The Mother I Strive To Be
Some of Vancouver’s top mom bloggers decided to take a ride together and talk about the mothers we hope to be. Have you been joining us? The full schedule of past and future posts can be found at the bottom of this one; as well, if you want a FREE ebook of all 11 submissions, it will be available after this train pulls up to its last stop! Today it’s my honour to give you a peek into my maternal dreams!
The mother I strive to be today is not the mother I was hell-bent on being before I actually gave birth. And in the last almost 6 years of motherhood, my ideals have been fluid; some of my aspirations proved worthy of the time I invested in them while others, frankly, didn’t do much for me and my family. So I chucked them. For example, I once swore I’d never let my children see the inside of a McDonald’s, and that I’d only send “greens” bars in my kids’ school lunches. Though I still have parameters around their nutrition and cook the majority of our meals at home, I have yet to grow our own food or raise our own chickens. The difference between pre-baby mama thoughts and post-baby mama thoughts is that I am not horrified at what I’m “not” doing. In fact, I’ve built a whole business around celebrating strengths and finding balance – and I’m my own guinea pig. So, here goes.
In this very moment, the mother I strive to be is:
- Patient: When the little feet can’t keep up, when butterfingers cause milk to splash or spray or glasses to shatter, when eager mouths want to talk about everything under the sun when they should be eating or washing up for the next “thing” in our schedule, when yet another request for building a castle comes my way…I ask the God of Patience to remind me to BREATHE. And I want to more easily remember how those little feet and fingers grow quickly – and that one day, (no – this won’t really happen, right?), I’ll have to pry for information about their day/relationships/feelings.
- Approachable: I envision my 15 year old daughter and I laying down together on her bed, arms entwined, hair fanned out (our hair looks like a Pantene commercial, actually – quite gorgeous!), faces turned toward each other in sweet confidence. She tells me about “this boy” and I smile and ask questions. Then I remind her he’s only after one thing. Oh no, wait. That might kill the conversation. But somehow, in a really cool, approachable way, I’ll work that in. I’ll keep an open mind when she says she wants to go to the movies with him, even as my stomach ties itself in knots. So, if that’s my goal in another 9 years, then the mother I am today should reflect that. I’m trying; I ask her who she played with and how she felt about such and such. And every morning I climb into bed with her, put my face in her soft tresses and breathe in her gorgeous scent.
- Healthy: I can’t think of a bigger incentive for being healthy than experiencing a long, vibrant life with my family. I want to see them grow up, and show up in this world as the unique individuals they are. Whatever they choose to do with their lives – get married, have children, start up businesses, or something so wild that I can’t even come up with it right now – whatever they choose, I want to be there. No, not just be there. I want to be their loudest, wildest cheerleader (if I could pull off a skirt that short, that’d be a bonus!). I want to shout encouragement and never lose my breath. I want our family to bond over Nature in a more hands-on, active way. And most of all, I want them to learn to take care of their bodies, too. I think I just “talked” myself into a new exercise regime. Funny how that happens.
- Unconditional love: As a mother, I already know I have unconditional love for my children; I think my biggest job is to show them that daily. My words, my actions, my body language should all reflect that. Mistakes are just that. Asking them for forgiveness and granting them theirs should come as easy as breathing. Demonstrating empathy goes a long way in shaping these wee ones. The mother I strive to be always remembers that children, of all ages, are like cups that need to be filled daily with kind words, loving actions and loads of hugs and smiles.
The mother I strive to be also remembers to show herself that same unconditional love and empathy – especially on the days when being patient, approachable, and active are difficult. Or when smiles end up as frowns. It’s ok.
Nobody’s infallible; I certainly don’t want to teach my children otherwise.
Don’t miss my mom blogger friends’ posts! Here’s the schedule: