Mindset is an individual’s set of beliefs and attitudes that predetermine his or her interpretation and response to life’s circumstances, particularly challenges and difficulties. Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol S. Dweck has written extensively about mindset and how mindset predicts achievement and success. In her mindset theory, she describes 2 types of mindset: fixed and growth.
With a fixed mindset, intelligence is innate and unchangeable. The primary goal is to appear smart. Challenges are avoided. Disappointment and failure leads to discouragement and giving up. Criticism is taken personally.
With a growth mindset, intelligence is honed and developed. The primary goal is mastery. Challenges are embraced. Disappointment and failure represents an opportunity to try something new. Criticism demonstrates areas that need improvement rather than evidence of ineptitude.
Dr. Dweck’s mindset theory has major implications in several arenas including education, business, and parenting.
A Healthy Mommy Mindset
Then, what does a healthy mommy mindset look like? Well, if mommy guilt is the nagging sense of inadequacy and constant fear of failing as parent, then a healthy mommy mindset is the complete opposite. In my world, mommying is a “guilt-free zone.” Here are my top 10 tips for cultivating a healthy mommy mindset:
- Acknowledge the truth – parenting is hard and children don’t come with instruction manuals, only “on the job” training.
- There are no perfect kids and no perfect parents. Stop comparing yourself to other moms because one size does not fit all.
- Remember who you are. You were someone with your own identity, dreams, and aspirations, before you were somebody’s mommy. She still exists. Love her and nurture her. Your life does not and should not solely resolve around your children.
- Connect – build your rock star mommy tribe. There is power in meaningful connections with other people.
- Practice real self-care. Make yourself and your sanity a priority. Say “no” and mean it. Put healthy boundaries in place.
- Breathe – sometimes we need to press pause, stop, and then refocus.
- Unplug – get off social media. Take some time to relax and unwind. Read a book. Go for a walk. Meditate or pray. Just get off Facebook and “the gram.”
- You can have it all, just not all at one time. Let go of the elusive goal of “work-life balance.” It doesn’t exist. There is only imbalance. Focus on the task at hand whether that’s mom duty, work tasks, or martial obligations. Multi-tasking often leaves you tired and unproductive.
- Your feelings ain’t facts. Just because you feel inadequate or that you will never be enough doesn’t make it true. Life is messy and chaotic, but you can still be doing the doggone thing in the middle of all that mess.
- Get help. Mental illness is real. Depression and anxiety are real, and it’s not your fault. You are not weak. You are not crazy. But, you do need some help. Don’t try and do this alone.