Friday, June 22, 2007

Time for some introspection. I'm a mom to 2 kids (obviously). My daughter is 4-1/2, and my son is 7 months. I am completely devoted to my children. I love them to death and can't imagine life without them. But I struggle every day, trying to be a good mom. It seems like the title of 'good mom' is quite elusive. What makes a 'good mom?' Someone with patience? How much patience? Compassion? Generosity? Someone who keeps the fun coming, and coming, and coming? What if I don't have the energy for that? Or is a 'good mom' a mom who lets their kids make their own fun?

I think I'm a pretty 'good mom.' I give my kids kisses and hugs in the morning and ask my DD if she slept well. I try to do something fun each day with her, whether that's going to a park, going to the grocery store, making dinner together, visiting a friend, or going to the museum. Am I overacheiving in this area? Maybe, but if I don't, I'd feel like a 'bad mom' who just doesn't let her kids do fun stuff. A friend of mine told me that I should allow her more time to be bored. Perhaps that's true, but it just doesn't seem like that's right. When I was little, my mom let me play by myself a lot, and I loved it. Consequently though, I had major problems making any friends in school and remained very shy. I didn't want that for my daughter. Maybe I'm giving her what I didn't have - living out the childhood I wanted through her. That doesn't sound good. It sounds like I need to be laying on somebody's couch paying $100/hour saying this!

I'm not a 'good mom' all the time though. Sometimes I sink to the level of a 'bad mom' when I snap at my daughter or let my son cry it out for a few minutes when I just can't take the crying anymore. It's amazing that we seem to let one instance of 'bad mom' dash us to failure where it takes a continual level of 'good mom' for us to feel fairly happy with who we are as a mom.

I guess what I'm saying is I'd love to be a 'super good mom." Able to make cookies with the "help" of my daughter (and not eat any), read several stories, keep the TV off, do a Bible lesson (one for me and one for DD), play outside, nurse my baby 10 times, go to the park to learn about rare forms of tree moss or something else vitally important, wash the walls, and whip up a divine dinner all by the time my hubby gets home from work. I'd love to keep a happy attitude, wiping away tears with a gentle touch, having tickling fits on the floor with my kids, smiling, smiling, smiling, being willing to drop any personally important item in an instant to play yet another game of baseball, and never shushing anyone.

Unfortunately, I seem to fall way short of this. Too many times I have shrugged off our plans because schedules didn't work out for the day. Too many times I have kept the TV on because I know my DD will sit and watch and leave me alone a little longer. Too many times I haven't cracked open my Bible in a week! Too many times my hubby has come home to a messy house and a homemade hamburger helper-type meal. Too many times I have shushed my daughter in public for doing what comes naturally to her - asking the cashier if her favorite candy was on sale for instance. How precious! And I shushed her! Too many times I've set my baby on the floor to play alone while I sit at the computer doing nothing important. And way too many times I have said 'no' to that game of baseball.

Do these things make me a 'bad mom?' A 'not-so-good mom?' Does my understanding of these things make me a 'good mom?' For instance, maybe bad moms don't think about these things. But maybe good moms don't have to think about them.

I guess the only way to answer this will be to see my children grow up. All I can do is try my best to do what I think is right and not beat myself up for the things that I just can't do. I've noticed that even on the days when I can't pull it together in time to go to the park, my DD is just as happy to stay home and play outside with me. I've noticed that time alone to play helps her to build her imagination. I guess it's all about balance. A balance between 'good mom' and 'not-so-good mom.' I can do that!

1 comment:

Kris said...

Good post. I think some of us struggle with the balance more than others. I tend to be super mom or super bad mom, with no in between. Balance is a worthy goal. :)

I too played alone a LOT when I was a kid, and ended up being very shy (still am). Wonder if there really is a connection?