The A, B, C’s for Motherhood

"Here is my own version of the alphabet for all of the mothers out there!"
Photo Attribution: 
Thad Zajdowicz

Here is my own version of the alphabet for all of the mothers out there!

A – Authenticity... Be who you are no matter what anybody else thinks. This is the best thing that you can show your children. They are smart and you won’t fool them. Take some time, dig deep, and find the root of your essence. What makes you happy? What do you yearn to share with the world? The time spent pondering this will not be wasted and will lead you on a wonderful journey. If you haven’t yet begun this path, strap on your seatbelt and head out on the bumpy road of discovery. If we want our children to be true to themselves, we must be true to ourselves first.

B – Beautiful...You are beautiful beyond your wildest imagination. As we can so easily see the beauty in our children, we have that within us as well. We owe it not just to ourselves but to our children to see our own beauty every day. Beauty is way deeper than looks and we all know that a beautiful person is simply a person who knows that they are valuable. Beauty is the bright, shining light that pours out of a person who loves and lives to have fun. It is only when we can see ourselves as totally beautiful, flaws and all, that we can see all other things as beautiful. You can try this in the reverse for fun too. Spend a day searching for the beauty in everything that you see or experience. You may have to try hard, but if you can do it, you won’t help but see your own beauty too in the connection with all things.

C – Carlie... Let’s give a cheer for Carlie Kilduff, life coach for moms! Yes, that’s me! I am cheering for all of you and I know that you are also wishing me well in my journeys. Thank you so much for your love and support! Please like me on Facebook (Carlie Kilduff: Life Coach for Moms) and share my posts with your friends. Help me help as many moms as I can. I have huge dreams and plans and I need a huge audience. Tell any of your friends about my work and direct them to my website (www.carliekilduff.com). I consider you as my teammates and I am so glad to be playing this great game of motherhood with you! Go team!

D – Dandelions... This is just a reminder that sometimes the smallest things are fun. What one sees as a weed, another sees as a moment to stop, pick, blow, and watch in wonder. Try as much as you can manage to slow down and see the wonder that is reflected in your child’s eyes in any given moment. There are many opportunities each day for this. You’ll miss them if you are too
busy pulling the weeds.

E – Eggs... Perhaps eggs are one of the messiest kitchen opportunities. My son loves to be the egg cracker when we bake together (a very messy event) and he may just be the world’s best four year old egg cracker! Really, he is better than me! Occasionally, he misses the bowl, and once, he dropped the egg smack on the floor. These are moments that call us to grow. How do we choose to see such mess in our lives? I was once a clean freak, obsessive compulsive woman, and now, there are times that I still cringe and get a little huffy when a mess occurs, but I do my best mothering and have the most fun with my son when I choose to let go and embrace the messy moments. Eggs, yogurt, you name it, sprayed all over my house, have never taken me more than a few minutes to clean. So, lighten up and enjoy. Get crackin’!

F – Fun / Funny... This is the name of the game. Have fun and have lots of it! We are so blessed by our children as they give us many opportunities each day to laugh and have fun.Play! Don’t just do it to “spend time with them” (although this is also good), but do it in a way that is genuinely fun for you too. Let go of the need to be busy, to do chores, run errands, surf the net, or whatever else, and play wildly. Make a fool of yourself! There’s no need for an agenda with fun. Be open to the moment and let it define itself. Find humor in these moments as well. Laughter is so healthy and essential to life. I guarantee you that if you can bring more fun into your days, your children will respond in ways that will blow your mind. You will also
find results unimaginable. So, don’t delay. Have fun right away!

G – Giraffes... We all have our favorite animals and I do like giraffes. They may not be my absolute favorite animal, but they rank in the top for sure. This reminds me of a story. The other day, we were at the beach and my son suggested playing a game of “Giraffes and Ladders”. We play Snakes and Ladders at home, but I had never heard of this version. He taught me how to play by making an imaginary roll, deciding what your number was (and his was 50!) and moving your rock along the other rocks until somebody won (yes, it was him). It can be hard as a parent to let go of the need to prescribe and define things. “No, that’s not the way you do it” can be so easily repeated. But, who says there can’t be many ways to do something? Break free of limits and challenge yourself to see and do things in many ways. This can be fun and very freeing. Give it a try!

H – Hands... A child’s hands are so precious! Take time to admire these beautiful parts of the body. The softness, the dimples and lines, the pudginess, the dirt and grime, and the way they move with wonder. Hold hands with your wee one as often as you can because we all know that this probably won’t last forever. Touch is so wonderful and the touch from mother to child, or child to mother is magical.

