We need to appreciate who we are and our unique purpose. None of us will mother the same way. We each have unique strengths, talents and styles that no one else can re-create. We need to find and keep a satisfaction with who we are and what we do. Confucius said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” We need to choose what it is we want to do and give it all of our efforts. Those choices may change over time, but we need to decide and accept our general path and find contentment within it.
We as mothers get so hung up on what we should be doing with our children, how we should be mothering them and when we should do certain things. And where do those guidelines usually come from? Often they are from parenting magazines, mothering “experts”, well intentioned friends, the lady up the street, etc. etc. It seems when we don’t choose to do things the same way as another, we too often allow feelings of guilt and discouragement to creep in.
I can choose to allow my kids to stay home from school one day “just because” even though another may look down on it. I may choose for my children to have limited involvement in extra-curricular activities amid questions from others. Maybe my children’s morning schedule seems extremely uptight to a friend, and my children’s list of chores at our house may be longer than their peers. I am OK with that. It works for us.
My husband and I have a saying in our house that the children tire of hearing, yet we never apologize for saying: “It’s what we do.” Our expectations may seem higher than some, they may seem far lower than others. There really is no measuring device. But it is what we are choosing to do. What you do and what I do may be very, very different, but guess what? We may end up getting similar results! Who knows?
“It’s what we do.” We each have to find that satisfaction. We have to have confidence in what we are doing is right for us. There is no magical way to tell another to find it. It has to come from within. It comes from trial and error. It comes from a personal quest and search to gain peace and contentment with our individual mothering/parenting style.
You will never see a beautiful dress I sewed for my children. You will probably never see me reading from a novel each night with my children. You will rarely find me inviting my children into the kitchen to cook with me. You will not see me in my children’s classroom each week. You will NEVER see me playing with playdough…
But guess what?
You will see me being their craft class instructor. You will find me involved with my children’s school PTA. You will find me hiding in a closet playing hide and seek with them. You can find me outside jumping on the trampoline with a three-year-old. You’ll see me making homemade birthday cakes.
Just like you, I am a unique mother. I love the part from the book, ‘Happy Birthday’ by Dr Seuss:
Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That’s a great thing to be!”
When we are able to embrace our individual mothering style and appreciate the uniqueness that is ours, we will find contentment and purpose in our lives.
Question: What unique qualities do you have that you love?
Challenge: Turn the negative comparisons you find yourself making to other mothers, to positive ones. Example: “Why don’t I enjoy ‘playing zoo’ with my children?” to “My children love that I ________ with them.”