The Power of Language

Tessa Burns MartinParenting, Tessa Burns

As I sit to write this post, I feel like I have to be careful about the language that I choose because as I will discuss in this post, it is the energy or meaning behind the words you are using that will affect you.

I worry that my message may be controversial but I think I have to step out on a ledge to illustrate my important point.

On March 6, 2013 I became a mother of a beautiful baby boy. My world has been transformed as I embark on the journey of motherhood. My journey includes having to balance running a business with raising a child because my goals do not support a maternity leave.

I have been surprised how well I have adjusted to having to balance both roles. I am still working on that balance but what inspired me to write this post was when I realized I had made a clear distinction between working and motherhood.

When I do not have a working day, I consider it a “day off.” I highly enjoy these days where we just get to hang out together and do activities of our choosing. It was through these experiences that I started to reflect on using the word “work” to describe motherhood. We often associate the word “work” with obligations and counting down hours to time off. After all, would you apply to a job where the description would be something like this:

No experience needed, training on the job. Hours are not flexible and require a commitment to being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are no vacation days, no health benefits, and sick days are not possible.

By changing language to something more positive, you can change how you experience an event. Everyone has different associations to different words and I have yet to find a word that I feel adequately describes motherhood for me but I do know that I will not use the word “job” or “work” to describe motherhood because I don’t want to change how amazing I feel being able to raise this beautiful boy while still managing my business.

What words do you use to describe different aspects of your life that may be contributing to your stress in that area? Have you used negative words to describe areas which should be rewarding and positive?