Learning from Great Mothers
NOTE: This post was originally published at Seven Cherubs. I love being a mom, I really do. But I’ll admit there are many days I feel like a horrible mother. For example, last summer we had a big Mercy River performance. One of my MR "jobs" is to keep all of our sound equipment at my house and take it to each performance. When I went out to get it that day, one of our microphones was missing! I just knew one of my kids had taken it out and played with it somewhere in the yard and left it in the sprinklers overnight. So I started questioning my kids, and of course, everyone denied ever seeing it. We frantically searched the house and the yard, and eventually I was upset and yelling at my kids--offering a $100 reward to see if one of them “happened” to find it with the bait of cash...but nope. In the middle of me barking at my children my 6 year old Ruby tilted her head to one side and, with a puzzled look, said to me, “Mommy do you like being a mom?”
I was humbled. First, because my own daughter thought I didn't like being a mom, and second, because a few minutes later we found the microphone. It had just slipped down behind all the other equipment.
I find myself sometimes thinking that I will never be the kind of mom I want to be, because I have too many weaknesses. But I have been doing better lately because of a discovery I made. I discovered that if want to be a great mother, I need to surround myself with FRIENDS who are great mothers.
So much of what I learn comes from watching and learning from friends who are examples of being good mothers. I watch how they react to a certain situation and I think, "If they can do it, so can I." These mothers in my life have no idea that I “watch” them, but I do. I notice the good things they do that I want to incorporate into my mothering.
I've learned a lot from my Mercy River ‘sisters’ Brooke and Whitney--they are my best friends and we spend a lot of time together. They are great examples of putting family first. For example--I'm not a very "cutesy" mom. I have a hard time making holidays or birthdays fancy or thinking of creative little things that my kids will love. But…when it was 11-11-11, Whit told me she was going to make that a fun little day by waking up and giving her kids each 11 hugs in celebration. I said that I thought that was a cute idea and wanted to do it, so early that morning I got a text from Whit reminding me to give my kids 11 hugs. That's just a small thing that a good friend did to help me improve one of my "mother-weaknesses." By following a friend's example, I made my kids' day by doing something they loved and showing them I loved them.
Brooke will sometimes tell me how she gets tired playing cars and trucks and My Little Pony with her kids. She told me one time that she feels guilty for not loving to play those--and I thought to myself, "I never get tired of playing those things because...I never play them." Oops! So whenever I hear her say that, I remind myself that I need to be more like her and PLAY with my kids.
Honestly all of my “good mothering skills” have come from watching good friends who are great mothers. It doesn't depress me to see the strength of other mothers- it motivates me! I am enlightened and encouraged by their examples...remembering I am a work in progress. This can obviously apply to mothers of kids of all ages. So what have I learned? That there's hope for me yet! If YOU want to be a better mom, surround yourself with great ones!