You might not be able to picture this day, but it will come: the day you drop your child off at college. When we dropped off my oldest daughter at her dorm and drove away, my husband was in tears. I couldn’t cry because I was thinking of the 500 things I wanted to make sure she knew! I kept asking myself if she’s ready to stand on her own.
That day changed my thinking in how I would parent the children I still had at home. It made me zero in on my purpose in parenting. We want to show you how to find your purpose if you don’t know it yet because believe me—when that is clear, it will help you with so many aspects of your job as a mom. It starts with 3 questions.
Ask these 3 questions.
What are your core beliefs? What is your goal for your children? How will you work to reach your goal? Every mom will answer these questions differently. For me, all of these answers start with passion, purpose, and plan—that’s where all my parenting decisions came from. Having that clarity helped me define my purpose in parenting.
Here is how I described the process in my book The Passionate Mom.
Name your purpose.
As a mom, if you are passionate about your children, then you must have a purpose for your parenting. Since you’ve identified your core belief, name what you want to instill in your child. What goal would you like to reach as a parent? If you can answer these questions, you can define and name your purpose—the reason you exist as a parent—and you can determine to fulfill it. Then and only then, with the target of where you are going clearly in sight, can you begin to plan for your children.
As a mom, if you are passionate about your children, then you must have a purpose for your parenting.
Devise a plan.
Once you identify your core beliefs and your goal and have named your purpose in parenting, you are ready to make a plan. A plan can look a thousand different ways for a thousand different moms, but here is how I tried to keep it a focused goal in my life with five very different little personalities.
My purpose is to do all I can to help my children grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.
My goal included five areas that I wanted to watch for each child.
- Wisdom: My child should be growing in knowledge and making good choices.
- Physical: My child should be growing in size, strength, and health.
- Spiritual: My child should have a faith, independent of mine, by the time he or she is ready to leave home.
- Relational: My child should show love for others including family and friends.
- Emotional: My child should understand his or her temperament and possess an understanding of self.
When I assessed each of my children, I pondered how they were growing in wisdom, physically, spiritually, relationally, and emotionally. I wanted them to grow in all areas, but as they did, I realized that each had a natural bent in certain areas, and in those, they grew naturally. The areas that were less natural to them needed more motivation and encouragement from me.
How would you describe your purpose in parenting?