Today, our #MondayMotivation is aimed at family life and the cycles of parenthood. Things go south most times on this aspect of life, and these questions are beautifully illustrated to help the mind of an individual and/or parent realigned to for a better outlook at getting it right and ultimately, less stressful.
As you look through these questions, remember that there are no right or wrong answers. These are just cues to get you thinking about some of the things that matter, so that when life presents you with tough situations or choices, you are better prepared to handle them. Take you time to mull over each question.
OK, here we go –
1. When your kids grow up, do you want them to be rich, or happy?
Ideally, we want both. But for the heck of it, let’s say you had to choose. Which one would it be? Mansions, expensive cars, fancy stuff and a bottle of anti-depressants; or a modest life filled with genuine smiles?
2. How often do you say “I Love You” unconditionally?
While answering this question, don’t just think of your kids, but your spouse too. How often do you say “I Love You” without expecting anything back in return or without meaning it as an apology?
3. Is crying a sign of strength or weakness?
Should you tough it out, or should you get it out of your system? When you see someone crying, would you offer to help, or would you look away? How about your kids?
4. What was the last thing you did with your family where you lost track of time?
Do you spend enough time with each other to form deep bonds, or is all the time spent running from one thing to another? Have you built in enough pauses in your schedule to relish each other’s company?
5. If you had a friend who speaks to you the way you speak to your kids, would you still be friends?
Do you scream at your kids? What does it do to your relationship? Can a parent set firm limits without screaming? Do you think it is possible to be gentle and caring, and still discipline your kids?
6. Is being a parent a privilege or a chore?
Do you think of it as a blessing or an inconvenience? (Just to put things in perspective, according to the CDC, in the US alone over 6.7 million women struggle with infertility!)
7. Would you prefer that your kids never failed, or never tried?
Is failure disgraceful or is it a learning opportunity? Can you live a fully vibrant life if you don’t try anything new? If your kids don’t learn to try something new in the comfort of your presence, where else can they?
8. What makes you, uniquely you? How about your spouse and kids?
No two people are the same. Have you figured out what is your uniqueness? Have you embraced it? How about the rest of your family? Do you love each other just the way you are – warts and all?
9. What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?
You can only go so far carrying the burden of your past. More than anything else, the way we parent is influenced by our past. What do you need to let go of?
10. If someone made a movie about your family, what would it’s name be?
Would the underlying emotion be that of joy and hope, or gloom and despair? Will it be memorable, or forgettable? Would it be a simple story or a complex saga?
11. Who is writing the story of your family?
Are you handed a script written by the circumstances that you just act out, or do you create your own brilliant story?
12. If you had all the money you needed and then some, what would you be doing with your life?
Agreed, you don’t have all the money you need, but can you carve some time in your schedule to do that one thing that’s your soul work and you do it simply because you love it?
13. Everyone has the same 24 hours. Why is someone able to do some much more with it than others?
On the one end, we have visionaries who change the world. On the other, we have you and me who can hardly keep up :). What makes our perception of time so different from theirs?
14. How well do you sleep?
There is tons of research linking the quality of your sleep and the quality of your life (and health). Are you sacrificing your sleep at the altar of productivity, success and money (leading to high stress)?
15. Do you learn from your mistakes or do you beat yourself up about it?
How about the mistakes your spouse and kids make? Can you think of anyone who has never made mistakes? Maybe practising grace and kindness is a better option?
16. If you were to die without notice, what will your kids remember about you? What do you want them to remember about you?
Gory, I know. But it could happen. And the only time you can do anything about it is now.
17. If death gave you 10 more years to live but you would have to be completely disconnected from your family, would you make the trade?
What if you could not be with them but knew how they were doing? What if you could not even know how they were doing? What if they were gone, but only you could survive?
18. Are you trying to be better than everyone around you, or better than the person you were yesterday?
What is your reason for reading these questions? Why do your read this blog (or any other self improvement site for that matter)? What do you want from it all?
19. When your kids are in trouble, will they run to you or hide from you?
Would you rather be able to help when your kids are in big trouble, or would you rather they sort it out by themselves? Do you scream and scare the cr*p out of them when they make little mistakes or do you teach them that it is OK to approach you.
20. Do you encourage your kids to pursue their dreams or yours?
How often do your kids grumble about doing something that ought to be fun, and you respond “You don’t realize how lucky you are! I never had the opportunity to […]”? Are you pushing your unrequited dreams on them?
Ponder on these questions and let’s realign the mind.