It took me a long time to be able to sit down and write this. Not because I couldn’t find the words—it’s something I’ve known for a while now, and telling the story isn’t actually hard. The truth is it makes me feel incredibly guilty.
In a world of Pinterest goals and perfect Facebook posts (and simply my own expectations of myself) I spend a lot of time focusing on the things I am not doing right as a mom.
But there is one thing in particular that literally keeps me up at night...
The truth is: I’m not good at playing with my kids.
I’m just not.
I invent games that bore them and quite honestly, most of their games bore me. I am easily distracted by my constantly running mental to-do list. I feel like I should be cleaning. And yes, I’ll say it, checking Facebook.
My kids say, “Mom play with me,” and my answer is almost always, “Okay let me just…” And before I know it, the day is over, they are in bed and I find myself feeling like I let them down.
That doesn’t mean I am going to just say, “Oh well, not happening for this mom, sorry guys.” I do get down on the floor with my kids and play every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, even if it makes me feel uncomfortable or bored or stressed.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone makes me grow and learn, and most importantly, sets a good example for my kids.
I am working on becoming more present. To try and stop worrying about what happened yesterday or stressing about tomorrow. I am trying to be present, even for a few moments, with my children, now. So yes, I can work to change.
But I am also going to stop beating myself up over this. There are days when I feel so guilty about my shortcomings, that I completely ignore all of the things I TOTALLY ROCKED that day.
And you know what? I rock a lot of things. ?
My kids know there is nothing they can tell me that will make me stop loving them. They know that I love everything about them, and always will.
I am teaching my kids empathy and compassion. We talk about making the world a better place and being kind to others.
I go BIG on birthdays and Christmas and the tooth fairy. Not because I feel like I have to, but because I love it. I love inspiring the magic of childhood—I have fun doing it, and they love being a part of it.
I am organized. I mean my house is kinda messy, but the birthday party presents are bought and wrapped, the PTA lunch salad is made, ballet is signed up for, and the school project is done and in the backpack (sometimes even a day early.)
And goodness, do I mama my kids when they are sick. There is not a cold or stomach bug than can keep me away from rubbing my children’s backs all night long when they don’t feel well.
We should work every day to become better parents. But what if we also take the time to appreciate how good we already are, in our natural form?
A flower doesn’t look at an oak tree and think “why can’t I be tall like that oak tree?” It simply grows its beautiful petals, and feeds the passing butterflies and does what it does best—and the world is a better place for it.
From here on out, can we vow to embrace our super powers, instead of getting bogged down by our perceived shortcomings?
How wonderful is it that we are all different, and good at different things?
I am a TERRIBLE cook, but my mother-in-law is amazing. So my kids can go to her house and eat her lasagna, and learn that people other than their mom can help and take care of them. I can’t play basketball to save my life, but my husband can teach them. If they can’t play either, they have me to role model the ability to laugh at yourself and accept when you aren’t good at something.
How dull would it be if we were all raised by the same type of parent?
Variety makes life interesting! My children will have their own unique experiences and yours will have theirs. And imagine if they can grow up with mothers who are confident in their abilities, love themselves, and exude the joy that that brings them.
What a beautiful forest of oak trees we’d have (and orange trees and cherry blossoms, and magnolias too…). ?