A Mother’s Job

WANTED

One female to be available 24/7, through sickness and in health and with very little sleep. Must be willing to put aside all of ones own needs and wants and selflessly give ones life to caring for another human being. Must be able to:

  1. feed the mouths of those who will talk back in defiance
  2. lift the spirits of those who will, at times, break yours
  3. wipe the tears of those who may cause you to cry
  4. help those who are incapable of helping you
  5. listen to those who will not stop to lend you an ear

Requirements:

  1. educated enough to be modest
  2. strong enough to be gentle
  3. relentless enough to be compassionate
  4. passionate enough to be sensible
  5. experienced enough to be understanding

CRAZY? Yes! Our job is insane! Can you imagine what our brains and bodies go through every day in order to accomplish this job we call “motherhood”? It truly is a miracle we make it to the end of each day without completely losing our minds. (I honestly believe this is why wine was invented.) We get it done, though… each and every day. We never stop. Why? Because, we love our children and we are more than happy to give our everything to them. But, don’t forget to stop and give yourself a little credit. Look at our job description? We deserve a “you go girl!” Don’t you think?

“Cheers!” to us, Moms. We are amazing!

Presence Is Truly A Gift

This afternoon, my youngest daughter wanted to hangout at her school’s playground with her friends for a while. Of course, I came armed with a granola bar, water and my computer to keep busy as I watched her and her friends play (Yes, I do keep a very close eye on them… even while I type. It’s a skill I’ve developed over the years. I’m able to type and watch the kids at the same time. No, it’s not the same as sitting on my phone with my mind distracted and my eyes glued on the little screen. I’m actually watching the kids and aware of their every move.) Just a few minutes after we arrived, I was asked to join in a game they call “Magic”, which seems to be a combination of hide ‘n’ seek and tag. My daughter and one of her friends came running up to me yelling “Mom! Can you play Magic with us?” I immediately heard snickering coming from some of the other mothers as they heard me exclaim “You want me to what?” Though I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I walked on to the playground like a trooper and asked for instructions. Seeing the excitement in my daughter’s eyes as she shared all of the rules with me was all I needed. I knew I was going to play the game to the best of my ability… no matter how silly I looked. So, I closed my eyes, counted to 10 and started searching for the other little players. All I could hear was giggling and more giggling. Before I knew it, I was playing with an entire crew of my daughter’s friends and they were all having a great time. My daughter was beaming with pride and joy and I could not have been happier to be able to provide that moment for her.  

After a few rounds, I had to excuse myself and get some work done. On my way back to my seat at the picnic table, a couple of other moms looked at me with smiles and said “Big mom points for you today!” This made me think…

It doesn’t matter how talented we are or what we’re trying to do, our kids just want to spend time with us. Every little moment means the world to them. We laughed. We made memories. I got to know some more of my daughter’s friends. To a lot of people, today’s activities would be the equivalent of just another normal, uneventful day, but, to me and my child (and maybe to some of the other children we played with), today was a really great day. I will remember this day for the rest of my life and I think my daughter will, too.

So, there’s no reason to be perfect, and certainly no need to be rich, in order to be a wonderful mother. The only thing we need to be is present… and that is the best gift of all.

“Cheers!” to us, Moms!

How To Get Away With… Nothing

There is absolutely no broken rule, lie or wrongdoing my children can get away with in my household. No matter the who, what, why, when, where or how, I will find out. Call it an eye for detail, call it perceptive observation, call it logical thinking, call it masterful mind reading… call it whatever you wish… I will uncover the scandal. My poor kids don’t have a chance, but that doesn’t stop them from trying!

The strategy played by my kids can only be described as an advanced version of the “if I can’t see you, you can’t see me” toddler game. The lack of logical thinking put toward the cover ups of their misconducts is almost comical. I’ve actually had a hard time keeping a stern face when reprimanding them. There have been many moments when I’ve looked at them and thought “How did you think this was ever going to work out in your favor.” or “Did you really think this was an amazing idea?” Honestly, I’m not sure if I should be worried for my children’s academic future or happy they will never have a career in crime.

