No matter if your maternal label happens to be the “fun mom,” the “strict mom,” the “soccer mom,” or even the “PTA mom,” you can still be a Prepared Mom. I’m not talking about creating overenthusiastic to-do lists or making well-thought-out calendars (although, color-coded schedules are very appealing to me). It doesn’t have to mean prepping for the zombie apocalypse or carrying Mary Poppins’ seemingly never-ending bag of tricks, either. Being a Prepared Mom involves embracing a unique outlook and a certain state of mind.

Here are 11 revealing insights into the lives and the minds of perceptive moms…with a plan.

1. She’s soft, but firm.

Her love for her family is as big as love can get. But she’ll hear you out and consider your thoughts, especially if you do the same for her. She realizes that everyone has a story. But she also realizes that her time, her ideas, and her efforts are valuable, and she refuses to let others abuse that.

2. She stays confident.

A Prepared Mom is not distracted by meaningless quips or day-to-day letdowns. She holds her head high in adversity and in challenge. And she’s a superb role model of self-reliance and self-assurance for her children.

3. She plays fair.

This mom doesn’t play favorites, and she doesn’t take that kind of nonsense, either. Life’s too short. She prefers to be reasonable and rational and listen to all sides.

4. She considers worst-case scenarios.

The Prepared Mom sometimes plays the devil’s advocate. But she doesn’t wallow in anxiety or cling to argument; she plans ahead for probable and possible worst-case scenarios with the correct supplies, attitude, and actions. That first-aid kit in the car and the CPR certification in her purse? Those are just a few things she’s thought about! “Better safe than sorry” is one of her favorite mantras.

5. She uses great resources.

The world is at her fingertips, and she often seeks out expert advice and answers, in person and online. She loves Pinterest, but she doesn’t beat herself up about reaching perfection or about doing everything herself. This woman knows how to delegate, how to barter for goods and services, and how to use her time wisely. And she’s got the reserves, the methods, and the means to get things done.

6. She teaches manners and safety rules…and lives by them, too.

It’s never a case of “Do what I say and not what I do” with this mom. She expects—and represents—the upstanding, law-abiding, and well mannered, across the board.

7. She follows her instincts.

The Prepared Mom is not afraid to listen to her intuition—for hinting of good or warning of danger. Her perceptions are most often spot-on. She doesn’t waste time second-guessing herself or living a life of regrets.

8. She takes time for herself.

This well-balanced momma knows how hard she works, and she knows when to carve out time for a manicure, a book, a workout, or a shopping trip…so she doesn’t burn out. When she balances and juggles this amount of items this well, she’s got to know when to recharge!

9. She knows her varied roles and plays them well.

The Prepared Mom doesn’t just star in the part of parental figure. She knows that she wears many hats—sometimes all at once—at work and at home…from disciplinarian to teacher to first responder.

10. She owns a gun and trains regularly.

That’s right—this mom is packing! She’s proud of her Second Amendment right, and she takes it upon herself to be knowledgeable and ready. Her family is counting on her. The Prepared Mom never backs down; she rises to the occasion, and she arms herself with knowledge…and with a firearm.

11. She goes the extra mile for her family.

As if she doesn’t already do enough, the Prepared Mom always takes it one step further. That last piece of pie she was secretly hoping to eat? Her two children are now sharing it. That DVD she wanted to buy? She used the cash to spring for a family outing to the movies. That extra hour of sleep? She woke up early, instead, to make a special birthday breakfast. Being a Prepared Mom is often a life of self-sacrifice, but she knows it’s all worth it. And she’d be willing to do it all again.

So don’t ever underestimate the Prepared Mom. Her mind is always churning. And her heart is always giving. And she just actually might be ready for the end of the world!

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