Sunday, October 10, 2010

What kind of Mother do you want to be?

I don't usually post personal stuff on this blog. I try to keep it craft-oriented. I worry about getting too "involved" with the blog world. Some people don't want to know my inner most thoughts and feelings about things. I understand that. I feel the same way sometimes.

Sometimes, though, I have these little thoughts and wonder what others out there would think if I asked them certain questions that pop up in my mind.

I think it shows a certain respect and trust I have for you guys, that I can put words to thoughts swimming around in my brain, and expect answers from you.

Hubs and I went out on a date last night. I real, one-on-one date. No kids. Just us two. We had a wonderful time shopping and eating at a fancy restaurant. We tried to find a reason for all the excess and decided some good events at Hubs work were reason enough!

During dinner, we had a good conversation. A miracle! And, I'm sure we all have thoughts on motherhood. I know a lot of my thoughts are, "man, I'm a crappy mom. I could be so much better!" Are yours like that, too?

I posed this question to my Hub, and guess what he said? Not, "no, you are the best mom in the whole world!" or, "our kids are lucky to have you as their mother!"

Not my hubby. He's as honest as they come. I think that's one of the reasons I love him so much. Or that I like to throw toys at his head sometimes.

On this occasion, he asked me "well, what kind of mom do you want to be?"

And you know what? I didn't know how to answer him. I mean, I always knew I would be a mom. I knew I would stay home with my kids, too.

But, if I'm going to be honest, I never really thought past that. It's kind of like waiting your whole life to get married and after you have your wedding, you wonder....now what?

I love my kids. With all my heart. But, what kind of mother do I want to be to them?

The kind that plays with them? The kind that bakes with them? The kind that helps them with their homework or piano or sports? The kind that reads to them and teaches them at every opportunity? The kind that shows them how to serve or how to be gracious in defeat?

Or do I want to be the kind of mom that admits she's not a cook and doesn't enjoy it in the least? Or the kind that encourages them to go outside at every opportunity and when I join them I end up doing yard work? Do I want to be the kind of mom that encourages reading but then hustles them out of the library because they all have to go to the bathroom, or one of them is running around, hiding from me and the other is yelling at the top of her lungs?

I think you know where I'm going with this.

I feel like I'm just trying to survive mommy-hood right now....and really, I should be enjoying it a bit more. Sometimes, it's important for me to remember that even though these kids take up a lot of our time and energy, they are only ours for so long before they leave and go off on their own. Sure, they'll come back every once in awhile. But right now, they want to be with us. They want to give us hugs and kisses and spend time with us. And I think remembering that makes all the difference.

But, still...I want to know....and I'm still trying to figure it out...

What kind of Mother do you want to be?

17 comments:

  1. hi meg- i found this very refreshing as i, too, have to step back somtimes and remind myself that i want the kids best memories of me to be of us doing things together, not me raking leaves while they ask me to push them on the swing. that does happen, but i should take more time as i only get this chance once. and they won't want me around to do activities together forever. we had all better savor the time we have with our kids... and it doesn't have to be by doing special activities, but just doing activities together.

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  2. Love this, Meg. I know what you mean about not wanting to get "too personal" in blogland, but when you do, it's amazing how much love and support resonates around you. We are pretty much all in the same boat. And that's an awesome feeling.
    I, too, need a constant reminder to live in the moment--let go of the stress and the control and just ENJOY each moment. It's already going by so fast. I feel like I get these little reminders in "blogland" a lot, and I'm so thankful for that!

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  3. i love this little reminder of doing things with my kids...too often I find myself in the same boat of just trying to get through the day! I want my kids to remember that mom did stuff with them not watched from a distance.

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  4. I feel like this ever single day. It's a yucky feeling to not be the mother I want to be. :(

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  5. I love blogland... you don't ever have to feel alone! When I had young children years ago I would feel isolated... you young moms are so fortunate to have the opportunity to have this forum and be able to share your feelings. I know it helps in the hard times. What kind of mother do I want to be? An open hearted, open arms kind of mother. Always willing to be open to the needs of my children (even tho all 4 of them have different ones).

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  6. Hey girlie! Thanks. We do get stuck in the whole mom routine sometimes and forget how precious these little people really are. I just want my kids to think of me as a mom they can play with, a mom who loves them, a mom who is happy, a mom who will listen, a mom who is always there no matter what! Thanks for helping me to take a step back for a second. Good luck to you! I think a great mom is always trying to be better mom. SO, I'm guessing you are great:)

    Jennie @ CInnaberry Suite

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  7. This --> "I feel like I'm just trying to survive mommy-hood right now....and really, I should be enjoying it a bit more". *sigh* Now I must take one of the toddlers to the dentist and then head to work. Then come home and make dinner, and do baths and put them to bed and... I just hope that amidst all the hustle and bustle of our lives that we all have a few laughs in there too. It's hard, but I do my best. Thanks for keeping it real.

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  8. That is a great question!! I am struggling a bit, ok a lot, right now as well. I am at the point where I am going through the motions and like you said "surviving! It is so hard and I struggle with it everyday. Life is so busy that I want to spend time with the kids and actaully enjoy that time, but on the same note, I am still trying to carve a place into this world for me. Does that make me selfish? I don't know, I hope not. I want to be honest with them and have the patience that they need. I try and sometime I do well and sometimes not! Hang in there, I think we all feel the same way at times! Hugs!

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  9. I truly appreciate your honesty in this post. Anyone who cares as much as you do about being a good mom is a good mom! The point is, you care and that is being a mom.

