It's mother's day, today, and it's a great day to celebrate our mom's and our grandma's and to teach our kids the "importance" of celebrating and thanking the special women in their life...but, it has really gotten me thinking about what makes a good mom! My sister asked me that question a few months ago and it has 1/2 haunted and 1/2 spurred me on for an answer since then!
these all seem to me to be "mommy" moments...big sister's, mom's, grandma's, great-grandma's snuggling, enjoying, holding, playing with and cuddling babies!
But, I'm still left wondering- what am I striving and working and yearning towards?? Are all of my sweat and tears and exhaustion getting me anywhere?
Would I be a better Mom if my kids wore clean, adorable matching clothes? Would I be a good mom if their faces were always washed, their hair was always brushed, their teeth were always clean, never ran in church and spouted off Bible verses at every turn? Really, truly- what does make a good Mom?? There's been a lot of talk, lately, about "mommy wars" and mom's competing and trying to "one-up" each other and somehow be better and do more and have better kids and we all know that's not what it's about, but if it isn't- then what is?? Am I a great mom because all my kids survive the day? Or am I a bad mom because that's sometimes all I can say I accomplished that day? Am I a good mommy because I nurse my twins?? Or a bad mom because I take the time away from Hailey and Jack to do that? Am I a bad mommy because I only nursed the older 2 for 10 months? Am I a bad mommy because I don't teach them their colors or their alphabet or take them to storytime? Am I somehow ruining them for life because I don't have the time and attention to give each of them? Or does all of that somehow make me a good mom?? Is the best I have to give- good enough?
I love that the group of mom's that I hang out with don't try to pretend that they have it all together. I love that we're all so different and that we all do "great" mommy things that look different from each other, because then we can learn from each other- we can teach each other things, but sometimes that leads to us questioning and critiquing our own parenting. It's hard not to compare. It's hard not to think that what we're doing is somehow better or worse than what another mom is doing.
Being a Mom is just hard, exhausting and scary work and I think that's why we're always striving and working at it...we want to be a great Mom and we want to do what's best for our kids.
In my "quest" to know what a good mom is- I asked this question of an older, wiser woman in our church and this is what she said to me, "Jenni, stop striving and doing and working towards being a good Mom. First and foremost you need to take the time to read your Bible each and every day- do whatever it takes to do that! Then, you just need to relax and enjoy being a Mom." I'm so thankful for that advice and I'm so thankful that it came, now, when I needed to hear it the most! There are plenty of days here where I just need to take a step back, put a movie in, get a few moments to myself to read my Bible, then turn off the tv and snuggle with my kiddos or build a fort with the blankets or go for a walk (or leave the tv on and snuggle up). I need to wrestle with my little boy, bake cookies with my daughter or let her brush my hair. I need to remember that wise piece of advice and just enjoy being a Mom and leave the rest up to God! Because, after all, being a Mom is hard and exhausting work and we might as well enjoy it as much as we can :)
I hope and pray that you can enjoy being a Mom, especially today!!