Have you ever wondered what your life as a mother would look like if you lived the way you actually wanted to live? If you were more intentional about motherhood, would you be happier?
Intentional motherhood is about choosing to live the life you want, not the life you think society expects of you. It’s a wonderful way to live, if you ask me.
It’s taken me many years of indecisiveness to become more intentional about the way I parent. But now that I choose my family’s joy over other opinions, I’m so much happier. I spent years thinking about what others would think of my parenting choices. I spent sleepless nights worrying about judgment and criticism. I always felt like I made choices based on what other people wanted from me. It was EXHAUSTING!
It was a scary diagnosis, but all that changed overnight for me. Now I make choices based on what works best for us. I only factor in God’s opinion, not others. I’m not saying to live in a selfish way; I’m simply saying it’s important to guard our hearts, and our sanity as parents.
Here is my crash course on intentional motherhood. I hope you gain tips and tricks to live the life you want – not the life others expect you to live. Get ready to feel a sense of peace and freedom as you embrace the power of intentional motherhood.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
I’m a closet people pleaser. I secretly want everyone to be proud or pleased with my choices, but it’s just not practical to live like that. Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes. If you have a busy week and that birthday party is causing you stress, don’t go. If you know your child is burnt out, but there’s a practice coming up, skip it. Don’t be afraid to tell people no if it’s not going to work best for your family. They may not understand the importance of saying no for the simple reason of guarding your sanity, but who cares if they don’t get it?
Determine What You Actually Want
This has always been tough for me. I have trouble figuring out what I actually want sometimes. My husband is good about helping me with this. One example was when we started considering homeschooling. We went to school to get everything set up to enroll our boys. It was right after their Duchenne diagnosis, so we attended IEP and 504 meetings to make sure they had all the necessary accommodations. The teachers were so kind and helpful, but I couldn’t shake this feeling of sorrow about sending them.
I was used to them going to school, but now that they had this life-altering condition, I couldn’t bear the thought of being away from them that much. My husband sensed my inner battle and we prayed about it. He sat me down one day and asked what I wanted. It was a simple question, but I was speechless. I started telling him about what the teachers said, what I thought my in-laws would want, and so on. He stopped me again. ‘Who cares about all that? What do YOU want?’ ‘I want to homeschool now!’ I said with certainty. ‘Then let’s do it,’ he said with his normal confident demeanor. I’ve never seen my boys so excited when we asked them if they’d like to homeschool. I’ve never looked back and have ZERO regrets about the decision.
Follow your heart and convictions, leave everything else out.
People Who Don’t Walk Your Path Can’t Understand It
This is such a freeing thought to grasp. Once I realized this, I honestly stopped caring so much about trying to explain my choices. Some people don’t agree with my choice to homeschool our kids, but I don’t care because they have no idea what they’d do if they were put in our circumstances. Some may think I should push my kids to be more outgoing, but I don’t care because I accept and love my kids just the way they are.
If someone is judging your choices, chances are they haven’t walked a mile in your shoes, so give them grace, but learn to shake it off as you go. It’s so powerful, trust me.
Determine Your Goals For Intentional Motherhood
After the boys were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, we talked about our goals for parenting them. We sat down with tears in our eyes and vowed to live our lives set on giving them an amazing life. We were determined to give our kids a life full of joy, laughter, hope, and faith. We wanted to give them fun experiences, yes, but mostly we just wanted to make sure they always felt loved unconditionally.
Our goal is simple. We want to give them a beautiful life, so when we’re having a tough day, we always go back to that one simple goal to remind ourselves what we’re striving for.
Repeat After Me – SLOW DOWN
I can’t stress this enough; slowing down is the secret to a better life. Take time to sit and play on the floor with your kiddos. Take a minute to stop and breathe in the fresh air, cuddle your children, have a movie night, go get ice cream, and just enjoy being together. There is such beauty in simplicity.
Have you ever noticed how much more stressed we become when we’re rushing through our days? It’s because it’s stressful to rush from one activity to the next. Be intentional about slowing down and enjoying your days. This journey of motherhood will go by so fast, and you’ll never regret soaking in each stage. Breathe, slow down, and learn to enjoy just being a mom.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Christi Cazin of Mama Needs More Coffee. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and her website. You can also purchase her book on Amazon. And you can learn more about Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more from Christi here:
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‘Moments of fear will take my breath away. But they don’t need to steal my hope.’: Mom to boys with incurable disease shares how she maintains hope
‘I don’t need to run on fumes. I need to recognize I’m human and ask for help.’: Special needs mom shares son’s sweet reminder after rough day
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