From the time I could talk I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was going to be a mom, but not just any mom, I was going to be a GREAT mom! Fast forward 35 years or so, and here I am- mom to four wonderful kiddos. SO, how’s that GREAT mom thing going? Well…. sometimes we get so busy with the everyday rush, we don’t take the time to slow down and consider how things are actually going. How are we doing in light of our families and our children? What things are we doing well and what things are we bombing? I took some time today to answer two questions regarding my life as a mom- it was hard, but a good way to pause and reflect on my journey as a parent. Take a moment and check in with yourself- feel free to join me with your own answers in the comments.
What is one thing you feel like you are doing really well as a mother? You know. Like if it was the only category, you would totally win Mother of the Year?
Wow… Mother of the Year… isn’t that every mom’s dream?? I often wonder when my kiddos get older what is it that they are going to remember from these tender young years. Will it be the days at the park, swinging free above the trees, with mommy pushing them “higher, higher”? Will it be the evenings we’ve spent sitting together on the couch reading some favorite old books, laughing and sharing thoughts and time? Or… will it be the 500 times a day I yell for them to “STOP RUNNING IN THE HOUSE” or “CLEAN UP THE TOYS”? Will it be the days when I’ve been too busy for a puzzle or tea party with my princess?
I often wonder if the good times will be shadowed with the stressful, hard days in which we live today and that their memories of childhood will not be the warm, peaceful ones I hope they have. Then I remember… in the midst of my childhood with my mom- being a single parent, going to school, and working full time– that most of my memories are good, sweet ones. The trip to the mountains that lasted for days and the few favorite home cooked meals she prepared with love. I know the hard times are in my memories somewhere, but the love in the good ones overwhelms them all. So I have hope… that my kiddos are going to remember life as a child as full, full of fun, full of laughter, and full of love.
So… what is something I feel that I am doing well as a mom? I would have to say my attempt to always be here for my children, to be present with them everyday- regardless of what the world might throw at me. To create a warm, loving, joy-filled home full of peace and laughter and fun. To allow my children to grow and blossom into the fullness that they are intended to be- free from restraints of my ambitions and dreams for them. My attempts to support their passions and draw out of them the best they are in everything they do. I hope, and often pray, that these things will rise to the surface of their life experiences and carry them, propelling them on, toward fulfilling their wildest dreams.
What is one area in which you feel you are struggling to do well as a mom? Something that you feel like you keep trying to improve, but you think you might be totally failing?
It is never fun to look at your life and recognize areas of weakness, especially in the area of motherhood. For me this is an easy question though… I know what my weaknesses are and they are glaringly obvious in my life. I am a free-spirited person- scheduling, structure, and discipline are not strong qualities that I possess. I know that as a mom if I am not disciplined then my children will tend to show a lack of discipline as well…. and they do. My lack of ability to follow a schedule is a struggle for my little guy who needs structure to function well. I LOVE making schedules and charts and lists, complete with little pictures and quotes for motivation. I will start a new schedule for us with the best of intentions, but then a whim catches hold and the whole thing goes to pieces.
I think that my free spirited way allows my children to become exactly what it is they are meant to be, however, as a mom, it is my responsibility to instill in them all the qualities that will serve them well later in life. Self-discipline is such a vital part of the puzzle and not one that can be cast aside. I do love how motherhood stretches me in the most uncomfortable ways. Our children are such a beautiful reflection of the very best and the very worst that we possess- all in a sweet, snuggly package that makes the worst not seem so bad. So, as I journey on as a mom, I know that as my children are refined, my own self changes and grows as well. One of the unexpected bonuses of parenthood.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share with me your thoughts on mothering and parenthood. I love to hear from you!