Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the mom I'm not

I have quite a long list of blogs that come into my Google Reader.  This gives me great reading material as I unwind before bed.  I rarely read every post in every blog.  I love finding a blog where I have something in common with the author, maybe they are also a runner, or they have all daughters, or another working mom.  Sometimes I have nothing in common with them, but I enjoy their writing style or their take on life, or their life journey is fascinating. 

Sometimes though while reading blogs, I'm overwhelmed by the mom I'm not.  The mom I wish I was. 

I am not the mom who is doing anything related to Advent with her children.  I wish I was.  There are so many wonderful and easy ideas out there.  But finding the time to put it together, and having an opportunity each day to do it with the children--just isn't something I have the energy for.

I am not crafty.  I don't often do crafts with my children.  I don't do a good job decorating our home.  I see things I like.  I read blogs with great do-it-yourself ideas.  But I'm not a crafty mom.

I rarely get to volunteer at my daughter's school.

I have spent very little time teaching my almost 4-year old letters and numbers.

I laugh at my kids when I should probably discipline them.  I yell when I should be patient.  I don't follow through with consequences.

These, and so much more, are the mom I'm not.  It's easy to be disappointed in myself. To think I should try harder, do more.  Make more an effort.  Be more selfless. 

Yet, I can't be defined by the mom I'm not.  By the mom I think I should be. 

Because I am a mom who is helping provide a good future for my children.  And working is a huge dynamic in my mothering.  My heart is to be home with my children.  I believe one day, that will happen.  But for now, I believe I'm doing what God wants me to do.  My parents never owned a home.  We usually had cars that broke down all the time.  My parents weren't able to contribute to my college education.  I love my parents dearly and I loved my life.  But I have the opportunity right now, to set my family up differently and I don't want to waste it.

I am a mom who loves my children deeply.  My favorite thing is to be with them.  They are my priority.  Yes, I take time for myself; I run, go out for girls nights, rare date nights with my husband.  But these things make me a better mom, and I try to do them in such a way that has the least impact on my kids and my time with them.

I may not be crafty or good at imaginative play, but I will sit on the floor and let my kids crawl all over me.  When the baby is crying, I'll hold her.  When Gracie is grumpy, I cuddle her.  When Miss Rose is exhibiting bad behavior, I'll first shower her with love and affection, because often that solves the problem.

I just love being a mom, being with my kids.  The mom I'm not, doesn't define me.  The mom I'm not, doesn't matter as much as sometimes I think it is.  That's not the mom God made me. 

Someday, I hope I have the time and energy to learn to be more crafty.  As my children get older, we'll get to do more things like celebrating Advent and nightly Bible reading.  I have to remind myself, they are young.  There is time.

My kids don't know the mom I'm not.  They just know the mom I am, and I know they love me.

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