That is a pretty involved question. At first glance, maybe not, but really think about it. Stop reading (just for a quick minute) and ask yourself that question. Maybe you said caring? Maybe healthy? Organized? Funny? Maybe you simply want to be a “happy” mom. We all have different visions of how a “perfect mom” looks or acts, knowing darn well there is no such thing as perfect. We can use these visions, these ideals, to help us become the best we can be. But first, we must answer the question – What kind of mom do you want to be?
We often get lost in today’s world of what I like to call “mom appearance.” We endure the pressure of throwing the most admirable “Pinterest” birthday party, Instagramming it to perfection, all while missing the purity of our child’s excitement because we can’t just sit back and enjoy. I, myself, am quite guilty of this.
I will be the first to tell you, I am competitive. VERY COMPETITIVE. There is no way around it. I compete with my family (husband included, or maybe I should say especially him), my friends (even if they are not aware), and any other human whom with I come in contact. Ok, maybe not EVERY human, but seriously, I am competitive. So, when I have worked my butt off to create something I find to be a masterpiece, I want everyone to know. I want to “win” the battle.
But, if I wrap back around to our question above, competitive is not a word that comes to mind. Of course, I want what is best for my daughter. I want to be the best mom I can possibly be (better than all the other moms – wink, wink). But, in all seriousness, my competitiveness drives me to consistently be a better mom. I need to let that be the only part of competition that defines me as the kind of mom I want to be.
I used to be the mom who always strived for the perfect picture to create our family memories, and truthfully, there are many times I still am that mom. Picture this… a used-to-be school teacher, sending her daughter off on her first day of Pre-K2. Her backpack and lunchbox sit on the counter, her clothes picked out days in advance, and there I am, nervously drinking my coffee, checking off a mental list of to-dos, making this the perfect morning. Everything running just as planned, until my daughter screams “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!,” relentlessly kicking and flailing, tears dripping down her bright, red cheeks, as I plead with her so I can capture that cliched front porch photo.
Was it worth the stress? Nope. What did I learn? I learned this perfectly planned picture was taking away from my pride-filled mom moment. I put my phone away, and zeroed in on what the day truly meant. Did I get a picture? Sure. Was it perfect? Not even close. But, when I gaze at that picture, it forces a reminder to just be “in the moment.”
My husband hates posing for pictures, asking strangers to document our “date night”, as we awkwardly put our arms around each other. He always reminds me to just “remember.” Isn’t that what a real memory should be? One you can talk about with your family and friends, over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (or let’s be honest – a bottle of wine. We are moms after all!)
As I continue to grow and learn, deciphering my OWN answer to the above question, I realize I want to be a mom who consumes herself with EVERY moment. I want to take in every smile, laugh, cry, tantrum and tear; allowing myself to let go of all the loud noise around me, and allow in only what matters.
So… what kind of mom do you want to be? Think back to those adjectives you desired a couple minutes ago. If you live in the moment, each and every day, chances are you’ll be the mom you want to be. Cherish every second with your children, the good and the bad, because these moments will not last forever, but our lives will be filled with the memories surrounding these moments. Let’s take this mom-journey together!