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.