This is No. 5 in the series of Ways to Rock at Being a Mother – Be Self-aware.
You can go back to No. 4 HERE >>>
Rock at Being a Mother by Being Self-Aware
“How do you become self-aware? And what’s that got to do with Motherhood?”
Good questions! I hear you!
The online dictionary describes self-awareness as, “a conscious knowledge of one’s own character and feelings”. And Wikipedia says, “Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.”
To be a “Mother who Rocks”, self-awareness really helps. It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing who you really are right now – not who you think you might be, or who you might become – but right in this very moment.
And sometimes, realising what you have missed all this time can be a real wake-up call as refreshing, and as shocking, as throwing iced-water over your face!
By understanding yourself, you can be more aware of your own limitations which means you can sleep better (less worry), discipline your children more appropriately (know your own faults and limits), live at peace with yourself (banish guilt), and know confidence in your own ability (self-understanding). Yes, just be self-aware.
There’s two sides of self-awareness:
- Becoming aware of your own behaviour – which is the topic of this blog.
- Reflecting your children’s behaviour back to them so they become self-aware. Why not have a read about how to Teach Your Kids Self-Awareness?
Why your self-awareness matters
Understanding who you are, where you come from and understanding your own family upbringing is part of the art of being a mother. Why is this? Because your main source of information about parenting is what happened to you in your early days.
Other sources of information could be from other families, such as the families of childhood friends; friends of the family; or extended family such as cousins, aunts and uncles. On the other hand, you also notice what happens in the world around you. We all see family dynamics in operation out in public.
Have you ever watched another family and thought, “When I have kids, I’m NOT doing that!”?
That question is you, observing an issue, and making choices. Becoming aware of those choices and putting them into practice is to be self-aware.
If you know how and why you think or do something, you are much more able to change that behaviour. And hopefully change it to something better. Who knew that the concept of “continuous improvement” applies to motherhood?
There are two ways to learn to be self-aware . . .
. . . or, maybe there are three!
- Someone notices what you are doing, and points it out to you.
- You consider your own behaviour and realize the impact you are having, on yourself and on others.
- And, perhaps there is a third way to be self-aware: revelation to you by way of the Holy Spirit. Because God knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:20-21)
To be self-aware is to grow up and mature. As you grow into adulthood you learn more about yourself and how you react to the world. But if you’re not intentional about it, then it’s possible to miss so much. We all know adult males who still act like teenagers. Unfortunately, they have not become self-aware.
Women are just as likely to be unaware of the influence they have on those around them. However, when it’s a mother who is not aware of the impact she’s having on her children, that’s a problem!
Here are some examples . . .
- Have you thought about your effect on other people when you wear your gym clothes all day after going to the gym? Apart from smelling less than sweet, perhaps leggings and t-shirt are not necessarily appropriate for the rest of the day. What are you doing? Who else are you with?
- One of the women I worked with once was incredibly disappointed when her four-year-old son began to “swear like a trooper”. I don’t think she realised how colourful her language was until then. Unfortunately, every one of her sentences was peppered with swear words. No wonder her son picked them up.
- Have you ever noticed noisy children in quiet spaces? No doubt you have. But some mothers are not aware that asking their children to be quiet, with an angry “Shhhh!”, is more disruptive than the original noise. It’s so much better to have a quiet word in a child’s ear. You can also be pre-emptive when at home, by having a little fun, teaching kids to use whispering voices.
How do you increase your self-awareness?
- Sometimes, just knowing about self-awareness makes all the difference. Now you know, you can work on it.
- Ask a friend or family member to be honest with you:
“Is there something I do that isn’t very helpful for the children? For others?”
If they come up with some answers, don’t be despondent. Now you know, you can get your head around it, and change it.
- Your partner will see different, more intimate, aspects of your character and behaviour. So, ask. But know this is a place of vulnerability, requiring a gentle response and conversation.
- Go to the source: Ask God. There is so much about yourself you don’t know. So why not ask the one who formed you, who knows you through and through? I’ve found this Bible verse to be helpful, as it is a great instruction:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In other words, to be self-aware you choose to be transformed. Ask the Creator God to help you renew your mind to see new things about yourself. Pray and ask for wisdom and understanding of yourself – and watch out for what you become aware of as you move through the coming days and weeks.
A prayer for you:
God of Heaven and Earth, I know there is so much I don’t know about myself. Can you show me what I need to know so I can do this motherhood gig really well?
I know you love my children even more than I do. So, seeing as you have placed them in my care, please give me the tools and knowledge I need so I can raise them to be self-aware, strong and resourceful adults.
Next up . . . 20 Ways to Rock at Being a Mother No 6: Forgive
QUESTIONS FOR YOU:
Have you noticed instances of others not being very self-aware?
Are there any times when you have suddenly realised you were not self-aware?
I’d love to know! Please tell me in the Comments box, below.