The other day someone told me that I was a really good mom. I was shocked. Me? Laura Weigel Douglas? The girl that still thinks of herself as a girl? The girl that asks herself several times a day, “Am I doing this right?” I almost died with relief.
I know I’m a good mom, it’s just that sometimes, I’m not sure if I’m a really good mom. I mean, I think I am. Am I? Agghhh, it’s so hard to know. Some moments it seems I have it all down, and the next thing I know I’m having to bribe my 4 year old with a chocolate bar in front of the last-person-in-the-world-you-want-to-bribe-your-daughter-in-front-of (I know that’s a long name but I had to get my point across, those people exist out there, the ones that judge you because your daughter has dirt on her face and chocolate on her cheek and I just couldn’t brush her hair this morning because I was too tired and I haven’t brushed my hair in a week).
What I’m learning, is that motherhood is a lot of little things mixed together, and doubt about how you’re doing is one of them. Thankfully, it’s not the biggest part. It’s more like a “pinch of salt” in the dough. For me, motherhood is a pretty basic recipe on a day to day basis. It has 3 ingredients: Choices, Time & Affection.
Choices: Every single day, I’m faced with a bunch of choices. You are too, I’m sure of it. It starts early, the alarm goes off, and I lay in bed and decide if I actually have to wake up or if I can wait until my next alarm. I usually decide that I don’t need makeup today and I won’t care if I look like an 11 year old girl all morning with frizzy hair and rosy cheeks, so I press snooze (p.s. always by noon when I’m still the girl with frizzy hair and rosy cheeks I wish I would’ve just spent the extra five minutes with a hair brush, but oh, the extra sleep always wins at 5:00am). Then I have to decide what to do about breakfast, about my attitude, about what to do with the 2 hours I have before I pick up Isla from preschool, what to make for after school snack, etc. etc. Sometimes, just the idea of all the decisions I have to make is overwhelming, and I think part of that is because of the pressure I put on myself. I hold this little’s girls life in my hands. If I don’t sign her up for ballet next year am I going to destroy her chances at adulthood? No, probably not, but weirdly my irrational mind sometimes takes me there.
Time: I work full time. I write this blog and sometimes books. I watch Hallmark movies and horse shows. I read a lot (or at least did before I was a mother). I selfishly (and humanly) crave alone time because I am always with other people. Here’s what I have learned. We all have only 24 hours a day. We each get to choose where and how we spend it. I fight with myself every single day, trying to find a balance between motherhood, wifehood, myselfhood. I haven’t found an answer. I just know that on my last day, I’m not going to be excited that I watched one more episode of a horse show on Netflix, but I will remember that day Isla and I fed the ducks at the pond down the road. I am always trying to make that right choice, but I don’t always do it.
Affection: This is what I do best. I’m the girl that will tell you I love you 17 times just to make sure you heard it. I’ll say it first and I’ll say it the most. I say it every single time I get off the phone with any member of my family, because it’s the truth. It’s that simple. So it’s easy for me to be the mom that is constantly kissing my sweet girl’s cheeks, because why wouldn’t I? She has the cutest cheeks ever. It’s natural, and I think it’s important. Affection is the way you show someone you love them and kids need that more than anyone.
I don’t always get the balance right, but I try to mix these three ingredients together in a somewhat even and responsible way. And you know what? Every day, what I am rewarded with is a PRIVILEGE. That’s what motherhood is. A privilege. We’re the lucky ones people. Let’s not forget that when we’re folding clothes or have to push pause in the middle of a horse show to read “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie” for the tenth time.
Let’s not get lost in the busyness and lose ourselves.
Let’s be the ones that remember how very blessed we are to have little ones that laugh and run and look at us like we’re still cool.
So this Mother’s Day, let’s be thankful, not perfect. Let’s spend the day proud that someone calls us mom. Today is our day to realize how very lucky we are. And then tomorrow, when I wake up and I’m tired, I’m not going to care if I’m the frizzy haired girl at work because I have an amazing girl at home and I spent those extra five minutes cuddling in bed with her….yep, summertime she sleeps in bed with us (choices)…….but you know what, I just don’t think I’ll ever regret that.
❤ A work in progress
P.S. Happy Mother’s Day mom! You showed me what it means to put your girls first, every step of the way, every single day. I’m thankful and I’m privileged to be yours. In this equation I’m pretty sure I’m the lucky one. Love you!