Mothering Leadership

In whichever form they are, parents are leaders – leaders of the children and the family unit, however that looks like.  From this premise, I have always believed parents have an innate requirement to be learners, growth orientated and willing to adapt to meet the children, the role, and lead the family to the desired goal of creating a loving, nurturing home.

Unfortunately, this idea is radical in my family and many others.  It is interesting how this one life role, which has such an impact on the next generation, relies on old thinking, outdated rules, and referring to external authorities to be significant leaders.  Deflective parenting, because it’s how society has operated for so many centuries.

I can see how pure religion and spiritual theory are helpful; their basic premise is to love your neighbour and treat everyone in high regard. Support, nurture, and let go of ego needs to be right, overly protective to the point of disagreements, fights, and war.

Another interesting point is the old texts speak of ego in their stories. The dilemma isn’t new, yet the point of living and loving from unconditional love is still expressed as a new concept, encouraged and on the fridge of everyday thought. It is seen as religious and, by association, boohooed, ignored, and threatened because religion has a bad rap.

Let’s come back to leadership.  In the business world, leaders are highly regarded and sought after.  Those special people with experience, wisdom, and people skills; can juggle many different moving parts and still display genuine empathy and translate the organisation’s mission so each person ‘gets it’.  Who else comes to mind?

Mothers?  Ok, not all. 

Leaders, though, start in the gunner’ run, at the lower rung of the hierarchical ladder. They chose to expand their skills, knowledge, and emotional intelligence to engage with those entrusted to them and build cohesive teams towards an objective goal.  Some had leadership thrust on them; others actively chose to make improvements or make leadership an active skill set in their tool kit.  The one thing in common, no matter how they started – forced, coerced, or chosen- they developed new skills and knowledge and practised the information into wisdom.

This is why I find parenting archaic.  We are not openly encouraged to learn communication, parenting, and emotional intelligence, let alone change the beliefs inflicted on us while growing up.  Personal development in our realm isn’t encouraged as much as in employment, yet the impact is more significant!!

Today’s message, and I guess for a few days coming, will be challenging the idea that we are ok to keep doing what families have done forever!!  Yet, our society, demands, and expectations have shifted. Today’s world demands different coping, inter-relating, and belief systems. The challenge and offer are to step into the leadership role of our families. Yes, this is scary, challenging, and does push all the buttons.  It is true, that most mothers and parents are:

  • uninitiated for the role
  • don’t have secure, healthy role models to look towards
  • our friends are of the same age and experience and have similar source contacts.
  • We are not encouraged, supported, or at worse, frowned upon for making positive, educated, informed and empowered changes in ourselves as parents with the intent to create a robust and healthy foundation for our children and future generations.

It is my opinion! Mine, and I will own this as holding myself accountable without judgement onto others, that as a parent, I am responsible for what I bring to the family, to the role of mother, the leader of the home from the space of mother love.

I didn’t do mothering well at first and made many royal F## ups, yet, I chose to learn, heal, own my issues, fears, lies, and limiting beliefs and see how I, as the mother impacted the family relationships. How my past impacted the now, with my husband teaching the children what ‘love is’.

Yes, this did result in the family unit changing. I could have stayed in a loveless, incongruent relationship, not facing the dark truths that were untruths and monumental lies. Still, I chose to go in the opposite direction – to unlearn to learn how to live from love and my life’s purpose – explore the spiritual side of love and living unconditionally.

Am I there yet??  Many will say I do this or that ‘wrong’! I agree that I am often still triggered, annoyed, get frustrated, doubt myself, and take too much responsibility for others’ choices.  In defence, I learnt at a young age, ‘everything is my fault”, another story for another day.

  • But, I also choose to consider and see the other’s point of view and see beyond their behaviour as much as possible to see their heart space.
  • I also have skills and leadership insights that encourage others to see and become the greater parts of themselves.
  • I am very open and seek to learn.  Have different conversations, processes and ways to improve challenging situations.

