Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The definition of a Good Mom

Since expressing my dismay that one can't really ever seem to be a "good" mom, I had the thought today that the problem may just be in how I define that.  And the really powerful idea is that *I* could define that for myself.  For the rest of my life!

Admittedly I worry (too much) about what the kids will think and say when they are grown to let me know where I went wrong and what they could have been or achieved if only I had_____ or______.  But thanks to my counselor and some medication and some contemplation I've decided I can choose how to feel about myself and my contribution to my children's lives...my career as a mom, if you will.  Even when I am older, and looking back.  Even if my grown children complain.  I can choose to view my contributions in a positive light, similar to how I choose to remember my accomplishments in my former outside-the-home career.

 I feel guilt on a regular basis of what activities the kids aren't doing, the playdates they want that I say no to if I just don't feel up to it, the big fancy parties I do not throw :), the crafts I don't have time to make with them, the "Justice" brand clothes they now want that I don't want to spend our money on, etc, etc.  I think the key to this is for me to stop anticipating future conversations about what I didn't do or provide and just EnJOY what I can give them now.  If what I give them is simply food, time to play, transportation for their education, help with their homework, and reading, cooking, and sewing skills, that will have to be good and I can choose to be proud of that :).

7 comments:

  1. Bobi! I am so glad i came and read this today. You and i must be experiencing the same things! I could have written this...all the way down to the meds and counselor line. ;) love ya!

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  2. I ditto this last comment. I guess it doesn't matter what age we are. Love you!
    Your
    MIL

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  3. Bobi, You are a wonderful mother. Your children will remember more of the good. Have you noticed: My kids are that kind to me. Sometimes I am amazed to find that some of what I see as my most terrible blunders, my kids don't even remember. And they are so forgiving about what they do remember. Once we have children of our own, we begin to understand things we never understood before.

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  4. Very wise.

    A while back I was feeling jealous of a good friend of mine. She did SO much with her kids and her kids are just so darn smart. I looked at my efforts, the struggles my children were having and I felt like a failure.

    And then I realized that my friend didn't share the same health challenges I have. Her kids don't have the same challenges. She and her children all have their own challenges and struggles. I also thought, Heavenly Father didn't send my children to her--He sent them to me. Which hopefully means, that there are things I have to learn from them and there are things that I can (hopefully) give them that they need that are unique.

    Sorry, this is disjointed. I was diagnosed with lupus 8 years ago and I remember looking at my list of all things I wanted to do and be and realized there was a very good chance most of things would never be accomplished. I've been learning ever since to feel like I am good enough--that the success of my life as a person or as a mother isn't dependent on "accomplishments".

    And a counselor has been tremendously helpful to me too.

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  5. I once had an experienced mother talk about "the cream rises". She said she was amazed that what her children remembered was sweetened with time, not bittered. They didn't remember how messy the house was, or how stressful it was getting to that family activity, or all the FHE's that ended in tears. They remembered being together, laughing and enjoying eachother. They remembered the family outings. They will of course remember some less than pleasant memories, but I can tell you they will not revolve around the clothes or activities they did in grade school.

    I have set up a list for myself. I figure if I keep my house reasonable tidy by the end of the day(and I am really lenient on this), feed my kids healthy meals, and do at least one thing with them(even if it just reading a story or cuddling), then I am on track. Some days I do really well, and the house is really clean, and I did a fun craft with the kids. Other days I don't feel like I do any of them. But most days are good. I figure if the good days outnumber the bad...things are good.

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  6. Amen! Stopping by from MMM, and I can so relate to your words! I waste so much time on guilt too. Like you, I am really trying to focus on what I DO give my children and enjoy that. Great post and thanks for sharing.

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  7. Yep, savor these special days with your kids. Of course, we'll all look back and see thing we may have liked to change, but the thing is, as long as we're parenting at our best, and loving on the littles, there's not much more they can ask for. Thanks for linking up with me for {MMM} this week.

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Thanks for your comments~!

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