Moms are rockstars! But most of us get to the end of the day and we just see the ways we didn’t measure up. We focus on everything we lack.

That stops today. Today, you’re going to learn how to live in the gain, how to focus on gratitude, and how to celebrate how far you’ve come. And it feels amazing!

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Hi, and welcome to the Made For Greatness podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jay. And today on episode 36, we are talking about how you are kind of a big deal. All right. One of the things that a coach is so good at is helping their client or their student or their athlete to see what’s great about themselves. And I think moms need coaches so badly for this reason. And your friend could be your coach, but as women, particularly as mothers, we put our head down and we get work done. And at the end of the day, we just see what is left undone. We see the things that didn’t get finished that didn’t get checks in the boxes. We think about the moments that our children were disappointed or brushed aside or had sibling fights. We live in the gap of who we want to be.

We have an idea of who we want to be, and it’s out in front of us. And we spend so much time staring at the gap and we don’t spend very much time in the game, celebrating what we do well, celebrating our wins. And so I wanted to begin this podcast by sharing just such a beautiful quote from G.K.Chesterton, because I think it really captures something enormous about motherhood that we often forget. So here’s this quote from G.K. Chesterton. How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the rule of three and the small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic not because it is my Newt and this isn’t a commentary on working moms or non-working moms. This is a commentary on how moms are super heroes.

I think you are a big deal. I think what you do is amazing. I think you are a great gift to your children and because of that, a great gift to the world. And as a coach, it’s so easy for me to see this in other moms. So we were just coaching recently on difficult nighttime routines, which is such a common struggle that moms have where, you know, it kind of sneaks up on us, right? Where we do some things that are sweet with the children. And then some night we do something extra special. And then all of a sudden the bedtime routines involve a fresh cup of water and three songs and two books and just the right prayers and laying with me for 20 minutes and whatever it is. And while we may have offered one or some of those things on a night when we were feeling generous and energetic, and there are other nights that we are so tired and done, and we just want to put that little kiddo into bed and close the door.

And I think this is a common thing for teenagers as well. We’re not putting them to bed, but rather staying up and listening to them talk. And you’re so tired and you want to go to bed and then come rolling in at 10:30 with something on their hearts and you want to be a good mama and you want to listen to them. And then these two examples, the big nighttime routines for little kids or the heart to heart conversations late into the evening, I see that you are a hero. I see how much you love them. I see how much you set aside what you want for them in that moment. And I think there’s a time where that’s a wonderful gift for our children. I think there’s a time when we should have boundaries and take care ourselves, but that’s not what this episode is about.

This episode is about living in the gain instead of the gap. So when you have a nighttime routine that ends up taking 45 minutes or an hour, and you’re so tired, but you do it. I want you to close that door and I want you to feel so proud. I want you to imagine that Sterling would sneak into your house and give you a mom trophy in that moment or a Stripe on your jacket or a sticker on your chart, because that is such an amazing gift that you give your children every moment that you get down and are present with them and serve them and put more love into their world. It is an amazing thing, but most of us are just staring at the gap. So not only are we draining our energy while we show up and go love to these children, but we drain our energy by focusing on how we’re not good enough, how we’re screwing it up, how we didn’t get to someone today, how we heard someone be rude or snarky. And it must mean we’re not great moms.

I don’t know who taught us to do that. I don’t know if it’s an American thing or a mom thing or Catholic thing, how we ended up so focused on the gap instead of the game. But I read this in a business book recently. And as he was describing the gap and the gain in business, I thought, oh, that’s exactly how we live as moms. And I don’t know if there’s a book about that yet. So I want to talk to them about it. I want to show them how they can live in the game instead of the gap. And this is what that looks like living in the game means turning around for a moment and looking at the years behind you. Now, I say this all the time, life coaching is about looking forward, but in this moment, we’re going to turn around and we’re going to look back and we’re going to see how far we’ve come, how much more confident we are as moms.

