Motherhood is an eternal blow and lift to ones self esteem. When Wyatt and I converse, well, let’s be honest here, 95% of the time it’s about Wyatt’s business (or currently, Wyatt’s election) or other things that occupy Wyatt’s mind. He’s an extrovert who processes by talking things through. I am more introverted and process things in my own mind and heart before I discuss them with others. But the times when I do have something to say about life, it’s always about my children and my role in their lives. It is the cause simultaneously of my greatest anxiety and joy.
I’ve been watching for a number of years the mothers in my life – taking from them ideas of what I do and don’t want to be, and how I want to mold my little family.
But the past couple weeks I’ve been prompted (I think) to worry less about incorporating what other mom’s do or don’t do; but instead focusing on my children, and how to meet their individual needs and what works in our relationship.
In spite of those promptings (or even still, with them), these are some ideas and expectations I’ve set for myself. I’ve come under some sharp comments when I’ve vocalized these, so I’m a little tender here. But I have to remember not to worry about what other mom’s think.
I want my children to be clean and comely when we go out. I want them to be dressed in nice, clean, well fitting clothes that reasonably reflect the fashions of the times. I want their hair combed neatly.
I want my house to be clean for my kids to come home to. This one is difficult at this stage of life because my children don’t seem to buy into it. The cleanliness of my house ebbs and flows, and I think I do a reasonably good job of not stressing over this one too much (except when I’m expecting 😉
I want my children to have healthy, home cooked meals. I want them to have a mother who cooks. I don’t like it when I hear about children (elementary school age) that have to cook their own meals. It makes me feel sad for those kids. This is a service that I want to do for my children to provide an environment of peace where their needs are being met.
I want to spend time with my kids. I try very hard to take them on outings on a fairly routine basis – to have exposure to museums and parks and activities where they can learn and grow.
I want my children’s friends to want to come to my house. I was discussing this with Wyatt the other day and concluded that I must start bribing them! So, now when ever my kids have friends over, the treats are opened up and everyone is welcome to yummy foods!! Wyatt laughed and said it was karma for all the food he ate at his friends growing up.
I want to be a softer mom. This is one I struggle the most with. I think I have an unintentionally stern voice. I think I can come across as being sharp or snappy when really everything is fine. I think of Daisy in the Great Gatsby who’s voice is soft and lovely and she can charm all around her with just the sound of it. I need to practice speaking softly. I really need to practice this one!
I want to have a family that plays together. I came to some conclusions last year about this: about protecting family time. I have worked very hard on this, and continue to do so. I try to plan and execute family activities and have appropriate time where just our little family is together.
I want to teach my children the gospel. In this I think we are doing pretty well. We never miss Family Home Evening (I seriously can’t remember the last time we missed-it’s been at least over a year). We never miss church unless for some reason we’re out of town. We aren’t perfect on our prayers or scripture study, but they’re in our lives on a fairly consistent basis. But more than this, I want to teach my children the gospel explicitly. I don’t want to assume they will know something. I want to talk to them about it, about the history and the doctrine and the culture so they gain an understanding of the eternal importance of our choices, and the courage to do the right thing, even when it seems like it’s “no big deal.”
I want to be a mother than can be counted on- a reassuring rock in the sea of life. I want to teach my children independence and responsibility, but I also want them to know that their mom’s got their back.
I’m so far from perfect. This and all the other ideas I have in my head and heart about who I want to be to my kids – this is what keeps my up at night, and on my knees in the morning. Just yesterday I was praying that Heavenly Father would some how wipe off the mess of her mother off Olivia, that she wouldn’t be troubled the rest of her life with my imperfections. I’ve often wished for a parenting class or something (I have taken some classes, and read lots of books) that would give me ideas and approaches to the problems I face – not the discipline of my kids, but the overall Ness of their mother. I wish I could see the end from the beginning.