I know that we look to having more money as a way of making us happy, but much of what we seek, we are not ready for – so to be sure that we will not take our financial success for granted, we must first learn how to get ‘happy’ without it. As mothers, we often seek the best for our children – clothes, education, care, health, toys, God-parents (this one is taking me quite some time to do!), future mates, and so much more. When it comes to ourselves, however, we can do without the absolute best and will settle for some things we just well, shouldn’t. The efforts we place into caring for our children’s well being should also pertain to our own sense of fulfillment and happiness. Although not all things in life are meant to make us happy, we are to maintain a sense of ‘happy’ in our lives in order to be whole, in order to look forward to the future and even care for our children.
Even though caring for a child could take over your life, you have to realize your happiness cannot be jeopardized in pursuit of ‘Mommy of the Year’. This extreme focus, as I am sure many mothers experience from time to time, can cause unwarranted stress, health issues, depression, isolation, and detachment from reality. In response to this, I look to the ideals I teach during my job search techniques workshops – positive thinking. I do not just teach positive thinking to be something that is unrealistic, but just like every other healthy discipline in life, positive thinking MUST be on purpose and on a regular basis. We schedule meals, workloads, social gatherings, and family time – positive thinking and personal development should also be included on the schedule. I highly recommend a positive thinking practice to be conducted DAILY for my clients searching for work in this economy and I would not suggest anything less for fellow moms.
Daily, we need to take the time to remind ourselves who we were before becoming a mother – what our passions and goals were, what made us happy, what we aspired to be in life. This may take some time to rediscover but it is well worth it! One of the major values we need in life is to value ourselves – our self worth. Knowing that we are worth the best puts all the more emphasis on our care for those we love – including our children. For example: I am a single mother (for now), however, just because my child’s father does not want to partake in co-parenting our child, does not mean I am worth any less as a woman. I could not allow thoughts of rejection to sink into my subconscious while attempting to care for my newborn – if I did, I would not be able to love her fully. I felt this early in my pregnancy and later in the first few weeks after having my child. I realized when I allowed feelings of rejection to settle, I would not take care of myself, and I would not eat as healthy nor care for my appearance when out in public. A mother’s health is important to the child they care for – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
In order to get out of the funk of negative thoughts, I would find it soothing to think of the possibility of having a better future – including an acceleration in my career, earning more money, doing more ministry work with my church, traveling, remarrying, having a healthy relationship with my child’s father, and thoughts of creating a better life for my child than the one I had growing up. All of these thoughts seemed sporadic and brief until I purposely prompted them through my reading, repetitive statements of hope and success, or viewing my vision board.
Positive thinking has to be on purpose and intentional. Why? Negative thinking comes very naturally to us because it is what we can experience constantly, while positive thinking often comes from an imaginary place we hope to see – our faith. Biblically, psychologically, and many successful wealthy people argue intellectually in favor of the practice of positive thinking and personal development. The practice seems too simple to actually work, however it does! Just try it.
Instead of investing in fast food and alcohol, try investing in books geared for success and positive thinking. Just try it! Give it 6 months and you should see changes, not only within but also without. Have positive twitter accounts tweet to your phone, follow social media profiles that promote a healthy lifestyle, change you music and television choices to be consistently about the positive values. There is a belief that what we believe and say is what will consistently be in our lives. Imagine thinking happy thoughts and only having ‘happy’ things happen to you – ok well at least happening more often than before! It has worked for me and led me to pursue some entrepreneurial endeavors which continue to unfold rapidly. I am very excited about my future and pray the same for you and your family (you deserve it!).
Danita Sims is an aspiring entrepreneur and workforce development professional with extensive experience in social services and Case Management. Ms. Sims has assisted a variety of job seekers, including veterans and disabled adults, with finding employment and adjusting to career changes. Many of her clients seek to transition into new careers with financial and educational barriers hindering their success. Ms. Sims shares community resources, teaches Employment Readiness, and provides Career Counseling in order to see her clients obtain self sufficient employment and pursue their career goals. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Ms. Sims has a passion for helping people progress towards their career goals and is an advocate for education. Her BA degree is in English with a minor in African America Studies from Southern IL University-Carbondale where she also studied creative writing, journalism, and education. She also has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) with a concentration in Community Development from the University of IL at Chicago. Among her peers, she is known for simplifying complex issues, offering conflict resolution, and being able to connect with individuals of various socioeconomic statuses, cultures, skill sets, & educational backgrounds. Ms. Sims also has experience in Business Development and uses her ability to create and maintain strategic partnerships that would influence a community as a whole.