In my children’s defense, however, there is nothing they can do that I, personally, didn’t do when I was young. When I add my experience to my skills in observation, I truly am my children’s worst nightmare… or the best thing that has ever happened to them (It really depends on who’s telling the story). I see all, hear all, know all… and that’s the way I like it. Of course, my kids will make mistakes and I hope they do! Mistakes build character and strength and create amazing adults… if you learn from said mistakes. So, yes, I want them to mess up, because I want them to be able to make intelligent decisions when they’re grown.

If you think about it, if we weren’t, at one time, young and stupid, we wouldn’t be old and wise, now. So, let’s allow our kids to make mistakes… but don’t let them get away with those mistakes! “Cheers!” to us, Moms! We can do this!

 

Cool Mom

I have been called “Cool Mom” by all three of my kids many times. Is this a huge accomplishment? Yes! Am I proud? Yes! Here’s why…

For most, “Cool Mom” is a title easily achieved. I mean, seriously, it doesn’t take much effort to be a mom who has befriended her children, has no rules or guidelines for her children and doesn’t hold her children accountable for anything. In my book, however, this does not define a “Cool Mom”, but is actually a dangerous recipe for some of the selfish and entitled problems of the world.

Me? Well… as a “Cool Mom”, my children are still required to follow quite a long list of rules. They are expected to always respect everyone, treat everyone kindly and always be polite. Their rooms are to remain clean, they must pick up after themselves and they are to do any chore asked of them without whining. Grades need to be kept up and all homework must be turned in. Most of all, no lying. Now, after reading this, you may be thinking “this woman is crazy!” However, keep in mind, my kids still say I’m a “Cool Mom” and this is why…

I never expect them to be perfect. In fact, I don’t believe in the concept of “perfection”. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s a part of life. Children, especially, are going to make mistakes, because they are still learning every day. So, when they make a mistake, I sit down and talk with them. I help them understand why it was wrong and how they can do better next time. I don’t yell at them or call them names or swear at them. Plus, I have made it very clear to my kids that there is never going to be a situation we can’t work through and they know they can come and talk to me about anything… literally anything… I won’t get mad. If they can’t talk to me, how am I going to help them grow into the upstanding citizens that I hope they will be someday?

So, yes, I’m strict and I have high expectations, but I’m also laid back and understanding that they are children and human beings. My children have fun, they make messes, they play, they are loud, they are very goofy… but they know when it’s not appropriate to be loud and to pick up their messes and to always remember their morals.

Somehow, all of this has defined “Cool Mom” in my household. I truly believe children need and want rules and guidelines and to know they always have someone they can talk to. It helps them feel safe and loved.

Our job isn’t easy, Moms, but we can figure it out together. So, “Cheers!” to us! We can all be “Cool Moms”!

To Fall, Or Not To Fall

As parents, we are so proud of our children. They are smart and beautiful and talented and funny… not to mention the best at everything. We are their parents. Of course, we are going to be proud. We should be proud. When we are proud, they see our excitement and are encouraged by our positive feedback. Children should feel as if they can conquer the world. Their dreams should reach the stars. Yes, some of their dreams are going to be a little, well, unattainable; such as, becoming a fairy or a ninja or a Superhero. But, is there really any harm in that? Their innocence will be replaced by real life experiences far too early, anyway. Why not let their dreams be magic? Who knows, that fantasy may lead them down a road that isn’t so silly; like a teacher or a fitness trainer or a doctor… That really is magic, isn’t it?

As we cheer our children on, what happens when they hit a little bump in the road? What happens when they don’t win or get chosen or make the grade? I understand wanting to protect our children from feeling pain. Seeing the disappointment in their eyes is heart wrenching. However, life is full of disappointments and I would rather my children learn how to handle the overwhelming emotions life throws at them from me… not from strangers. I want to be the one to help them understand those situations that seem so unfair. I want to be the one to teach them how to get back up and try again instead of allowing anger or sadness to take control.  What I don’t want is my children growing up, entering the world, suddenly being hit with “life” and having no idea how to handle themselves.

So, yes, I do believe we should let our children fall… but help them get back up. Help them understand what they are feeling and how to work through it. A few bumps in the road, here and there, builds character, strength and drive. It provides them with the knowledge needed to actually achieve that dream… and maybe even dream a little bigger.

“Cheers” to us, Moms!