I – Insanity... There are many days and ways that insanity is a part of living as a mother. Having a lack of control used to bother me very much before I had kids, and now, I try (as well as I can) to embrace the insanity. I try to realize and accept that my house will always be messy and that I may have to search for my other shoe before running out for an important business meeting for years to come. Days will always come where I wonder if I am doing a good job and who these little forces of nature will end up becoming. Try to embrace the insanity. It can be hard, but much harder is not surrendering to it. I am convinced that insanity is a normal part of mothering and one that can be fun if you choose laughter instead of tears.

J – Jump... Jumping is one activity that children seem to like. It is easy to do anywhere and does not require much space. Jump with your child. Hold hands and jump! Crank the tunes and jump until you are out of breath. Become a child again and relish in the moment of feeling alive and silly. I am certain that your child will love to jump with you!

K – Kite... Do you remember the joy of flying a kite on a windy day? You were lucky if you actually had a good kite and not one that would break or get stuck in a tree after one use. It was fun all the same as you would run and watch this thing dance, flip, dive, and soar behind you. My son was out flying a kite, when a valuable lesson came to me. He was so excited watching the kite, with his head turned back, that he ran smack into a metal pole in front of him. As I hugged him on the ground, it was clear to me that though life gives us great opportunities to get caught up in the moment, and fully delight in something, it is always important to keep your gaze ahead too. I think that if we can learn to watch ahead, but also let go when we know that no poles are lurking and find bliss in the present moment, we will find a peace and passion beyond measure.

L – Laughter... It truly is the best medicine. Laugh often. There is no reason necessary. Kids give us many great causes for laughter. Let go and give your belly a workout. Try to laugh at least five times a day, or more. Can you find the humor in things that once would have seemed frustrating? Try laughing when the milk is spilled all over the floor. It feels so much better than holding yourself and your child in anger. I urge you to laugh more. Laugh your way through life and you will be a delight to be around and delightful things will come to you! Don’t you
want your child to laugh in life?

M – Me... I think that we all need to learn how to be more self-full. This is not to be confused with selfish. Self-full is being more in tune and connected with yourself, your needs, emotions, desires, and experiences. One of the best lessons we can teach our children is how to be self-full and it starts with us. Make your own feelings and desires important. You matter most of all. If you burn out or live in the gray zone, who will you be for your kids? Listen to your feelings, honor yourself, take great personal care, nurture your soul, follow your dreams, live abundantly, be more of yourself than just the part that is a mother, and then, I believe, you will be giving everything possible to your children!

N – Never... Never say never! I used to say things like “I’ll never be the kind of mom who feeds their child Kraft Dinner all the time.” Then, I had a child who only ate a few things, and Bunny Pasta was one of them. As I found myself cooking this dish far too often, I realized that ‘never’ is not a great word. Don’t be so quick to judge yourself or others. Be kind to yourself when you end up doing something you never thought you would do. You never know, maybe what you thought you would never do will turn out to be amazing. Be open to as many possibilities as you
can and life will be a much better adventure!

O – Open... Be ready to open in new directions. Where are the limits that you hold yourself to? Reach out and feel them. Then, give them a gentle push outward as often as possible. This is how we grow and learn. This is how we make change in our lives. This is what we would want for our children. Open doors, expand, and explore a whole new world!

P – Present moment... The magic awaits you in the present moment. Now is all we have for sure and why not live it 100%? Not sure how to find the present moment? Watch your kids. Young kids are almost always present. Watch a toddler and the way that they flow, delight with wonder at all things they do, and so easily let go of things and move on to new adventures. Fun, joy, passion, peace, insight, wisdom, healing, and many more treasures are available to us when we can embrace and experience the present moment. Sounds interesting? Give it a try! One easy way to root into the now is to open your senses at this very moment. Focus on what you are seeing (see the beauty in it!), hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting. Hold this place and work on staying here for as long as possible. Over time, you can learn to operate this way more and more, and when you do this, you will find a depth and quality of life that will make it all the more enticing!

Q – Quiet... Make time for quiet living. Kids are loud, yes, but etch out some time in your day to be quiet. Teach your kids how to be quiet as a healthy balance to all the noise in our world. Quiet time is healthy and magical. In quiet space, we can access our imagination, our wisdom, our peace, and our true essence. Resting quietly allows us to recharge and gain a new energy for our next burst with the kids. Goodness knows that they have us on our toes, but in quiet, we offset the go, go, go nature that tends to rule in our culture, leaving us exhausted, burned out, and
feeling pretty dull. Shh! Seek silence!