For myself, see me beyond the lies I accepted, being unworthy of love, acceptance, and connection or a leader. As a young girl, at my core, I knew I was worthy of love and to be treated in much higher regard than I was. But the ‘evidence’ suggested otherwise. Now, full circling back to owning my gifts, talents, and ability to see people for what they are and support them to see it in themselves.

I wanted to teach my children to be authentic, real, and stand up for what is important to them.  Being aware of values and character traits is a bigger goal than following traditions. I wanted them to know why they do what they do and why they make decisions. Is this happening?  I can not answer that, yet, I can say, I have been an active example of how to live this way, and like employees, the children get to choose how they respond, internalise and interact with the bigger message provided by their leader.

In many ways, this is my life’s purpose.  To support, encourage and provide resources for others to step into their power, authenticity, and truth as they see it. To help them unlearn, learn and empower themselves so they too can create their life on their terms.   One of the best parts of this is that I love it.  I love seeing light bulb moments and hearing the changes that occur as a result.  Living a life filled with great conversations, pleasure, and being natural is very powerful, freeing even.”


Leah Marmulla
Leah Marmulla
Leah is a Personal Change Agent, an Author and loves to see others make empowered authentic choices. Creating alife on their Terms with confidence, self-confidence. Leah's mission is quite simply to help others take steps to walk their life journey. To teach, support, and share my knowledge around reducing the hold limiting beliefs and fears have in one's life. Enabling empowered choices to make choices based on consciously selected beliefs, values, and character traits. Philosophy: We have four primary 'parts' creating our life experiences. The mind and its ability to create links in the world and therefore 'think'. The body that moves and interacts in the world. Spirit or energy is noticed in our character, values, actions. Then the soul is our core and links us to divinity. Over time, our life experiences have created layers. Each layer either lifted us up or weighed us down, either reinforcing our beliefs or helping to loosen their hold over our lives. There are many ways in which life dampens our innate joy and peace. An unkind word, frightening experiences, cultural norms that devalue or make others less than. Often the result is we start to believe "I am not good enough at....."; "I must have ...... before I even can consider being happy, or fulfilled" etc. According to psychologists, our beliefs, by their very nature, frame our outlook on life, interactions with others, quality of life, workplace, and impact in our love relationships, family, and most importantly, ourselves.

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  1. Hi Alan, thank you for your reply and insight into what I shared. Yes, many do turn out pretty well, though I will suggest your family was blessed with your innate desire to learn through your leadership role that would have transcribed into your parenting style. Please forgive me if I have this incorrect.

    Many more families are lead by inexperienced and less trained in the art of basic areas. Communication, empathetic listening and implementation, genuine child encouragement or worse, children left to their own devices due to addictions, or emotionally/mentally absent parents.

    Our world is an interesting place of diversity, and part of my life purpose to to encourage individuals to create a life of meaning for themselves and this takes ownership, curiosity, commitment and unlearning and learning different skills to what they were exposed to as children.

    Thankfully, emotional intelligence and effective parenting is increasing, yet a long way to go.
    Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts, and please continue to do so.

  2. Hi Leah
    A very intriguing post.
    I have three children and two step children (all grown) and four grand children is varying stages of growth. I wish I could take your post with me back in time to start over again -that is until I really think abou it.

    I spent a lot of my working career with leadership development -training and coaching leaders -helping them build the sense of self and purpose, and emotional intelligence you describe.n Most parents don’t get any kind of training.

    Their parents and their parents friend may have advice “Put your babies on a schedule or they wiill put you on one.” “Let him cry it out.” But it sis’t systematic, nor usually thought out.

    Miraculously my kids turned out well. I’m sure they complain about me in therapy, but I think they are reasonably well adjusted. I do think community makes a big difference – “It takes a village”

    I hhope your piece reaches some who are thinking about how to parent and some who are thinking about how to develop as a leader.