might·y: possessing great and impressive power or strength

tow·er: a place of defense; a protection

Monday, May 5, 2014

4 Simple Words

*This post was written last summer. I just stumbled upon it again and after a beautiful weekend at a Power of Moms retreat I thought it would be a great time to post. 

This past summer has been a long one. As a family we have been dealing with some tough stuff and I have not been as attentive or present for my family as I would have liked. As a result, the mommy guilt has been piled on pretty high.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the perfect mom and who she is. How can I be more aware? How can I be the perfect mom I know they deserve? How can I do it all?

There are so many examples of amazing mothers out there, especially in my circle of friends. I thought of the mom who is an amazing baker, another who can turn out a gorgeous quilt in a day, and another who is training for a marathon. I thought of the mom who embodies the word patience, another who creates fun craft projects to do with her children, and another who serves her family seemingly effortlessly.

As I walked to pick up my son from school I thought, “I just wish I could be like these moms, they have it all together.” I was sure that my family was getting less because I wasn’t doing all of those things (and more) and they were only getting my shortcomings and imperfections.

I saw him at the school gate and gave him a big hug. As we walked home in the beautiful sunshine I carried his backpack and asked all about his day. We laughed and held hands but it was a bit overshadowed by this feeling of not being the perfect mom.

After lunch he ran off to play and I sat at the dining room table a few minutes more. A long list of mothering “to do’s” came to my mind. Maybe I should be doing this thing more or that thing more. Things I had seen other moms do, things I’d seen on Pinterest, etc. Surely I should be able to do it all, right? That is what my children are wanting!

My son called out from the living room, “Mom, how do you spell love?” So I spelled it, not really paying attention. A few moments later I felt a small tap on my shoulder. As I turned around I saw my sweet boy holding up a dry erase board. On it he had written in his best handwriting a message, “I Love My Mom.”

Talk about a moment that stops you in your tracks! Here I had been, stressing all morning about how I was lacking as a mother and adding more stress by making a list of all the ways I’m not living up to my idea of the perfect mom. With tears in my eyes I gave him a hug, told him how impressed I was with his writing, and how much I loved it. Then, realizing he could have written a million different things and curious as to what had prompted this sweet message I asked, “Why did you choose to write this?” His response was like a message from Heaven and spoke to the core of who I am as a mother. He said, “Because I want you to be happy.”

In that moment, with his sweet five year old face beaming at me holding his sign proudly, he was sending me a message and I heard it loud and clear. It finally hit me after all these months of feeling “less than” that I have been the perfect mom for them all along! I am far from a perfect person and am continually working on ways to be a better mom. However, my “perfect mom definition” was way off from the truth.

This summer that I thought was filled with imperfections was seen quite differently by them.  They don’t remember the day I stayed in my pj’s as being lazy, but rather as the fun day we stayed home and played together. They don’t look at my dinner of cheese sandwiches and grapes and see “fail!” but rather a dinner of their favorite foods. When we gather together at the end of the day, put our hands in a pile, and say our family cheer, “Families are forever---Jenkins choose the right!”, they don’t see a mom who is exhausted and worn from a long day. They see a mom who puts them first, who prioritizes her schedule so she is home for this tradition. They see a mom who has worked hard for them all day and who is still giving when she feels like there isn’t much left in the tank.

The next time I’m feeling “less than” as a mother I know I don’t have to look to pinterest, or books, or blogs to find my meaning. I simply have to look at my beautiful family and their love for me and realize, I am more than enough.

1 comment:

  1. I love this!!! I think we all tend to feel this way as moms sometimes. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. I absolutely love your little family cheer!! So adorable!