R – Reach out... It took me a long time to learn this one. Our culture tends to teach us as young girls to be giving and caring and we grow up giving to and caring for everyone often with the exception of our own selves. We learn that we are strong when we help others but we can end up having no clue how to ask for help when we really need it and how to fully lean on another. I encourage you to find a group of wonderful people (most of us already have one!) and practice reaching out when we need a lift. This is the ultimate in strength!

S – Snuggles... Ask any mom and she will tell you that she loves snuggles with her wee ones. Snuggle often and use it as an opportunity to be present. Feel the warmth and security that you get from it beyond that which you are giving to your child in the embrace. Add as many senses as you can. Smell their hair or their skin and feel the velvet smoothness of their tiny back as you gaze lovingly at the dimples on their hands. This can be pure bliss and one day you will miss having so many chances to snuggle. Yes, the house might be cleaner, and you might get to sleep through the night on a regular basis, and you will have more time for your things, but I am certain that you might find yourself dreaming of your snuggle days and yearning to have them back. Cherish them now! Make an imprint on your heart’s memory that will last forever!

T – Time... We live in such busy times. There is too little time for this or that and we are always in a hurry. Try hard to slow down. This is so important! Make time stand still as you lose track of it. Get right into something with your child and then you will find the magic of presence. We always hear that life is short, and it is in many ways, but you will find massive benefit when you
can embrace the notion that time isn’t such a big deal. Make time for what matters most and let other things wait. You will discover a rich way of living when you can cast your watch (or your phone for that matter!) aside and follow the time in your heart.

U – Unlimited... Your potential, and that of your child, is unlimited! Push yourself in every direction as you explore your potential. It will be in your doing this that you will teach it to your child. Your value, your beauty, your wisdom, your love, all of it, is unlimited. So, go out and live in your greatness! The world needs more people to do this. It isn’t in some, it’s in all. Claim it!

V – View... Your point of view is everything. The really cool thing is that you can change your point of view as many times as you would like. If you don’t like your story about something, rewrite it. We tend to get stuck thinking that there is only one way to see something and we cause arguments and frustration this way. Play a game with yourself, when you are in a good mood at first, and explore other ways of thinking about anything that comes along in your day. I play this game with my son and he loves it. Be creative and imaginative. To be open minded is an amazing gift to teach our children and as always, it starts with us!

W- Works... One of my mottos is that if it is working why change it. I think that people cause extra stress when they believe that they must change for the sake of change. You’ll know when it is time for change and if something feels good for you and it works in your home, good for you. We can buy too much stock in other people’s stories and solutions. One of the best pieces of advice I give friends who are new parents is that if it works, do it. Stop reading the books and start searching your own inner wisdom. Your own intuition will let you know when to make a move and if there is peace on a particular way of parenting for you, for goodness sake, remain there!

X – X Marks the spot... Mystery... Adventure... Mission... These are fun words and every time I use them with my son, his eyes light up and we end up with a wildly exciting way of doing something. I made a treasure map and there was an “X” to mark the spot where there was a hidden prize. Oh, the fun! It took little effort but paid huge return in experience. By shifting your point of view on having your child do a task that is otherwise a struggle, you can unlock a whole new realm. I invite you to choose a task that is causing a real stir in your home and think of a way to make it into an adventure or a mission. A little creativity on your part, yes, but trust me, you won’t regret it. Welcome adventure into your life and you will have fun at your finger tips!

Y – Yes... Try to say ‘yes’ more than ‘no’. Not that ‘no’ does not have a time and place, but we all respond so much better to ‘yes’. Create a ‘yes’ environment in your home and you will decrease stress and frustration. Save your ‘no’ for when it really must be said. A few good attachments to a ‘yes’ are: ‘yes when...’, ‘yes if...’, and ‘yes and...’ “Mom, can I have a cookie?” can be answered with “Yes, when you have had some more nutritious food with dinner first.” “Mom, can you help me get dressed today?” can be met with “Yes, if you can bring me the
clothes.” “Mom, can I jump off of this rock?” can be answered with “Yes and you must be very careful.” ‘Yes’ is a very useful word for moms!

Z – Zillion... A wonderful song that my son listens to often is called “The A, B, C’s of You” and it ends with “yes, yes, yes, you, you, you, you’re one in a zillion!” This is so true. You are one in a zillion. You are precious beyond your wildest imagination. Begin to understand and grasp this concept. Revel in it and live your life, making your steps be guided by it. Know your worth and you will teach your children to know theirs. I believe that this is the most important thing we can teach our young and we can’t teach it to them if we have not learned it for ourselves. Can you imagine a world of people who understood and claimed their worth? It would be a very healthy, amazing, and loving place!

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