Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Not The Mother I Was Going To Be



I was chatting with a group of friends a few weeks back about how we had turned out as mothers when one friend said, "I'm definitely not the mother I was going to be."

It made me think. Who was the mother I was going to be?

One who...
*Always looked beautiful
*Got skinny right away after having babies
*Read to my children everyday
*Had six kids
*Never watched my kids play at the park, always played with them
*Cooked nutritious meals
*Rarely turned on the TV
*Kept my children busy with a steady supply of activities
*Never yelled
*Never spanked

I started out with the best intentions. In fact, I remember when my oldest was 18 months. I said to my husband, "I've gotten this far without ever yelling. I'm sure I can get through the rest."

Wow, was I naive. Seven years (and several hoarse evenings later) I am definitely not the mom I planned to be. Don't get me wrong, I do my best, but I'm still learning.

When my first baby was two weeks old I started taking her to the library in the stroller. I took her to story-time. I took her to puppet shows! Seriously, a two week old baby? Yes. When she turned one I took her to the grocery store so she could "pick out" her own cake mix. I thought she was so BIG. I spent hours and hours with her attached to my little fingers to help her learn to walk. Nearly every milestone was photographed and videoed.

Now I'm on kiddo number four. He's one and I wouldn't have dreamed of having him pick his own cake mix. He's a baby for heaven sakes! He learned to walk just as fast as his sister without me walking him all over the countryside. There isn't a single video of him. Do I love him just as much? Oh my gosh, of course! Have I changed as a mother? Yes.

Then there was the time a woman with four kiddos brought them over for a play date to my house. She said to us mothers that one of her daughters could be such a "naughty brat" sometimes. I was shocked. How dare she think that about one of her own children? If she called her naughty, that would make her naughty! Right? I vowed to never let negative words about my children's behavior leave my lips. If I had kept that promise, and never had vented exactly what my children were being to my husband, I may have exploded by now.

Now, how does this all relate to writing? I guess it doesn't. But, my blog is called Mommy's Always Write, so I feel I reserve the right for today's post to be just about Mommyhood.

The silver lining to this post, though, is this: Even though I'm not the mother I planned to be, I have also found motherhood so much more rewarding than I planned it would be. It is harder. Oh man, it is harder. But the love I feel toward each of these littles is amazing. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

How are you a different mother from who you planned to be?

6 comments:

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Oh my word. this is me.

wasn't going to yell, spank, time out, was going to read to 30 minutes a day, no tv, play play play, always have them clean, feed them organic (yeah, right), have 6 kids, but first not have any, encourage attitude and independence.

Now I run the other way if hubby mentions #5 and the other kids I'm tempted to lock in a play room for the rest of their lives.

I need a psyche eval cause I'm tired and I keep getting out of bed.
lol

Deborah A. said...

We had to wait many years before we could have kids - via adoption. I took that time to appreciate our "single" status, and to learn from others. I think that time taught me a lot about the kind of mother I wanted to be, and it also taught me to be realistic. I knew I'd yell, but I wanted to keep it to a minimum. I also didn't want to spank, but I figured a swat now and then might do the trick. :) You know, that kind of thing.

Honestly, I'm a good mom. But when I loose my temper or ignore my screaming child, I feel like a terrible mom. I think that's just how motherhood goes sometimes. But I agree with you. I'm definitely still learning!

We Are A Happy Family said...

My ideals of the perfect mother were quite similar to those you listed. There have many times in the past nine years that I have earned the title "Worst mother of the Year." Yet I have been so blessed to have the Savior as my guide. He is teaching me how to become the parent that Heavenly Father wants me to be.

We Are A Happy Family said...

My ideals of the perfect mother were quite similar to those you listed. There have many times in the past nine years that I have earned the title "Worst mother of the Year." Yet I have been so blessed to have the Savior as my guide. He is teaching me how to become the parent that Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Beth said...

I think I could just click, copy and paste everything you said and it would work the same for me. Kinda makes me feel better. There are things that I think I do well, and things that have gotten worse with each child. But the thing I always tell myself that I need to just keep doing the best I can and I can always try again tomorrow. We are always learning. Each child is different and each their own personalities. Put them all together and woah! It's tough and sometimes I mess up but I wouldn't trade it for anything :) Yeah for moms!

Jolene Perry said...

I think there's a book out there titled "i was a great mom before I had kids."

No. I'm not the mom I thought I'd be. I was going to be perfect as soon as motherhood touched me. We waited five long years for the first one, and three long years for the second. And there are days when I'm totally the mom I want to be, and days when I'm someone else entirely.
But it's all about the journey, right?

And yeah, it's your blog, you have the power...