Wednesday, October 31, 2012

being the mom I want to be

This month has been really interesting for me.

A few days after I started this series, I was confronted with something that made me really, really feel like a bad mom.  I am still wrestling with this.  Maybe I didn't understand something.  Maybe I didn't ask enough questions.  Maybe I didn't research enough.  Maybe I should have done this or that....oh and the internet can be your worst enemy at those times, thankfully I have had professionals tell me there was nothing that could change would have been this way no matter what I did or did not do.

I spent a lot of time really inner-focused on my mothering.  My kids are the MOST important thing to me.  No one ever prepared me for how much I would love them.  My mom used to tell me that she would cut off her arm for me and I thought that was a little overly dramatic--until I became a mom.  I would lay down my life for my girls in a heartbeat.

I remember when I was pregnant with Allie, I just kept praying and praying that she would be healthy.  One day, I was on my way to work--and I remember this SO CLEARLY.  I was driving Jason's pick-up truck, I have no idea why I was driving it, but I was and I was at a traffic light and I was a little nervous driving that BIG truck (I am tiny, just 4'11" and driving BIG vehicles feels cumbersome to me).  If I am driving alone, I usually turn the radio off and spend that time with God.  So, there I was praying and suddenly it dawned on me that there would be times when my daughter would be scared or nervous or hurt and there would be nothing I could do about it.  It was overwhelming.  I had never thought of that before.  It broke my heart.  I almost wanted to turn back.  I knew that the pain of my children would be almost too much for me to bear.

I remember the first time someone was mean to Allie.  We were at playgroup, she was a little over a year old and there was a group of kids going around a tree in a circle.  Allie toddled over and tried to follow them and one little girl pushed her, she didn't want to wait for a little wobbly toddler to make her wobbly way around the tree.  I grabbed that little girl and got in her face and said, "YOU don't push HER!"  and then I caught myself and backed off.

I have a really, really hard time seeing my kids struggle with anything.  I have a hard time when people are mean to my kids.  I know that I need to let them fall sometimes.  I know that pain is part of every life, but it is SO HARD FOR ME TO STAND BY AND WATCH.

I have been praying and I was so blessed to go to Allume.  As I was praying I had this thought, I like to think that God put this thought in my heart...Can you say that you did everything you did out of love?  I can honestly and truthfully say YES.  Yes, I did everything I did out of love.  Then you did nothing wrong.

As moms we are going to fail.  We are going to make mistakes.  We are going to do things all wrong.

I go through times when I wonder if homeschooling is really the right thing.  I wonder if my old-fashioned values-which sort of don't entirely conform to the values of our society all the time-are going to be a detriment to my kids.  I wonder if I am too easy on them.  I wonder if I should give them tests.  I wonder if I should discipline more.

But, I think, at the end of the day, if we can say that we did everything we did out love...then it will all be okay.  As long as we act out of love, God will handle the rest.

Being the mom I want to be means making my kids my top priority.  Every decision I make involves them.  My decision to work or not to work involves them--I love that I work at the library, that the women I work with all make my girls feel special and that I can bring my girls to work with me where they feel part of the library.  My decision to blog involves them, most of the reason why I blog is to chronicle our lives so that one day, no matter where they are in the world they can look back at our life and remember what this time was like.  I also blog because I enjoy the melding of photography and words and real life and I want them to see that moms can have interests outside of their kids because I think that is healthy.  My decision to homeschool obviously involves them--I want them to love learning, I want them to view learning as exploration not memorization; I want them to have room to be creative and to get excited about ideas; I want them to brainstorm and to feel confident in sharing ideas and opinions...I don't want their learning focused on a test or on thinking one certain predetermined way.

 Sure, I'd like to be the milk and cookies mommy.  I would like to be neat and organized and throw pinterest-perfect parties.  I would like to always have the answers.  But I am not perfect.  I have to trust that if I do everything I do out of love then the Lord will work the rest out.

I would love to always be there to chase away anyone or fix anything that hurts my girls...but I know I can't, so part of being the mom I want to be is making sure my girls know that God is always there for them, even when they are hurting, even when they feel powerless and vulnerable.  God is always there.