So, I think its pretty safe to say that as parents, all of us question whether we're doing this thing "right." In the early newborn days, "right" meant keeping the baby alive...feeding/changing, cuddling (yet not smothering), and all those basics required for survival. As they get older, we are all faced with decisions...cry it out, or no? When is the right time for table food? When do we start time-outs? Is spanking appropriate? The decisions get infinately more complex as they get older, and the results of our decisions may not be apparent for years to come.
So, this morning, Baby A climbed into bed with me and patted my face like she does every morning, and said, "mommy...you're the best mommy ever." Those words melt my heart into a puddle of goo every time. But, it got me thinking...while I may be the best mom for HER, it certainly does not make me the best mom in the world. So, who is??
I admire mothers with infinate patience. I admire mothers that are more creative and engaging than I am, or who manage their time so efficiently, everything seems to get done every day with room at the end for a home cooked meal...from scratch.
I'm nothing like those moms. I work full-time. Our mornings are chaotic, our evenings slightly less so. I'm not always patient and sometimes I yell. Loudly. I think I'm creative enough, but then I look at other parents' ideas and think, "why didnt I think of that???" I use time-out, but sometimes, I'm just too tired to care. Tonight, after the billionth tattle came at me, I shut myself in the bathroom and told them to work it out. There was much screaming, but eventually they did and it was all giggles from there on out.
So, is the best mom someone who is always gentle, always guiding, always entertaining? Is it the mom who can admit when she's messed up and apologize to her kids? Is it the mom who has faults but can show her kids problem solving? Is it the stay-at-home mom who can be with her chidren all day? Or the moms like me, who have to rely on other's help to raise their children?
I really have no clue. I have no idea what the best mom in the world would look like. I like to think my children are well-adjusted, smart, happy kids. All three of my girls watch me go to work each day and, like me, have learned that mommy has interests and contributions to make too.
But, what if I stayed home? I have massive amounts of admiration for stay-at-home moms. They spend each second of each day with their babies. What patience! There are times when I feel like my identity is being tucked far far away, and I know that for me, that would be even harder if I were home with the girls. I would love the opportunity to be home with them, but its not feasible at this point. But would I appreciate them as much as I do when I pick them up from school? That is THE best moment of my day...every day. I love getting them and loving on them. Would it be different if I were with them all day, every day?
Through work, I meet a lot of "bad" mothers. And by bad, I mean they abuse and neglect their children to the point where the children are in actual danger. But, I dont blame those moms most of the time because they are only recreating what they know. In their eyes, they are great parents!
Anyways, this got really long, but my point was, what would the best mother in the world look like? I am grateful beyond words that right now, my kids think its me! I'm sure if you were to ask most children, they'd say the same about their own moms...until about 13 or so...
Until then, I'm going to keep plugging on in my own way...apologizing for my mistakes, working hard, loving loving loving on my kids and doing the best I can to make their childhood fun and memorable.
Aaaaand now some pics because a post without them is just boring. :)