Moms, Take Care of Yourself! A Lesson from the Motherboard


motherboardaI’m not all that “techy,” but I am a tad quirky. I can find a life lesson in just about anything. My dad is an I.T. guy, and he has spoken much about this thing in computers (or electronic devices) commonly referred to as “the motherboard.” From what he says, it is the heart of the computer and it must be taken care of. From the motherboard, every wire, circuit, and fuse in an electronic device connects and communicates. My dad said when the motherboard functions properly, anything else slightly dysfunctional is a non-issue and can easily be fixed. On the contrary, when the motherboard fails, everything else in the computer will fail. A broken motherboard can be a complicated mess.

There is something about the motherboard I liken to motherhood. And it’s not just the glaringly obvious use of the word mother. (Although, even that is quite symbolic when we think about it.) Rather, it is the value and care of the motherboard I find myself considering most in relation to moms.

My dad says the most frequent cause for motherboard failure is overheating. He said motherboards are built strong and designed to handle its critical responsibilities. However, some threats against the motherboard’s optimum efficiency are greater than others. He shared many causes for failure, which subtly remind me of the pressures of motherhood. Mothers are strong, yet when we go and go and go, we can set ourselves up for overheating. Build-up and spills of frustration settle on the inside. Whether it’s juggling a sick baby (or two), trouble with the in-laws, a crazy co-worker, an unpaid bill or just minimal sleep . . . our woes result in emotional highs and lows, or “surge inconsistency.” It is easy to overlook the signs before overheating. The frustration happens beneath the surface, yet the impact will eventually affect our day to day.   

The best advice my dad gives to his clients about any motherboard is this: Understand its value. No matter what the device looks like on the outside, remember it is the health of the motherboard (the inside) that brings the device to life. Caring for the motherboard is damage prevention for the rest of the unit.

So, moms – take care of yourself. Many times mothers are so busy taking care of others, they forget the value of their own health and wellness. Expectations, fears, desires, and goals push and press us in other directions. We want to do everything right and get everything right, executing every idea that comes to our brilliant mother minds. We push through in sickness, sadness, and stress. We know our optimum self is getting lost in the shuffle, but we don’t stop. We won’t stop. We get tired and exhausted and become less fun and familiar to our family and friends. The relentless quest or pressure to be the “best” or stay charged often works contrary to the healthy function of our family.

IMG_6722aIt is okay to pay attention to what is on the inside. Think of yourself as the motherboard. What happens when your computer or device starts acting a little wonky, stalling and defusing due to internal malfunctions? What will help you defuse or operate smoothly and consistently again? You were designed uniquely for your family. You are strong and capable of meeting every responsibility for your family. Recognize your value and give yourself permission to tune up, restart, or power down. Give yourself permission to say “No,” “Not at this time,” “I can’t,” “I need rest,” and “Because my family needs me” to the external wires pulling at your circuits. In other words, make yourself a priority. Allow yourself the opportunity to adjust the expectations you have of yourself and even your family if necessary. Prioritize your time based on what you believe is important about motherhood – not what others believe.

The amazing thing about the motherboard is when it is healthy, no matter what else may need adjustment, the device is considered healthy. It is the same for the mothers.

When you are healthy, no matter what else may need adjustment, your family will be healthy, too.


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