A few months ago, another mom told my husband she wished she was more like me because, according to this merciful mom, I “had it all together.” When my husband told me about this later, I literally laughed out loud because the thought of having it all together is both foreign and hilarious to me. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a day since becoming a mom nearly ten years ago when I thought, Hey I’ve really got it all together. Most of the time, I’m second-guessing every effort and comparing myself to other moms who I think, ironically, have it so much more together than I do.
I was tagged for the #RockingMotherhood challenge by the lovely Kayla over at Simply Burch. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to reflect on these 10 ways I’m rocking motherhood laid out here, in no particular order.
10 Ways I’m #RockingMotherhood
I’m encouraging my kids to be themselves. No one should subscribe to another person’s standards for themselves. I want my kids to be comfortable expressing who they truly are, regardless of what anyone else might want them to be, and I encourage them to explore whatever interests they have. Just as there are no instruction manuals for parenting, there are no instructions for developing a personality. No matter my personal likes or dislikes, I value the uniqueness in each of my kids and remind them to follow their hearts.
I’m not rushing their childhood. While I encourage my kids to learn life skills and be independent, I’m in no rush for them to grow up. I don’t push them beyond their ability or comfort level merely for the sake of conforming to a standard. I realize every child is unique and reaches milestones in their own time. I also know there will be years worth of time for them to be jaded and weighed down by life, so the longer I can help them maintain their childhood innocence the better.
I’m investing in my marriage. I was a wife before I was a mother. And even though right now that role seems less demanding than my role as mommy, I know there will come a day when being a wife will be front and center again. I continually invest in that relationship because I want our future empty nest to be a happy one. The added benefit is that my kids get to see what a healthy relationship looks like and how they can show love and respect in their future relationships.
I homeschool. I haven’t always done this. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I worked full-time and my oldest two kids attended public school. I’ve (so far) survived both sides of the schooling coin. What I love about this blessed opportunity to homeschool is that I get to be more directly involved in my kids’ education. That being said, 24/7 time with the kids and the responsibility for their entire education is a sacrifice and a stressor. I’m happy to report we’re doing pretty well with it (most days).
I’m focusing on experiences over stuff. This is a fairly new adventure in our home so I can’t claim expert status, but so far I’ll say I’m rocking it. We all know stuff comes and goes. I have maybe three physical mementos of childhood that still hold value for me as an adult. Memories and photos of those memories, though, are countless. I want my kids to experience life to the fullest beginning now in their childhood. I want to choose making memories over making an overstuffed playroom. In doing so, I’m teaching my kids the everlasting value of shared experiences.
I make family meals a priority. Now, I’m not a great cook and I honestly don’t really like cooking, but I make sure to have at least one edible meal on the table every single day that we all share together. Some of our greatest conversations and heartiest laughs have happened around the dinner table. It’s one of my favorite times we spend together and, hopefully, something my kids will fondly remember.
I’ve got a sense of humor. Please don’t expect an intelligent quip here because I’m not necessarily a funny person. In fact, my best jokes usually come from my kids and start with knock, knock. I do try my best, though, to keep a certain sense of humor about the ins and outs of daily life. I try not to take anything too seriously and instead look for the underlying humor in our situations. I find this goes a long way when doing things like cleaning poop off your child’s glasses at 8:00 a.m. or helping one of your kids find something you literally just handed them which is already lost.
I pursue my own interests. I let my kids see me pursuing hobbies that help me express my creativity. They see me doing things for the sake of enjoyment or to better myself, and they know I support whatever creative outlets they want to pursue. They know I do more than mom (yes, mom is a verb), which helps them understand they can do as many or as few things as they choose to enjoy.
I read to my kids…a lot. We read together every single day. Literally, morning, noon, and night we are reading. I read for fun, which encourages them to do the same (or to at least see it as normal), and I let them read whatever they find enjoyable (within age-appropriate reason). Even if we haven’t done much “formal” homeschooling on a particular day, I’m happy to know we’ve accomplished reading together.
And last, but certainly not least…
I’m trying. One of my favorite go-to phrases on those days when I’m ready to throw in the towel is, You can’t fail if you don’t give up. I figure as long as I keep trying, the multitude of shortcomings I experience on any given day are nothing more than learning opportunities. There’s no such thing as a perfect mom. We’re all a mess in one way or another. It’s our ability to persevere through stress, tears, lost shoes, laundry piles, poop, and sibling squabbles that make us amazing. And we’re all amazing rockstars!
Hannah at Lovely Little Lives
Jalisa at Thrifty Haute Mom
Risa at Risa Kerslake Writes
Kami at Faithfully Me
Hannah at My Sweet Genevieve
#Rocking Motherhood Tag Rules