Sunday, May 11, 2014

mothers day, as a mother who isn't perfect

Mothers Day isn't actually about me. It's not a day for me to sleep in and be pampered. It's not a day for me to pat myself on the back and say I'm an amazing mom. I'm not amazing. I usually try to be the best I can, but that's all I can ever ask for, no matter what day of the year it is. And to be honest, there are many days where "the best I can be" translates to just making sure everyone is fed and isn't sitting in poop [which can be made harder by the fact that I can't smell ;)]. I've been thinking how today is really about my loves: my husband and my children. Josh is my support, my co-captain, my first mate, my therapist, my life coach, my sugar daddy, my everything. I love him with all my heart, and I'm so grateful that he puts up with all the nonsense that comes along with work so that I can be spoiled with my children. My two miracle children... I never knew that I could love tiny human beings so much. And now that they are in my life, I realize that I take it for granted. I always told myself I would never take having kids for granted, but it just happened. You sort of slip into your role and before you realize it, you become complacent..

I've known too many people who have lost children these past few years, and it absolutely wrecks my heart. But in every instance, I find myself thinking that those sweet children had lived such amazing and full lives, even in their painfully-short existence. This makes me reflect on the lives my kids are currently living.. Are they having joyful lives? Am I doing enough? Am I focusing on the wrong things? As I've reflected on this tonight, I think I do need to shift my focus...

These past couple weeks I've found myself being harder on Henry. He's so smart and talking so much more that I forget he's just a two year old. That's practically a baby, really. But I have all these expectations of how he should behave, and therefore find it easier to get pushed to my limit. When really I just need to check myself and forget about all the extra stupid stuff that's going on, and just focus on what he needs. Obviously there is a balance that needs to be maintained so that I'm not neglecting myself or anything like that. But I don't think that's what's happening here.. I find myself raising my voice more than I used to, and more than I like. I worry more about squashing all his "bad behavior", and less about nurturing all his good qualities. [I'm sure my recent attempts to be healthier and eat less sugar may be adding to my shorter fuse, but I don't want to attribute my short-comings to that]. I need to have more patience and understanding, and try to understand the world through my children's eyes.

This Mother's Day, I have come to a realization that I need to reconnect with my inner child, and stop worrying so much about trying to be a perfect mom. Or having perfect children. The pressure associated with all that is far too much for my liking. My boys are babies--precious babies that at one point I didn't know I'd ever have. I need to stop taking their existence for granted, and make more out of this amazing experience that is being their mom. Play more, play on their level, and nurture their talents and interests. [Yes, babies can have talents/interests... have you ever seen how talented George is at smiling?!? That kid could light up a room! ;)]. I have an inkling that worrying less about being an amazing mother might actually make me a better mother. And I'm definitely open to that. ♥

And as far as Josh goes? I'm already a perfect wife, so that's one less pressure off of me ;P


Courtney B said...

I love you... And I love this! What a perfect reminder to just let kids be little! And to help them enjoy each stage as much as possible! You really are an amazing mom and I look up to you, girlfriend!

l i z said...

"I need to have more patience and understanding, and try to understand the world through my children's eyes." <--this is the mantra of young motherhood.
i remember when i first started getting impatient with Dinah after Maisie came along; i felt like such a failure as a mother. it's like i morphed into a totally different parent almost overnight. since then i've realized what you described. in fact i re-realize on an almost daily basis: to slow down and enjoy them and all their little kid ways. :)

l i z said...

...wait. there's more!
forgot to say that i have also become more patient with myself. children are remarkably forgiving. of course, we shouldn't verbally/physically abuse them, but they don't demand perfection from us and we shouldn't demand it of ourselves.
i think this is one of the key attributes of Christ-like love that is also child-like love: forgiveness. repent, make amends with your child and move on. it's not fair to our kids to continue to beat ourselves over the head with our past parenting mistakes when they've already forgiven us. they need us to be whole people now and to let the past go.
okay. now i'm done. :)

Laura Joyce Leavitt said...

I love this and you! It is all so true, and i loved our talk the other day about being holier women with our children. Really forgetting about all those worldly expectations we put on ourselves to be great mothers will make us the best mothers in the end. (hope that makes sense.) You are an amazing mom, wife and friend! I am so glad to have you in my life you are such an example to me.

angelina la dawn said...

such a sweet way to end your post!