    For me, the mom I want to be is a mom who is honored and privileged to be part of her child's journey in becoming who God wants him/her to be. My role is to encourage him/her to pursue this journey. It's not about how I did things or who I wanted but didn't get to be. It's about recognizing each kid's uniqueness and respecting it, giving them room to grow and flourish uniquely as themselves, with guidance from their parents.

    That's the way I see it!

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  10. Interesting post. This sentence struck a cord with me: "It's kind of like waiting your whole life to get married and after you have your wedding, you wonder....now what?"
    See, for me, I don't feel like I waited my whole life to get married. On the contrary, surrounded by divorce growing up, getting married wasn't so high on my list. But I ALWAYS wanted to be a Mom. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I didn't become a Mom until I was 36 -- so I had many years to observe friends who are parents, and contemplate how I would be as a Mom. There is a lot of down side to being an "older" mom, but perhaps this is one of the benefits. I know myself, I know my values, and although kids change everything, the basics of my parenting "philosophy" are pretty solid.
    But hey, it's a work in progress. My kid makes me surprise myself. (AWESOME)

    And FWIW, I think some of the BEST moms are the ones who feel like they are crappy -- simply because they care so much and set such high standards for themselves. Seems to me you are very likely a WONDERFUL mom. Cheers!

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  11. Great thoughts on being a mommy, I am kind of past the point of little kiddos around but it is amazing to me the memories that my grown married children have of me. They say, you were always dancing and putting on plays and videoing the plays that we were making up. You were always in the stands watching our games etc, etc, I am so glad that they don't remember first all of the sreaming to keep there rooms clean and all of the bad things that I remember of being a Mom. I think kids remember Mom just being there and having fun with them. I don't remember the dancing, although when times get hectic I did put the music on and dance with them. Just keep up the good work and you will be amazed at the memories they will have of you! Thanks for your nice comments on my blog!

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  12. Your husband asked a GREAT question. Kuddos to him (does anyone say "kuddos" anymore?) for challenging you like that!

    It would take me FOREVER to answer this question, so I won't even fill up your blog comments like that! But I will say that if it means enough for you to think about it and post about it, then you're probably on the right track!

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  13. I just had to respond. I think this was a great post. I know that I struggle everyday to enjoy my kids more. I sometimes feel like I am going through the motions. People will say, 'you are so patient' or 'it is great that you are home with them all day' and I think, I am not patient, I am good at pretending to be patient and while I know it is nice for the kids to have full mommy access, mommy sometimes wishes for a valium, a hot bath and a long nap. Don't be so hard on yourself, but if the kind of mom you want to be isn't exactly where you are, try changing one thing a week. For instance, my mom always kept a spotless house, but she never had time to play with us and we were never allowed to play anywhere except our rooms. I am the opposite. My house looks like toys r' us exploded in here. I don't mind a bit as long as we aren't sprouting mold. It boils down to what you want your kids to learn and remember.

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  14. I guess I am the Mom I thought I’d be. I didn’t have much frame of reference growing up other than knowing exactly who I *didn’t* want to be. So, to my 2 boys (8 and 14)….I’m the Mom they ended up with, by default.

    I’m the Mom who cries for the boy’s hurt feelers but makes him go in there and stick it out anyway.
    I’m the Mom who is brutally honest but tells little white lies when I need to.
    I’m the Mom who would crack someone in half if I thought they were hurting my baby but made my sons apologize for hitting.
    I’m the Mom who makes them snort milk out of their noses at the dinner table but whispers “We are in a RESTAURANT, dammit.”
    I’m the Mom who made sure they got a puppy to grow up with but makes them walk it.
    I’m the Mom who negotiates with Dad when he is being unreasonable but knows that when Daddy says “No way!” that I should commiserate with the requestor.
    I’m the Mom that gets all her boy’s friends. I’m the *cool* Mom but I’m also the one who turned the hose on them all during a birthday party for swearing and calling each other “GAY”.

    I knew from the start I was going to be a work in progress….kinda like my kids. I’ve never ever let them think I’m perfect, they’d see right through me. I guess I’m happy to be learning and failing along with them….enjoying our successes and knowing that they are teaching me more than I could ever teach them.

    I love your blog, you are so refreshing.

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  15. I was the mom who never so much as went on an anniversary dinner or vacation without the kids. We took them everywhere, did everything with them, and had them help with chores so we'd all have play time together. They had a hand in decorating, meal planning, shopping, gardening, and it made it all more fun.

    Now they're 19, 17, and 16. We get our occasional date nights because they have plans with their friends. But we also know they don't drink, they're hanging out at someone's house with the parents, who I'm friends with, in attendance, and they have honor roll or better grades.

    And Saturday night will find them all piled on the couch with us for popcorn and a movie. Voluntarily.

    I'm happy with how we did it.

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  16. It's like you took the words right out of my mouth! Wish I had some wisdom for you on that one, but I'm still trying to figure it all out myself. My kids are 1 and almost 3, and I still don't know what I'm doing as a mom! It's so easy to focus on all the things you're NOT doing instead of those you are.

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  17. This is my first time to your blog, but now I'll be following you! What a great post. What kind of a mom do I want to be?
    "I feel like I'm just trying to survive mommy-hood right now" - that is me exactly. My 3rd is almost 7 months old, then a 3 year old and a 5 year old. I'm exhausted all the time, and I feel like I'll never catch up. However, a good friend told me that she plans deliberately. She wants her kids to remember fun things about her; and so, I am trying to do at least one or two really fun things each day. Sometimes it's little, like reading a book. Other days we go to the park for a picnic. But like someone else said, I know what kind of a mom I do NOT want to be, so when I catch myself being lazy, I have to redirect my energy. And stop blog-surfing! ;) Thanks so much for the thoughts. I'll be reviewing this a lot I think!

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