Monday, January 25, 2010

Encouragement for Moms of Toddlers

I can't believe how quickly time has passed. How am I suddenly the mother of two teenagers? I have felt a slight panic lately that my time for mothering is almost over, and I don't know what else to be. I know that my kids will always need me, I still need my parents, but the everyday caring won't be there anymore. So, for those of you with little ones, I know you don't want to rewind that Disney movie for the one hundredth time, and you would like to step into the tub without having to remove the truckload of bath toys, but I assure you it will go much too quickly.
Let me share with you something that happened the other day that may encourage you that you don't have to be perfect for your children.

I have just read the book How To Reach Your Full Potential for God. It talks about finding your gifts and talents and using them the way God intended for you to do. I have been really thinking about this, wondering what my gifts are. Katelyn was sitting at the table and I said to her, "Don't just think of something nice to say, really think about it, what do you think my gifts are? What am I good at?" She thought for several seconds then said "Uummm, You are real good at being a mom!" Melted my heart.
Trust me, I am not telling this story boastfully, I am telling it because I have not been a perfect mother. We struggled financially during the "single" years. I jokingly say we have had everything but our oxygen supply cut off, if we would have had to pay for that we'd have been dead! I have not always checked homework and backpacks, I have lost my cool and screamed at the top of my lungs, I have said "bad words" in front of my get the point! Even though I did not always do things perfectly, thank God, my kids still see "perfection" in me. They remember trips we went on, how I used to act out scenes of Peter Pan with them ("I'm a codfish!") eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a blanket in the living room while we watched tv. The simple things. I have never been able to give my kids a lot monetarily, I guess I didn't have to.
So, once again, if you are the mom of toddlers and every now and then you make a boo-boo, it is OK!! Let the kids see your mistakes, otherwise they will always try to live up to an unreal standard. If you make mistakes, they are more likely to tell you when they make one. If your kids think you are great and that you are doing a good job being a mommy, that is all that matters.
Remember, take good care of your kids, but take good care of yourself. Don't beat yourself up over something that they won't remember...or at least won't hold against you, lol.
Have a great, imperfect, mistake filled day!


sherri said...

What?! You yelled? I NEVER did!
Okay, I'm lying, it was pretty common actually, when all three were young, and then again during those dang teenage years! I think they appreciate my not killing them as teens , now that they're older. Children are very merciful. Especially if you humble yourself and admit when you're wrong and ask forgiveness. God bless mommas!

Dana said...

Back from Disney World and doing some blog catch up.

Emma has said the same thing to me about being good at being a mom. The real test will be if she still says it when she's a teenager!

I sort of look at this topic like this:

You know my parents.. In all of my life, I have never seen them fight. And though I'm so thankful that they have given me an example of what a great marriage is, in our first year of marriage when we were averaging at least one fight a day, I thought I had made the worst mistake of my life because in my mind, couples that love each other didn't fight.

I think that I would feel the same way about being a mother if my mom had done that perfectly as well. She is a great mother! But not perfect. But because she never pretended to be, I never expected that of her. I feel like the worse thing I could do for my children is to do it perfectly (if it that was possible). That is not setting them up of a realistic view of life.

I'm very thankful that my mom was there to undo my unrealistic view of marriage. Being the youngest, I just wasn't around for the most difficult years...