Mothers Have Needs Too!

Allison Gilbert, LMFT, Santa Cruz Counselor Lic: MFC 24087

Rewrite Your Job Description

Rewriting Your Job Description
My workshop flyer lays out the mother's job description with some humor, though for most of us, it does sound familiar:  work 24/7 for no pay...managing daily complaints from very small clients.  Writing a job description for the at-home mother is in fact, one of the workshop's goals.

Fulfillment on the Job
The workbook materials contain lots of great articles written by mothers.  One insightful article, "Am I the Manager or the Maid?" by Janet Dittmer, shows how useful it is to simply change your job description from being the maid to being the manager of your household.

Transforming the Challenges
Rewriting your job description can resolve many of the challenges we experience as mothers.  Do you feel overwhelmed?  Frustrated?  Depressed?  Worthless?  Isolated?  Depleted?  The workshop addresses these challenges by helping you rewrite your job description.  Below is an outline of how that's done in each session.

Transforming Frustration & Depression
Session 1:  Look at your expectations of yourself as a mother.  Are your expectations realistic or unrealistic?  When your child is crying, does that mean you're a bad mother?  When your house is messy, does that mean you've failed at this job?  What do you expect of yourself and what do you expect from others?  Unspoken expectations of others create resentment.  Negotiate, speak up and ask for what you need - you just may get it. 

Tackling Unworthiness
Session 2:  Rewrite your job description so that it begins with the needs of your children.  Rather than being overwhelmed by those needs, simply use the fact of your children needing you to validate your decision to be home with them. 

Handling Overwhelm
Session 3:  Next the workbook shows you a list of all the tasks a mother performs.  From breastfeeding and holding to carpooling, scheduling dental appointments and dishwashing - the list fills two full pages.  Think about the monetary value of each task.  Decide which tasks you like, don't like, and which you can get help with. 

Addressing Physical & Emotional Depletion
Session 4:  What are your interests?  Can you incorporate them into your daily tasks with your children?  Or do you need to take some time away from the kids to be able to include your interests in your job description?  Which interests have you put aside that you used to enjoy with your husband?  Bring those interests back.

Breaking Isolation
Session 5:  Creating community is also a task included in mother's job description.  Where can you find the people you can share your lives with?  The more support you have on the job, the better you'll do with it.

Generating Feelings of Self-Worth
Session 6:  Your identity is an important component of rewriting your job description.  Who are you now?  What is your life about?  How do you appraise your job performance at home? 

Pride in Your Job
Rewrite your job description so you can validate your choice to be primary caregiver for your children.  In a society that values people for what they can produce in the marketplace, it serves all of us to take pride in what we're producing at home.  Feel good about your choice by meeting your own needs too.

2007 Allison Gilbert, M.A., L.M.F.T.; Free Tips

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