The mother you are today and the mother you want to be.
The conference opened with a keynote from Abigail Disney, who shared a quote from a Gloria Steinem speech to a boys' school: "Think of the father you have today and the father you want to be." The words really resonated with me slightly differently, "Think of the mother you are today and the mother you want to be."
I struggle with being the mom I want to be daily. I find myself saying 'No' more times than I'd like. I find myself getting frustrated with repetitive whining or the "I'm really tired and going to throw a fit for no reason" fits. I try to remember that my kids are great kids. I try to remember that they have spent their day remembering rules and growing; that's got to be exhausting. I try to remember that my girls are little sponges who soak up what I show them. And, yet, more times than I am comfortable with, I lose my temper. I show them my frustration rather than my patience. More times than I am proud of, I have to say 'Mommies make mistakes sometimes too." I'm not writing this because I think I'm a bad mom. I don't. I love my girls more than anything I've ever thought or known. Being their mother is my great privilege and joy. I just want to make sure that how I mother them shows them my joy and love. This post is my public resolve to do better.
Sometimes I get it right. My girls and I love creating things together. I paint their nails and play dress-up with them. When I ask them, those activities are their favorite things. Yesterday, I drove straight fromt he airport and immediately took them for a mommy & girls afternoon. We had lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon at a Family Fun Day. We were silly. I let them ride whatever rides they wanted as many times as they wanted. We planted seedlings and I watched them win the carnival games. I let them have cotton candy, sweets, and take as long as they needed. We were on their schedule and we had a wonderful time. I loved seeing them experience the different activities. I loved seeing how each of my girls reacted differently to the same situation. How brave my oldest child is. How ready she is to take on the world. I saw how quietly observant my younger daughter is and how she still really wants to just be by my side. I love being that mom. I love seeing them just Be.
I know that I can find a way to be a fun mom at the same time as being the mom who gives them guidelines and boundaries. I don't want to lose sight that I have an obligation to these girls to raise them to be more than they dream they can be. It is an awesome responsibility, to be a good parent. I know I can do it. From now on I need to remember to be the mother I want to be.