once said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Think outside the box! How can you change the way you do something to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses?
Hopefully my ideas will spark some ideas in your own mind.
Example: Things That Will Make Me a Better Mom…
- Since I hate making decisions, I can limit my options by going to Aldi or using a delivery service like Peapod instead of wandering aimlessly through a major grocery store.
- I love doing activities with my kids, but can get bogged down in trying to create new activities for us to do together. Fortunately, I’m good at researching, so I can find fun activities others have created instead!
- I can set aside time for social media each day so I’m not distracted the rest of the day.
- I can ask my Grandma and Aunt, who live nearby to come help with the kids and housework.
- I love to cook, but I’m slow as molasses. I can try to make double batches to save time.
What about you? Take a few minutes to consider how you might use what you learned today to become a better mom for your kid.
What are Your Strengths?
You’ve completed the Mamanalysis and hopefully learned something about yourself in the process. (What? You didn’t download it? What are you waiting for? Click the button below and print it off!)
Now, can I let you in on a little bonus secret?
You are the mightiest mom in the universe because you were hand-selected by God to be your child’s mom.
He chose you for a reason, mama.
Don’t you ever forget it.
Citations are Awesome
Conducting a Personal SWOT Analysis for Your Career. BusinessNewsDaily.com
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Chelsea is the ultimate boy mom. Whenever she’s in distress, she can count on her three little musketeers and their sidekick pup, Sir Duke, to come to her rescue. If the task is too great, her Prince Charming of a husband saves the day with a magical elixir called Diet Coke from underneath the Golden Arches. Get to know her here and visit her blog, Daughter Redeemed.