GUEST BLOG POST: 86400 – Mothering on Purpose by Lavaille Lavette
Because you entered the sorority of motherhood later than most, you probably thought you understood how having a child would change your life. Yet whatever preconceived notions you had probably did not encompass all the alterations to your lifestyle that came with the arrival of your bundle of joy.
My “bundle” arrived several years ago in the form of my six-year-old brother who came to live with me. Not only did I have to confront the unique challenges of motherhood, but I also had to deal with the trauma of having a first grader who was already set in his ways. It was the perfect storm, and it engulfed me.
Whether your child arrived as a six pounder or first grader, chances are the old you soon went missing in action.
Motherhood can be all-consuming. By nature, it is a 24/7 occupation. Mothers new and old often share their testimonies of how they learn the true meaning of unconditional love by being there for their children each moment of each day. Another maternal experience is just as common but not as readily aired in public —the feeling that you are losing yourself to your role as mom.
The incredible amount of multi-tasking mothering requires is daunting if you stop to think about it, but we don’t pause for reflection. At dawn each day, we dive into our various roles: concierge, short-order cook, medic, caterer, chauffer, counselor, life coach, detective, mediator, psychologist, referee, meteorologist, personal assistant, defense attorney, proxy, CEO, CFO, CIO, judge, jury, and… you get the picture. Under the load of this abnormal job description we take for granted, it’s easy for us to get out of sync with our own personal calling, goals and desires.
Sure people say motherhood is one of the most rewarding of all professions, but you are still a unique being. You have, with skills and passions that extend beyond your role as mom—and that’s okay. When you connect with your purpose beyond parenthood, you can be a better parent.
How can you rediscover passions seemingly lost to the duties of motherhood? By managing your purpose, rather than managing your time. For years, life coaches have taught that to get the most out of each day, you have to manage your time better. Problem is, each day offers us only 86400 seconds, a finite number that not even “super moms” can change. Purpose, however, is infinite, expansive and dynamic. You have a better chance of being all you can be if you manage the limitless than you do if you manage the limited.
Purpose involves combining your passions, skills and talents with the unique call placed on your life. Purpose management, then, requires that you continually engage in activities relevant to fulfilling your purpose. It challenges you to use the precious gift of those 86400 seconds each day to live your passion, achieve your goals and become all you were created to be. While time management focuses on the quantity of activity, purpose management focuses on the quality. For the multi-tasking mom, anything that offers more bang for the buck is a worthy investment.
Here are three tips to help you rediscover your purpose by tapping into values mothers already have in abundance.
Purpose Management Value: Imagination
Imagination is our middle name. Moms apply it liberally – to get their children to complete their homework, to resolve disputes, to handle schedule interruptions and to juggle any number of other tasks. Imagination is the doorway to purpose because when we look at life through creative eyes, we can see hidden opportunities.. Imagination takes you places where your mind normally would dare not venture. Yet, in those places, you can discern your best self, your deepest passions and your reason for being. So, why not direct the power of imagination toward living and managing your purpose?
Tip One: Keep a “Purpose Vision Journal”
Dedicate 15 to 30 minutes each day to keeping a Purpose Vision Journal. Write a detailed description of the “you” that you want to rediscover. Add to this vision daily, supplementing your words with pictures and images that drive the point home. If you do it consistently, this simple exercise can be powerfully life altering.
Purpose Management Value: Dedication
Dedication is many things: dogged devotion to a purpose; delayed gratification for future accomplishments and a can-do spirit that will not allow you to quit. We are dedicated mothers, spouses, and employees, but often we fail to dedicate ourselves to our own well-being. Nothing is more damaging to our mind/body/spirit health than living “off purpose.” You have a responsibility to yourself—and those you love—to dedicate time to developing and living your passions.
Tip Two: Plan Your Work (Create Your Purpose Roadmap)
After you paint the vision of your purpose-filled life, list the steps you must take to bring your vision to fruition. It is said that a wish is a goal without a plan. You can do more than wish for a new reality; you can create one by planning your journey. Many people fail to take this simple step. Those who do, however, dramatically increase their chances of reconnecting to their purpose.
Purpose Management Value: Courage
It takes courage to be a mother, and so does living your purpose/passion. It might be frightening to admit you have a purpose beyond parenting. That’s why most mothers, at some point in their journey, feel a deep regret that they did not devote more time to living their own dreams. Not that you should abandon your motherly duties, but you must acknowledge that you are a multi-faceted human being.
Tip Three: Work Your Plan
As you continue to sharpen your vision and plan your work, your next step is to act on your goals. Empowered by your vision and armed with your plan, you can work your plan. As simple as it sounds, this is the step most people omit. Nothing happens unless you act.. The comforting thing is that the journey gets easier with each step, just as it did when your bundle of joy learned to walk.
If you follow these tips and apply these values, you will find new purpose and energy for the tasks of mothering and for the passions that drive you. You will be able to give more of yourself and get more out of your 86400 each day.
Lavaille Lavette has worked as a schoolteacher, school district administrator, speechwriter, international business development specialist, and radio host. Lavaille is cofounder of Every Child an Author, an organization on a mission to make every child in America a published author, one grade level at a time! (everychildanauthor.com) As part of Lavaille’s 86400 Movement, “Making a Difference, Being the Difference,” she formed the 86400 Book Club for the homeless in partnership with The Bread of Life Ministry. The 86400 Book Club’s goal is to encourage men and women to read for enjoyment, enlightenment, and self-improvement.
Lavaille has served on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Foxshire Foundation, the Just Help Foundation, and Aspiring Youth Foundation. Beyond her work in community engagement, nonprofit, and education spheres, she is also the creator and author of the children’s book series The Adventures of Roopster Roux. Lavaille’s previous book is with Grammy Award–winning singer Yolanda Adams, entitled Points of Power.