I mean, I have six kids. My oldest kiddo is 10. And I look back at me when I just had one. When I just had little Rosemary and we were figuring out her nighttime routine. And I didn’t know up from down from sideways, any part of motherhood, I was figuring it all out. And now I know a lot more. And that doesn’t mean that there aren’t nights where I don’t love the evening little kid routine, but I have come so far. I have been through potty training and teaching kids how to read and figuring out what to do when they lie and roll their eyes and teaching them to ride their, or to swim, figuring out how to educate them, how to bring them joy, how to help them discover their dreams, how to teach them how to fall in love with God. And I am so much better at those things. And it was 10 years ago and it is tempting. It is very tempting for me to look up at the list of what a good mother is, which I totally just made up in my mind and to focus on the gap and to say, see Sterling, you’re not there yet. I got a long ways to go.

You’re blowing it on this front and this front and this front. But instead I’ve learned to look behind me and see how far I’ve come. And that’s one of the biggest gifts that those three back-to-back pregnancies gave me and all that time that I spent in bed. And I missed out on so many parts of my children’s lives. And so now it’s such a joy for me to get to do even very simple things with them. And this summer I’m gearing up to go camping with them. And I have not been camping with them in a very long time because I’ve always been pregnant or home with the baby. And normally we do not take a two-year-old camping, but this is a special camping trips. I said, I would go and my children are just so excited about it. And I found myself kind of worrying over how hot it was going to be or what we were going to eat. And if the baby would sleep. And as I felt that worry kind of creep into my body and my mind, I just stopped. I noticed that was just focusing on the gap.

And I thought, you know what? I’m just going to celebrate this moment. I’m going to celebrate this moment that I am planning a trip that was not even on the table for me for the last seven years, I get to go, I’m going to go camping with my kids. I’m going to create some memories with them and it’s going to be hot. And camping is not my favorite thing. And there are going to be bugs and I’m going to squeal. And it’s embarrassing when other adults watch me do that. But I feel very grateful that I get to go and the gap and the gain is not a new concept, right? When we talk about it, in terms of Catholicism, we call it gratitude, just finding the gratitude in any moment or the lives, the life that we get to live. But I think it’s just an interesting, different way to talk about it.

When we say, how far have I come as a mother? How far have I come as a wife? How far have I come in my faith? Right. I think about my faith life, you know, 10 plus years ago when I converted to Catholicism. And especially in that first year, I was still just so pouty about it all. And I don’t want to go to mass. It was very much like a teenager and I didn’t think the Catholic club was very fun and I thought Catholicism should make me feel good and be entertaining because that’s what the Protestants trained me to think. And I think about how far I have come and how much I have fallen in love with, with Jesus and Mary and the saints. And even the catechism. I remember when my husband showed me the catechism and I must have, if not physically, internally rolled my eyes and been like, that looks super boring. I don’t really want to read that.

And now I find so much constellation in knowing that I can just open it up and look for an answer to a question that I have. It’s so comforting to me. And so I’m not going to daily mass all the time and my prayer life. Isn’t always what I set out to make it be right. Like when we, we meet these goals about our prayers and what we’re going to do, I don’t always hit those. And it’s really easy for me to feel bad about that. Oh, didn’t pray. My divine mercy Chaplet today. Didn’t mark the three o’clock hour with the children.

That’s just focusing on the gap though. Cause when I really think about it, I have grown so much in the last 10 years. My faith is so much deeper, so much wider, so much more beautiful. I’m so proud of that. It’s so easy for me to see it. When I really just pause and look back at how far I’ve come in every area of my life. But today I want you to think about yourself as a mother, because I know, I know you are dealing with some difficult things right now, some phases, whether it’s two year old tantrums or teenager tantrums or adult children who hurt our feelings. So spectacularly, whatever it is. I want you to just pause for a moment and look how far you’ve come. Look at what you’ve learned. Look at how your capacity to love and forgive has expanded so much since you have become a mother, look at how you have grown in what you’re capable of.

