How 9 Characteristics Of A Successful Mom Applies To Dreams

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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How 9 Characteristics Of A Successful Mom Applies To DreamsIt’s Mother’s day today and I was thinking about successful mother skills.

Working your dream will feel like a mom caring for a baby.

Raising your dream can be just as exhausting as raising kids.

Hell – you’ll be feeding it at 2:00 in the morning with lists, books, planning and writing if you really love it.

So I thought about how we can apply successful mothering skills to our dreams.

Here are my 9 characteristics of a successful mom and how to apply them to the raising of dreams –

1. A successful mom develops clear communicative expectations.

Take the time to sit down and map out your dream. If your big dream is Z, then start with steps A – Y and create a plan. Set weekly goals, monthly goals and milestones and have an end date in mind. Check in with yourself and offer an honest assessment of how you are doing and fix what isn’t working.

2. A successful mom doesn’t expect perfection either from themselves or their child.

Stop procrastinating and take action towards your dream. Stop waiting for the perfect situation/time/experience before you begin. Start your dream right where you are. Nothing is ever perfect. Do the best that you can and let the chips fall where they may. Don’t hold your dream to some perfect standard, or you might never start working your dream.

3. A successful mom doesn’t fear occasional failures.

Failure can be a by-product of trying. Remember how many times you fell learning to roller skate? You weren’t perfect when you started, but you got better with practice. The same is true of your dream. The more you work on it – the more successes you’ll have. If you fall, get out the mother in you and tell yourself to get right back up and try again.

4. A successful mom doesn’t expect to have smooth sailing.

Remain calm in the midst of turmoil. Sometimes dreaming can break your heart. Sometimes it doesn’t work. There’s disappointments and setbacks and roadblocks oh my. Remain calm. Get some rest. Start again. That’s what the mom in you should advise. Listen to her.

5. A successful mom doesn’t go it alone.

Find your tribe. Find the people who will support your dream. Your dream needs other people to help bring it to life – find the people who will help you make your dream come true.

6. A successful mom tries harder – they’re consistent.

Have a clear sense of priority for your dream and be willing to put in the time to achieve it. Give more time than the average dreamer so your dream will be more than just average. Work at developing your dream to be the best dream you can possibly make. Don’t shortchange your dream by putting it last on your list of to-dos. Give your dream the time it richly deserves.

7. A successful mom enjoys being a mother.

Enjoy your dream – even if it’s hard or not instantly rewarding. Savor every day you spend working on it. Immerse yourself in your dream as much as possible and just enjoy it – even the days of rejections, disillusionment and disappointments. Don’t just LIKE your dream – LOVE your dream process and look forward to spending time working on it.

8. A successful mom strives to be the person they want their children to become.

Be dependable to your dream. Show up for it when you say you are going to show up. Honor your commitments. Write on the day you plan to write. Exercise when you say you are going to. Take the training you promised your dream you’d take. Be a friggin’ dream role model.

9. A successful mom uses praise.

Celebrate your accomplishments. Celebrate your small steps. Reward yourself when you haven’t let fear get in the way of your dream. Get a manicure. Get a massage. Take a day off and go to the beach. Do something that says thank you to you.

Being an effective parent to your dream requires dedication, attention, love, and a commitment. Your dream can be time consuming, but success offers sweet rewards in the long run. Effective mothering of your dream isn’t for the faint of heart.

Your dream will prosper when devotion and effort is put into it’s upbringing.



  • Great article, very useful for goal setting and working on a dream – thanks.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    Thank you Marcia. Where were you when I was thinking these up and doing my research? ;-)

    We definitely have to take our dreams (and parenting) one day at a time.

    Thank you for your comment.


  • I think you could make a 10th Characteristics Of A Successful Mom to Apply, which I think many moms in general have adopted as a mantra, is to take your dream one day at a time. And yes, with a vision intact and goals set, taking it one day at a time gives us the peace of mind that we need to move our dreams in the direction we want it to go. Great analogy. Marcia

  • Catherine

    Thank you Lisa for your loving support.

    When I became sick from Hashimotos disease my thoughts were scrambled and my writing became dyslexic. Until the right medications were found, I had to keep writing and forget perfection. I missed many errors that I just didn’t see, but the writing helped my mental state so much that I had to keep on writing.

    It was like I needed to keep the brain connections going until I began to recover. Once the medication started to work, the dyslexic writing began to dissipate. (for the most part ;-) )

    The exercise taught me a lot about just doing it. Sometimes readers of my mom blog would give me a hard time about my mistakes, but I just ignored them and continued on. It was more important back then that I write – not that I was writing perfect. From those mistakes my writing changed and I became a humor mom blogger.

    You are the best.


  • Really loved this tips Cath! This one is the one I need to constantly remind myself about: “2. A successful mom doesn’t expect perfection either from themselves or their child.”

    As a “Recovering Perfectionist” I have to watch out for that little Dominatrix on my shoulder ;) who wants to tell me I’m not enough. So for me moving forward with my dreams no matter what and not fearing mistakes really is the key. And keeping the joy and fun in the process!

    Love ya and all that you do for us fearless leader – you rock!


  • Catherine

    It’s not for the faint of heart that’s for sure!

  • Heather, the e-commerce builder

    Cath – thanks for the reminder that EVERY endeavor worth having does take a work. Most of the time, more work than we ever expected.

    Kids AND dreams is another great reminder… there are many women I talk to that don’t really believe you can manage both at once.

    Here’s to commitment – and 2 am feedings of all kinds!
    – Heather