But why? It’s a common question for moms and dads of young ones. As exhausting and repetitive as it can be when you’re just trying to get them clean at the end of the day, it’s actually a really useful question to ask yourself as a parent, preferably when you’re not exhausted by a full day of handling all the things (but the answer can be useful in that exact moment!)

Life can start to feel a bit like the movie Groundhog Day, with one day blending into the next, a seemingly endless train of meals, laundry, and driving. Connecting with the reason behind your commitment to showing up day after day not only makes the chores feel more meaningful, but it also lightens the load a bit. When you feel really connected to the reason behind the work of it all, it gets a little less mundane and a lot more meaningful.

Uncovering your why is a crucial component to discovering the meaning behind anything you do, and especially the things that have really hard parts, like parenting. Spend some time this Summer discovering your why, your real why, and you’ll both have fun in the process, and uncover more depth in every part of your life that has true meaning for you.

So, how do you find your why? It can feel a bit elusive and tricky to put your finger on. One great way to explore your why is by setting aside some time to journal about it. Maybe you wake up a few minutes early a couple of days a week, or find a cozy corner after the kids have gone to bed to do some train-of-thought writing. 

A really simple way to start uncovering, or remembering, your why, is by simply asking yourself the following questions, and writing down what comes to mind:

  • What is important to me about being a good parent/spouse/friend?
  • Why do I show up every day for my family/community?
  • What matters to me about having meals together as a family?
  • Why do I do all this (driving, cooking, cleaning, etc) every day?
  • Why is it important to me to be less reactive toward my kids or my partner?
  • At the end of my life, what do I want to be able to say I accomplished as a parent?

When you’re in the trenches of life, it can feel hard to see and feel the bigger picture of it all. Exploring the answers to these questions will start you down the path of greater meaning in the many moments that fill each day.