You know, I remember being in college and thinking, oh, today was so hard, like a day that maybe I had to work a couple hours in an admin job and then go to class and then walk back to my apartment. And I was so tired and listen, I’m not taking anything away from that Sterling. That’s where she was at. But now I can get a lot done during the day. And I’m proud of what I can get done. And I am proud of what it takes now for me to have a hard day. That is the game. When I look back and I think about it like that, and I’m proud of it. It’s a wonderful, so I just want you to look back today. Just the opposite of what I mostly tell you. But today we’re going to look back. We’re going to ask ourselves, how far have I come? What makes me smile about what I’ve learned or what I’ve been through when I’m able to enjoy what I’m able to endure because you 100% or a stronger, more capable woman than you were 10 years ago and your brain will automatically go. But our body is like this. Now we’re not as spry as we used to be. It’s not as easy to go places.

We have a bucket of kids stuck at home a lot. And you just tell that mean, girl, inside your brain, calm down Midge. I love you. But right now we’re just going to be grateful for how far we’ve come. We’re just going to focus on how we’ve grown as mothers and what a huge gift we are to our children. Because we are everything to those little people. And even the teenagers who say whatever they’re going to say, we are still everything to them too. They feel safe with us. Teenagers who mouth off to their parents feel enough to mouth off to their parents, right? Their home is full of love. And so they can test the boundaries because they know that you love them. Even if they end up with consequences, it is a safe place for them to stretch and test and grow. And do you created that place for them? You created a safe home where they can figure themselves out because you have grown so much since you have become a mother.

And if you struggle to see some of those things, I want you to imagine that you met a young mom, she’s 23. She just found out that she’s going to have her first baby. Just think of all the things that you could tell her, all the wisdom you could share with her, or even just think of how you would tell her it’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be amazing. It’s wonderful. I love taking care of these monkeys. They drive me bananas, but it’s lovely because at the end of the day, that’s how most of us feel until most of us feel. If someone were to pull us off the street and say, tell me about your family.

That’s when we would express our gratitude, we would see the gifts that we have. We would see how far we’ve come. And we would see how perfect these children are for us. That God picked them out for us so that we could grow into that they could grow. So today I want you to celebrate yourself. I want you to imagine you’re getting mom trophies today. We’re handing out trophies and metals stripes for our jackets, maybe like pink lady jackets with black stripes down the sleeves. What are you getting those stripes for? Are you the kind of mom that makes wonderful lunch for your kids? Are you the kind of mom that plans out the perfect vacation for them? Are you the kind of mom who chooses not to fold the laundry, but sits on the couch and reads them books? Are you the kind of mom is agonizing over their schooling and trying to make the best decision for them thinking about their little and their friends and their future and trying to figure out what the right choice is for your family. What a gift you are.

I love how G.K. Chesterton sees the value of mothers and sees the enormity of the job and fully recognizes that the world does not celebrate it. But I want to celebrate you. That is one of the coolest things about working with a life coach is they just see how great you are. They see how far you’ve come and they celebrate wins with you. And if you don’t work with somebody in that capacity and want you to consider being that for some of your friends, I recently said that to a friend, she had packed all of this stuff and brought it to the beach and it was a lot of stuff. And I just said to her, you know what, you’re a great mom. It’s amazing that you did all of that so that your kids would have a wonderful day. And I don’t know if it meant anything to her.

And she might have been distracted and moving onto putting sunscreen to someone, but really like, I just saw how wonderful she was in that moment and how the world, wasn’t going to notice that the world wasn’t going to notice that she made sandwiches and she packed floaties and she made sure the kids had sun hats. So they didn’t burn was such a beautiful thing. And all of us are doing that all the time, but it’s not what we think about at the end of the day. At the end of the day, we have been trained to mostly focus on what we lack and what didn’t get done or any negative moments that happen throughout the day. So I want to encourage you not only to get to the end of the day and to build your own self up by noticing how far you’ve come. But I want to urge you to do that for your friends as well. Tell them what good moms they are. Tell them what a gift they are to their children. Tell them that you see how much heart they put in to their families. Let us be moms who build each other up, let us be moms who celebrate each other.

And you can do that for yourself every day, by just noticing how far I’ve come. What would Sterling give me an award for today? Because you know, I would, I would find something and I would clap for you. And I would tell you that you were a great mom. Thank you for loving your children so much. Thank you for this job that you’re doing. Thank you for serving the Lord in the way that he has asked you to. I think moms are superheroes. I think you are a superhero and I know that you were Made For Greatness.