Pretty much every company or organization has a mission statement (at least the ones that are serious about what they do). This statement outlines their goals and vision – their mission, their reason for existence. So, why is it that moms and dads rarely put together a mission statement when they become parents?
The mission statement that Captain Picard would voice in the beginning of each episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” comes to mind: “These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange, new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
The mission statement was short, but clear, right? Maybe it would be a good idea to write up a mission statement for yourself as a parent. You could start by taking a few clues from the above mission statement.
Parenting is a continuing mission, to be sure. It’s not a task for the faint-hearted or for those who would like to work 9 to 5 and then do their own thing for the rest of the hours in their day. But it also continues to bring in its own set of rewards.
Parenting is also a strange, new world. Ask any brand new mother or father, as they go around in a sort of daze, not really sure whether it is day or night, much less what day or the week it is. Of course, those details eventually sort themselves out, but once you enter the world of parenting, life is never the same as it was before.
Once you have created a new life and brought it into the world, you need a measure of boldness and a dose of courage to keep you going forward. A mission statement could help you do just that.
Start writing up your own mission statement by asking yourself a few questions:
What do I most want my children to learn from me?
What is my greatest joy in parenting?
Which routines or traditions do I want to recreate from my own childhood?
What kind of adult do I want my child to grow up to be one day?
Then, put together some short, basic statements:
Above all else, I want my child to be happy.
I want my child to know that I love spending time with him or her.
I hope to teach my child, by my example, what it means to be an honest, authentic person.
Basically, your mission statement will outline what you hope to accomplish as a mother or a father. It will describe your priorities and values as a parent. Although there are many outcomes that you have no control over, having a mission statement will enable you remain focused on the things that are most important to you.
Creating a mission statement for parenting will help you remember the overall goals and vision you have for yourself as you raise your child. All the best as you embark on your continuing mission! May you boldly go where no other has gone before!
Bonita Jewel – Editor, wife, & parent