Today’s Quote: “If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and
understanding of many things.” Vincent van Gogh
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a rather impatient
person. I want things when I want them, how I want them. And I
expect other people to do things I ask them to do for me when I
ask them, how I ask them.
It took me awhile to realize that the world doesn’t work that
way! Kids get out-of-line. Projects get off-schedule. Noses get
Early on in motherhood, I had an overwhelming desire to get
things right…and quickly at that. To figure babyhood
out…quickly. Get through the mysteries of toddlerhood.very
quickly! Get through each new stage with an easy grasp. I
wanted to figure things out quickly and brilliantly and achieve
nearly “instant mastery,” even though I hadn’t yet put in my
time. I never had any idea of the overwhelming nature of
motherhood, nor did I allow myself the luxury of adopting the
appropriate insight into just how complex it all was. I never
counted on climbing a learning curve that went up like a
rocket…that is, nearly straight up for nearly two decades
before it leveled out a little!
Everyone remains dazzled by the “overnight success” story, the
boy-wonder, or the golden child who apparently never stumbled
along the way. Consider 21 year-old Andy Roddick, America’s
darling and top-seeded tennis player going into the 2004
Australian Open. His rise to the top appears to be “overnight.”
Contrast him to 22 year-old Taylor Dent, whose progress on the
pro tour has been methodical rather than meteoric. He finished
2003 ranked No. 32 after capturing three titles. Even for “a
player pegged for greatness since his teens”-his father, Phil, an Australian, was a finalist there in 1974, and his mother, Betty Ann (Grubb) Stuart, was a top-10 player in the USA-it hasn’t always come easy. Said Dent: “I’d be full of it if I said that I wish I hadn’t had the early success that Andy did. That’s what I want more than anything. But I’m happy for Andy. For me, I really needed this learning curve to understand my game.” (1) (NOTE: Robson, Douglas. “Serve-and-volleyer Dent fitter, playing smarter.” USA Today, 2004 January 21; p. 2, [http://www.USAToday.com].)
Exactly. And what happened is that his net-game improved. “Serve-and-volleyers-Dent’s claim to fame-typically mature later. But this Newport Beach, California resident elevated his game by raising his fitness level during the last year-including cutting back on junk food-and focusing on what he does best: attack.” (2) (NOTE: Ibid.)
U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe said of Dent: “He’s playing smarter…which makes his attacking game more effective…He’s playing more judiciously.” (3) (NOTE:
And veteran Todd Martin said: “Dent finally seems to understand how his 6′ 2″ frame and athleticism are suited to dominate the net. I think with a lot of young players that’s the most important thing to realize, is how you’re supposed to play, how do your talents and skills best fit into the game. Taylor’s figured that out.” (4) (NOTE: Ibid., p. 2,3.)
Excusing my analogy to tennis–the only competitive sport I’ve
ever played–the lesson, though seemingly simplistic, is critical in our journey of motherhood. As Todd Martin asked: “How do your talents and skills best fit into the game?” As you approach motherhood’s creative challenges on a day-to-day basis, how are you attacking the “game?” Are you using your God-given talents and skills to best suit the way you spend your day? And are you exploring your children’s talents and skills so that they flourish in a lifetime of creative abundance? Or are you trying to imitate someone else’s vision for your own life…or for the lives of your children?
Recognize that life is filled with setbacks, struggles, and
strife…and that God’s timing doesn’t necessarily coincide with
our own. But recognize, too, that our learning curve is steep.
That there are no overnight successes in motherhood. That getting a handle on the scope of the job takes more energy, more
understanding, more strength, more passion…and requires more
sleep!….that we ever dreamed possible.
And when your kids seem to flounder on their own learning curves, be patient. As the kid in front of me at the line in McDonald’s (where I dashed in for a cup of coffee yesterday) fumbled through his order, first ordering chicken nuggets, then changing it to a cheeseburger, forgetting his fries and Coke until after the change was given only to re-order for the third time, I laughed out loud, and thought to myself: “This kid’s got a long, steep learning curve to climb.”
Carolina Fernandez earned an M.B.A. and worked at IBM and as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch before coming home to work as a wife and mother of four. She totally re-invented herself along the way. Strong convictions were born about the role of the arts in child development; ten years of homeschooling and raising four kids provide fertile soil for devising creative parenting strategies. These are played out in ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance. It is widely available online, in bookstores or through 888-476-2493. She writes extensively for a variety of parenting resources and teaches other moms via seminars, workshops, keynotes and monthly meetings of the ROCKET MOM SOCIETY, a sisterhood group she launched to “encourage, equip and empower moms for excellence.”
Please visit [http://www.rocketmom.com]
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