Today's post is guest post from my sister-in-law, Tenaya (who made this wonderful video for me). She is a dedicated mother with a fierce love for her children. I think you're going to like her . . .
If you are a mother you are important, grievously important.
It's like Tigger says, “I'm the only one!” You are your child's only mother and you are irreplaceable.
We all are wrapped up from day to day thinking about how we can be better mothers and rightfully so, but I want you to take some time today and think about your mother.
Think about when you were a child. What did your mother do, or not do? Think about the good things, but also think on the not so good. What mistakes did your mother make and how did it hurt you? Is it still hurting you even though your 27, 35, or 42 years old? Have you had to go to therapy to deal with the feelings you have toward your mother?
I'm not trying to be a bummer here, you probably had a terrific mother. My point is how everything we do matters to our children and will continue to matter as they become adults. You must wrap your head around this! If you parent your children by the seat of your pants, without a plan, without thoughtful consideration, without prayerful meditation, you WILL harm your children irreparably. You only have a small window of time to influence your children and the window gets a little smaller everyday.
I want to tell you a true story.
Last year I was living in a place were the only yard we had was a front yard and at the edge of the yard was a busy sidewalk. I didn't like my kids playing out there because it felt like they were on display to the world. When I did let them out, I was always there with them to protect them.
One afternoon I took them out in the yard and because the weather was warm I let my oldest turn on the hose. The next thing I knew we were covered in mud, myself included, and we were making mud pies. I adopted the attitude if you can't beat'em join'em. I decided to ignore the looks of the passerbys and just enjoy my kids packing mud on my legs.
A man, roughly around the age of sixty, walked past and said, “Oh, what lucky boys! You're teaching them to make mud pies.”
I smiled at him and said something vague about not wasting the fine weather. One second he was smiling, the next a look of pain clouded his face. “I wish my mother would have played in the mud with me. You're a good mommy.”
I was shocked and impressed upon by the candidness of the stranger and it was one of those moments that made me feel the weight of my job as a mother.
That poor man, even at the age of sixty is still in pain from what his mother didn't do. I was filled with determination that my children would not feel any such thing as grownups.
I have made mistakes as a mother and I will make more in the future, but I know that I will make less mistakes than I would if I didn't think about these things and remind myself of them daily.
I know for a fact that nothing I do in this life is as important as the choices I make as a mother. Being average, okay, or good doesn't cut it. I'm determined to be the best.
It's not a competition between me and you or you and Fran from the PTA. You are your child's only mother. The only person you're in competition with is yourself. Don't compare yourself to the woman next door. Deal with your shortcomings and be a better mother today than you were yesterday.
Stacy's Note: What do you think ladies? Wasn't that a powerful reminder to think carefully about the choices we make as mothers? This post reminded me just how important a mother is. It also helped me see the value of the little things. Our kids don't need anything grand, they just want our time and attention.
Top image by Mollypop