Feeling accomplished

What does it mean to feel accomplished? And why are we focusing on that right now?

While this probably varies from person to person, for me, I feel accomplished when I know I’ve done something worthwhile. That can range from something I enjoy doing for myself to moments when I know I’m being a good mom. But at the end of the day, if I can look at two or three concrete times that I’ve focused on those things, I feel like I’ve done something.

Motherhood’s not about accomplishment, of course. It’s not about getting your kids into/through the most extracurriculars. It’s not about making sure your house is continually spotless (thank heaven!). It’s not about doing more than someone else.

But so much of motherhood is something you have to do over and over again, without anything to show for it: discipline (enforcing the same rule, delivering the same lecture, until it seems like you children must be incapable of understanding that it’s bad to hit or treat the baby like that—or possibly learning at all), housekeeping (nice clean clothes/room/child + kids = no more clean), cooking (it all gets eaten and you just have to make more in a few more hours—not to mention picky kids!). It can also feel a little Sisyphean pretty quickly.

Having something that you can look to at the end of the day and say “Hey, I did something today,” lets us know that we’re moving forward and not just spinning our wheels. Eventually, we will be able to look back on all these years as something that we “did” (we hope) (as if being a parent is ever “done”), but I want to find that sense of accomplishment amid the everyday work of motherhood.

As I was typing this, Rebecca reminded me how simple this can be. She struggled and climbed up to sit next to me on the loveseat. She scooted back to sit comfortably and looked up at me. “Me did it!” she proclaimed. Even a toddler understands the power of that feeling of accomplishment.

What do you think? What does it mean to feel “accomplished” to you? What makes you feel accomplished?

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2 thoughts on “Feeling accomplished

  1. I guess Rebeca explained very well… It´s about wanting to do something and being able to.

    I feel most accomplished when doing something valuable to others. Lately I´ve been reading a lot about how the meaning of life is on doing good to others.

  2. @Marilia—That’s a great way to phrase it. We accomplish a lot during the day, but it’s the wanting to that can make a big difference.

    (And a plug for motherhood: it’s service that is SO valuable to our children. It’s our greatest opportunity for good in the world, I believe.)

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