Taken from the side of the road on our way home on Easter Sunday.
There was a great post on the Power of Mom's blog a day or two ago titled, Your Children want YOU. I think the number of hits their site got from it caused it to lock up or crash or something. It is a good one. It speaks of this whole mothering era and how we are constantly bombarded by ideas, things, ways of living that can make us so focused on what we aren't that we forget that we are the perfect mom for our children, just as we are. April Perry writes:
"My mother didn’t specialize in home decor or gourmet cooking, and she didn’t lift weights or run marathons. But she makes me feel like I am the most important, wonderful person ever born. If I could pick any mother in the whole world, it would be my mom.
Whatever it is we feel we are lacking, can we collectively decide–as deliberate mothers–that we are not going to sit around feeling discouraged about all the things we’re not?
Can we remind each other that it is our uniqueness and love that our children long for? It is our voices. Our smiles. Our jiggly tummies. Of course we want to learn, improve, exercise, cook better, make our homes lovelier, and provide beautiful experiences for our children, but at the end of the day, our children don’t want a discouraged, stressed-out mom who is wishing she were someone else."
It speaks to the idea that as moms and/or women we never feel like we are enough.
And when we have this feeling of not being enough then we get caught up spending so much time worrying about doing things a certain way, trying a new idea out, or trying to do something in a way that doesn't even work for ourselves or our family - that we lose out on the awesome-ness of being our real selves.
One of the things I am always getting down about is the idea of presence. Am I taking in my children, looking them in the eyes, spending time each day talking to them, hearing them, playing a little something with them, giving them a hug. Am I teaching them enough, guiding them to be incredible human beings, making them aware of kindness, thoughtfulness, and empathy. And I get overwhelmed, emotional, and so down about not doing enough and not being enough. But today another blogger wrote an incredible post on being present and the reality of the idea of presence.
This is from the Extraordinary Ordinary blog that I follow titled You are Already There, and this is just a snippet:
"We end up in the deep end of the pool with so little skill and we can be alone there, pumping our tired arms and legs for hours. We can be in the trenches of the daily grind with pee outside the toilet and endless laundry and always crumbs. We can be out there all alone and miraculously, we’re still seeing the blue of eyes and the softness of hair and the tilt of a head. We can be in this pool for hours on end and we can still feel the heat of the sun on our skin and take in the green of the nearest trees and be in awe of it. We can spin circles looking for the next obstacle that feels a lot like waiting for shark fins to appear too close by and while we’re doing that we can catch sight of our child in one split second moment and appreciate some fine detail that no one else could possibly see, because we’re there. We’re really there, bobbing up and down but alive and kicking and fighting. That is presence.
The thing is, our kids are not putting this pressure on us to stay in the moment. They are doing their thing all around the pool and they don’t seem to notice that we’re running out of steam and dipping under. They just want us to stay there, nearby and cheering them on as they (hopefully) learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Because, I mean, Mom has four phone calls to make before noon and she has to get the sister to the doctor and then she’s got to figure out what’s for dinner. And in the moments when someone has finally thrown that mother a life saving floating donut and she can catch our breath and sit close to her child and ask them questions and really look at them, it is the icing on the otherwise very messy cake.
Most of us, we feel it all…the love and the pain and the joy and the guilt and the bone-weary exhaustion. We cope and we fail and we overcome and we try again. We keep going. All of this is the making of a mother, sloughing off her edges until she’s more of the person she wants to be and all the while, even when it doesn’t seem so, seeing all of it through means that she is present. She may be drowning in the daily grind and she doesn’t have to love that, because the truth is that she loves her small people, her growing up little offsprings of joy. And when they pee outside the toilet and she swears under her breath and grabs the paper towels and cleaner and goes to the floor on her knees, she doesn’t have to stand up and ask herself if she’s truly living in the moment. She is. It doesn’t get more real than that.
My mind is always crowded. It makes me feel unpresent. But I have to remember that when I pick my boys up from school or get Elsie from a nap, I mean every beat of my happy-to-see them heart,and when I ask them questions, I really want to know the answers and when I praise their work, I truly am proud. And even when these kinds of moments only add up to fifteen minutes of our busy days, it is enough because it is what I can do from the deep end and they know that I love them.
I’m writing this to myself but I’m also writing it to you, Mama. Every moment is holy, even if you don’t always have the energy or time to notice. It is this holiness that keeps you, wraps you up in truly living it, despite your trenches and yourself. Let’s stop over-analyzing it so much so we can more freely live it.
After all, we have been here all along."
Immersing yourself in rooms full of moms, spending time pinning on Pinterest, reading blogs, magazines, parenting books, walking the aisles of Target, being at the park, walking in to school to get your kids or picking them up in the carpool lane, and the list goes on...all of these places can give such great inspiration and motivation. They can confirm your mothering but they can also cause you to question whether you are a good mom.
And none of us should ever question that. We are the best moms for our children. We are their superhero (even if they don't run to us like they do their daddy when he arrives home from work), even if they don't want to be on our team (when you just creamed him in his first game of Canasta), even if they won't eat the food you cook, or they stomp up to their bedroom saying they are never coming down. You're their mom and you ARE a big deal.
You ARE enough.
YOU are already there.
So let the windows be open, the fresh air come rushing in, listen to them play without feeling guilty that you aren't pushing them on the swing at that very moment. Be sure of yourself as a mama. And take a moment to tell another mama that they are enough. Being a mom is one of the experiences in life with very little feedback, pats on the back, raises or rewards. The results of your hard work aren't always seen for years. You don't always find appreciation coming your way on a daily basis. So be deliberate in reminding those incredible mamas around you what an incredible job they are doing.
You Are enough.
You are already there.