I recently attended the Thriving Mom Conference in Utah County put on by Lisa Andersen of Thriving Motherhood. Lisa was joined by Jody Moore, Georgia Anderson, and Ralphie Jacobs to speak about motherhood and what we can do to feel confident and thrive in our parenting.
The conference focused on 3 Guiding Principles:
- Managing your thoughts
- Learning and applying parenting techniques and tools
- Managing your time
I am writing different posts to share with you what I have learned from each of these amazing women.
Here is what I have learned from Georgia Anderson.
Transitioning and preparing for launch
Georgia Anderson is a family educator, massage therapist, doula, mother, step-mother, grandmother, skier, hiker, and adventurer. You can find her at her website: Know How Mom or on Instagram: @knowhowmomtips. She talked about preparing for launch and life’s best after party, meaning we need to prepare ourselves and our children for the time that they will leave and the time we will no longer have children at home (the after party).
Georgia focused on 3 things:
- Maintaining Self
“Ultimately we need to be able to Let Go.” You want your children to feel like they can go out and try new things and make decisions for themselves. And you need to be the safety net that they can come back to.
She talked about how you spend a lot of time planning your wedding and your births. You spend less time figuring out your day-to-day with marriage and raising children. And you spend even less time figuring out what happens after your children are gone.
All of these are major transitions and need to be thought about. Just like Jody Moore talked about here, you need to think about your future and create plans to look forward to with excitement. When you plan the transitions they go a lot more smoothly.
She had us think about our tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses when it comes to these areas:
|Focusing on mistakes
|Building on strengths
|Expecting too little
|Expecting too much*
|Valuing the child as-is
*She said that there is nothing wrong with high expectations as long as we are also valuing the child as they are. She recommended the book Grit by Angela Duckworth and said that it is explained that “wise” parents are both demanding and supportive.
When her kids were younger she set a rule in their house that each child had to play a musical instrument until they were at least 12-years-old, at which point they could choose to continue or stop. She said that she wanted her kids to have something hard to do everyday, and since they didn’t have a cow to milk she chose to have them play an instrument.
This worked well for her first child. Her second child was more stubborn and when he was 10 he decided that he didn’t want to play the piano anymore and he stopped practicing. This was hard for Georgia because it went against her plan and she couldn’t let him ruin her plan for her other children and because “he was really good.” So, she would make him sit in front of the piano until he touched the keys, which was sometimes hours.
Finally she decided that if he wasn’t going to practice that she wasn’t going to pay for lessons anymore and called his piano teacher to regretfully inform him that her son was quitting. He talked to and they came up with a plan for him to teach her son music theory and music history and drop the focus of playing the piano. So, until her son was 12 he continued to take piano lessons. He did not touch the piano from the time he was 10 to the time he was 17.
This experience taught Georgia said that she needed to stop having agendas. Each child is different and you can’t expect them to happily walk through your plan all the time. She realized that she needed to “Drop the agenda.”
I was very touched when she talked about maintaining self.
She said that “the best thing that you can give your children and family is to know who you are and love yourself.” You do that through self care. Georgia calls the things you do for self care “constants.” She asked us to write down the “constants” in our life that feed our soul. “Constants” will be different for everyone and may include things like being in nature, listening to/playing music, a spiritual practice, taking a bubble bath, yoga, painting, etc.
If you feel lost and you don’t have any “constants” in your life then start experimenting. She said to take at least 5 minutes a day and read something good or listen to a podcast. Start with that and play around with things that peak your interest (and don’t let negative thoughts turn you away from trying new things – from Jody Moore). And notice the times when you feel joy and do those things more often. Find yourself and love who you are.
When we know who we are and love ourselves we become a safe place, not only for ourselves but for our children. If they have a safe place to come back to they are able to separate more easily, and we are more able to allow them to separate. We can let the baby bird leave the nest.
She closed with this poem and I wanted to share it with you.
On Children by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
What Georgia shared was beautiful and amazing. I am glad to be able to share it with you. Make sure to check her out on her website and on Instagram and share everything you learn with those you care about.
I hope that my sharing what I have learned will help you as a woman and mother. I hope that by learning about preparing for the launch and life’s best after-party you feel more empowered and confident in yourself and raising your children.
You are powerful. I hope this article has helped you recognize the power that you already have within, and that you will join me in spreading that recognition to everyone you know.
Be sure to check out “What I Learned from the Thriving Mom Conference: Part 1” for more from the conference.