What does Family Success mean to you?
I love talking to Mums, and one of the questions I enjoy discussing is 'what does FAMILY SUCCESS mean to you?'.
Now, I'm fully aware that definitions of success will change constantly depending on what stage of Motherhood you are in. I mean, if you’re a Mum with a new baby, then just yourself getting dressed can equal success! When your children are older success means so many things; from managing more than one child, to navigating the school entry system, or being able to have difficult but important conversations with your growing teen.
I actually find that most Mums have never stopped to think about what success might look like for their families. They cannot fully define it. After all, success is not usually discussed in terms of home and family. We only really hear about tragic FAILUREs around home and family in the media. Success, where home and family are concerned, is assumed. Which leaves Mothers with a problem. If they can't define their success, then how are others to view it or place VALUE on it?
Can we afford to leave home and family success to chance, or is it more likely that success will be achieved if someone is LEADING it?
Family success is going to be highly subjective, but going on my own research when asking Mums to define what success means to them, Mums don’t define success based on the external factors alone, but based on what works for them and their families - which might also include ambitions outside of the home.
The point is that success is so much more than generating an income, or having the corner office these days. Mums are redefining what success means both to their own generation and that of their daughters. They are showing the world that they can choose to work or to stay at home with their children and that either of these is a valid choice.
This doesn’t mean that these women aren't ambitious, but that they want to make their situation work for them around the needs of their family.
The suggestion is, also, that these choices are fluid. A Mum may take a career break while their children are small and go back to work when their children are older, or they might explore their entrepreneurial side whilst not in a formal working environment - the rise of the ‘Mumpreneur’ is very real.
Being a Mum should not stop you from earning or doing work or projects that facilitate your passions and a sense of purpose - if that is what is right for you. The Mothering role itself, a role with its own values, ambitions, purpose and successes, is important in facilitating a unique definition of Family Success.
My definition of family success will be very different to yours for the simple reason that our families are different, we will have different values, hopes and dreams for our families, and so our definitions of success will all be very different. There is no 'right' or 'wrong'. And the definition that works for you today might be different to that which works for you tomorrow.
And isn't that just part of the beauty of family life?
Take a few minutes to define what FAMILY SUCCESS looks like to you as a Mum - perhaps my July Micro-Retreat will help?
What family values do you have that you hope will support this success?