When we were children growing up, the affirmation from grown-ups informed our experiences. If we did something that was right, we would hear “good job” or “that’s right,” letting us know that we were on the right track. ?
On the flip side, if we did something that was outside of the boundaries of acceptable, we would surely hear about it…maybe even feel it. ?
It’s quite humanistic to want affirmation or acknowledgement for good work and certainly for doing hard work. In Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, the sense of belonging and affiliation is the third layer of the pyramid after basic needs and safety needs. We naturally desire acceptance by the people around us and to have stable relationships.
As a mom, the definition of hard work deepens and the journey of self-sacrifice jumps off the charts. There is no more counting the times consideration was given or occurrences when self was bypassed for the good of others. No one is going to come to your door and hand you an award for going above the call of duty as a mom. Being a constant caregiver can feel pretty heavy at times especially when the encouragement and accolades are few and far in between.
But this is when we have to flip our internal switch. We can no longer live our life, giving and working for the credit from external factors. We can’t wait for it anymore or even rely on it. We have to feed ourselves. Don’t wait for the credit. Even if it’s your significant other who isn’t dishing out the credit. We have to let go. We are working for OUR journey.
The journey is the secret path each one of us is given in life. Only we know it; it’s especially designed for us. Others won’t always understand our journeys and the decisions we have to make along the way. With that said, we must not interfere with others’ journeys either. Let people make their calls and sit with their decisions. We can only serve and assist. But their journey is theirs.
And your children won’t know the sacrifices you’ve made until they become parents themselves. So don’t expect a pat on the back every time you clean up throw-up. Even if you go to work and accommodate a boss for certain reinforcement, this mommy journey must be treated differently. It’s not exactly the meritocracy we were raised on. We must now do the work for the sake of our journey. It’s a paradigm shift. We must learn to be fed by an internal satisfaction, regardless of external factors. We must be fed from the joy of building little people. And knowing that’s our mission.
So don’t look for credit. Secure yourself in the journey. Just know that all your sleepless nights, physical sacrifices and emotional strength training is going towards your good. Your journey’s bank will be full of deposits from you for doing the right thing when you needed to. Though hard and often unseen by the human eye, your journey will be paid in full at its end. Because of you. Your work. Your love.