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Leadership Mom

Maybe you noticed that it's been a while since I posted...maybe not.  There's a good reason for this.  I've been an exhausted mom.  Lately, it seems that I find myself going in one direction only to look back and see that my kids, husband, work, school, dog...you name it...are going in the opposite direction.  I've tried pushing through.  I've thought about just giving in.  I've even thought how am I going to survive another day.  The days get longer and longer as I stay up later and later trying to accomplish all of the tasks that I think I'm supposed to be accomplishing throughout the day.

Then, a kid gets sick.  Then, another kids...and another kid...gets sick.  Then, the husband gets sick.  Then, the dog has to go to the vet.  And, finally, after everyone is well and we're in the midst of the busiest week of our lives...I get sick.

At this point, I have to understand that I'm not superhuman.  Or so you would think.  But, as a mom, I feel the pressure to keep on chugging along.  So, while I'm at death's doorstep, I'm still folding laundry and cleaning dishes; trying to make healthy, homemade meals; working on spelling words; watching the lectures for my homework; responding to emails; planning the next Girl Scout troop meeting; and volunteering for yet another role - all while bleaching every surface in the house so that no one else gets sick after me.

Lately, I've been thinking about parenting - or really just the mom side of things (although I know there are amazing dads out there filling the role of moms, too).  What I've thought a lot about is the fact that we treat moms like "a word I tell my kids not to say."  Recently, I heard the phrase that 

Parenting is the greatest leadership experience a person could ever have.

I was absolutely taken aback by the thought of this.  If this is true, then how do we treat the role of parents - and moms.  Throughout my time as a parent, I have continually been asked what I do besides being a mom.  I've had people make assumptions about me during times when I have not been able to be something other than "just a mom."  Yet, if being a mom is truly the greatest leadership experience one could have, why don't we treat it that way?

Perhaps it's because we don't treat ourselves as leaders and we don't treat other moms as leaders.  Now, I'm saying this needs to change.

When we treat ourselves as leaders, we don't try to do everything ourselves.  We develop a team.  We work together.  We learn from other leaders' successes and failures.  We recognize that the culture within our own organization (or family) is unique and we tailor our vision and strategies to this culture - and I'm not just talking about where we came from.

One of the primary aspects missing from the leadership of being a parent is that we don't form a mission, vision, goals and strategy.  Sure, we often have daily strategies of just keeping the kids alive and not burning down the house, but what are we doing long term?  If we want to succeed, we need to be thinking about this.  We cannot survive on changing daily goals to get us to where we want to be long term.  We'll always come up short.

With these things in mind, I'm going to keep blogging, but am going to have a series dedicated to this concept of Leadership Mom.  I hope you'll join me on this journey.


**Disclaimer: Parenting comes in all forms. While I speak generically on the topic, these posts are meant for anyone who fills the role of a parent.

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