mother and son, parent and child

Finding your parenting ‘why’: The power of motivation in family life

Nov 08, 2023

How is your upcoming week looking? Busy, I’m guessing? Yep, parenting is pretty much the Olympics of multi-tasking. But have you ever paused in between folding the laundry, making dinner and playing referee to your kids to ask yourself a very simple question: Why am I doing all of this?

I mean, sure, you’re a parent – that’s kind of in the job description. But what’s your real driving force? Your ultimate ‘why’?

Motivation is the gas in your car, the wind in your sails, the caffeine in your morning coffee. It’s the ‘oomph’ that gets you through the tantrums, the spilled milk,  and even those cringe worthy parent teacher meetings.

So what’s your parenting ‘why’?

Is it to raise strong, independent kids who can tackle the world on their own? Or perhaps you aim to cultivate a home filled with love and understanding, a safe haven for your family. Do you want your children to remember you as always providing for them and being someone they can rely on? Your ‘why’ is your mission statement, your north star that guides you when the going gets tough.

Years ago when my son was young, I found myself caught in a seemingly trivial yet exhausting battle: getting my son to stop drawing on the walls. It was a recurring issue, and I was losing my patience. Why was it such a big deal? I started to question my motivation for wanting to stop this behaviour beyond simple not wanting my walls to be an art exhibition! After some soul searching, I realised my ‘why’ for parenting was bigger than just having a well-behaved child and crayon free walls. I was so concerned about what people would think, and what my own and other’s expectations were of a ‘well behaved child’ when really, I just wanted to raise a kind and considerate human being. This clarity in my ‘why’ allowed me to focus on what was really important.

Instead of getting angry after the fact and repeatedly telling my son not to do that, and feeling I was being ignored, I took responsibility, and only provided my son with his art supplies when we could engage in this activity together. This reduced the times I was cranky, and I was able to model my hopes for my son, being kind and considerate. Understanding my core motivation behind my parenting decisions helped me to let go of the other noise which was impacting my parenting and find a solution for me and my son. In this post, I hope you discover your own parenting ‘why’. It may be the key to transforming both your perspective and your family dynamics.

Think of your ‘why’ as your GPS. Sure, you can probably get from A to B without it, but it makes the journey a whole lot easier. Your ‘why’ keeps you on track and helps you navigate the bumps along the road.

Ever feel mentally drained from endless parenting responsibilities? Your ‘why’ can be the energy boost you need, reminding you why each challenge is worth it in the long run. Your not alone in this. What about your partner? Your kids? Have you ever sat down as a family to discuss your collective ‘why’? This shared vision can bring everyone together, working toward the same goals. It might just be the key to fewer conflicts and more harmonious living.

Your ‘why’ evolves, and that okay. As your family grows and life shifts, your ‘why’ will evolve. And guess what? That’s perfectly fine. What matters is that you keep that core motivation in sight, adjusting as needed to continue guiding you and your family on this incredible journey called life.

Your Reflection Corner

What would you say is your primary motivation for the way you parent? Do you think it aligns with the kind of parent you aspire to be?

Have you ever discussed your family ‘why’? What insights did you gain from it?

Go ahead and ponder your ‘why’. Make it your meditation mantra or scribble it on a sticky note on your fridge. Keep it close to your heart and let it illuminate your path.

You’re doing great, and you’ve got this!

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To your ever evolving journey,


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