I was sitting at my computer writing and texting back and forth with one of my favorite friends. We were in the process of discussing health challenges (nothing life threatening or scary, just challenges) our kiddos face and she sent me a text that read, “You are an amazing mama.” I stopped.
Am I really?
I ask that question knowing I’m not looking for accolades, pats on the back or affirmations. But I have been thinking lately about my kids and ways I may have come up a little short in my motherhood role.
As my role in raising kids morphed from changing diapers, to keeping the peace between siblings, to maintaining a working calendar of who has to be at one event while the other parent raced to another, to a little more freedom, I’ve had some time to look back over ways I may have failed a little in my role of mother.
And this is what I’ve come up with…
1. I’ve never been that mama who has a perfectly decorated house for every holiday. Goodness knows I’ve tried, but I never seemed to find the time, nor have I had the interest, to go up in the attic and pull down the many Halloween decorations we have. I’ve never been the one to decorate the bare branches of a tree for Easter. I don’t do well with Valentine’s Day or Fourth of July or any other holiday, except for Christmas. I always wanted to have the best decorations, treats and little surprises for every holiday. My intentions were always there but my spirit was lacking. I hope I didn’t scar my kiddos too much by not having the perfectly dressed house at every holiday.
2. Did I spend enough time with them, doing things they liked? Or did I blow that one? With everyone retreating to their rooms in the evenings now I have to ask myself, did I do everything I could to keep them here and engaged or did I let time slip away? I hope I didn’t screw up too badly and leave them feeling like their wants and needs weren’t important.
3. Did I scar them with my temper and yelling? Or will they understand, someday, that sometimes yelling was the only way to get their attention? They used to be so wild and loud and unruly. They used to be little kids with lots and lots of energy. Sometimes it was too much for me, and I would let shouts slip out. They would bubble and brew until they burst forth, and I would blow. I hope they someday understand that it was my temper and my yelling. It wasn’t because they weren’t loved. They were, and always will be, loved.
4. Did I screw up by not making them do enough or by making them do too much? Are their lives too easy? Will they be able to handle the real world? I hope so, because if they can’t, I really and truly have screwed up.
5. Did I love them enough? Did I love them too much? I don’t think any parent could ever love a child too much. I don’t think I suffocated them with my affections, though. But even if I did I wouldn’t change this one. So they’ll just have to suck it up.
All of this being said, it’s plain to see I’ve screwed up a little in my time with my kiddos. I think every mama out there has screwed up a time or two…for me it’s been multiple times. I’m not sure I’d put myself in the “amazing mama” catagory everyday, but one thing I’ve done extremely well, is to surround myself with friends who pull me up, encourage me, make me see that it’s ok to screw up, and it’s ok to not be a perfect mama.
It’s in accepting your faults, asking for forgiveness, trying hard, harder, hardest each day that we can all, for a little smidge of time, accept that role as an amazing mama.
Oh, for the love of my children…