Most days I feel like an “ok” mom or sometimes even a bad mom. I keep my kids alive, sure, but sometimes I feel like I don’t make a difference in their lives that day.
But not today. Today I feel like a good mom.
It all started this morning at 6:15 when my oldest, Aria (4) came into our bedroom. About six minutes later I hear another bedroom door open followed by pitter-patter of the feet of my youngest, Ellis (2) running toward our bedroom. Both girls hop in bed with me and my husband while I’m still half asleep. I finally fully wake up and get to enjoy a few minutes of family cuddles. This never happens with both girls for more than a minute. It was so cozy and seemed picture-perfect (expect for my messy hair and unmatched PJs).
Then my alarm goes off.
And the day must begin.
I feel like it’s always a rush to get everything done. You see, I’m one of those type-A, OCD, anxiety-prone people who think there is more time in the day than there really is. But of course I do not like to be late. So naturally we rush. We rush to school. I rush to work. I rush leaving work to pick them back up to get them dinner before rushing to ballet/ musical theater/tumbling/you name it. We rush home to get Ellis to bed at a normal time. We rush to finish homework and piano lessons. And if we’re lucky, we can get through 3 kind-of-not-so-short books (almost always Star Wars). And then it’s Aria’s bedtime. Which, by the way, since she transitioned to the toddler bed almost three years ago has not been an easy task. Then I sit down to hopefully have a glass of wine (or a bottle) and a conversation with my husband to realize that it’s already our bedtime.
So needless to say, I don’t often feel like a good mom with all the rushing around we (I make us) do. But I can’t help it. I want them to experience all that they can and I want to fit everything into one day because I’m an optimist who will (by the definition of insanity) keep trying the same thing that yields the same results just to see if I can do it better.
Ok, so back to today.
I got the girls to school EARLY. Whaaat? Yeah. We hop out of the car and my 4-year-old starts drowning in silent crocodile tears. She left her lovies at home. Her pink baby and white blankie. Both that she’s had since she was way little and takes them to school to hold during quiet time. I didn’t notice she put them down on the way out the door.
“Great,” I think to myself. Most days she can get over it quickly and we decide they’re at home keeping her other stuffed animals company. But not today.
After dropping Ellis off at her class, I walk Aria to hers and she’s not happy. Not pouting or whining, but truly sad. I look at her and I totally get it. After offering up a school puppet to take her lovies’ place for the day and her not liking that idea, I tell her I will try to bring her lovies before quiet time if I can pull away from work. She seems relieved even at the thought of me offering even if I can’t make it. I give her a big hug and kiss, she says thank you then joins her friends for breakfast.
Man did I feel good. I mitigated the situation, she was happy, I was leaving feeling like a good mom, and it was only 7:45am. BOOM!
So I go home, get settled in my office, and log-in to work (I work remotely for a healthcare and technology company). Once I get a few hours of work done I look down at the clock and realize it’s almost noon. Crap, quiet time starts in 30 minutes! I had to keep my word to Aria. I scramble to wrap up a few things and think to myself, “I bet she doesn’t even remember she forgot her lovies… I’ve got so much more work to do.” I caught myself off guard for even thinking that. Then I think, “Is that the mom I really want to be?” NO!
I grab her lovies and jet out the door to school. When I walk into her classroom, she looks at me, surprised, and a huge smile appears on her face. She, in fact, didn’t remember she forgot them, but man did it feel good to keep my word even to something as small as this. She gives me big hugs and kisses and I head out the door.
As the door is almost shut I hear her yell, “HUG!” I turn around and she’s standing at the door with a huge smile wanting another hug. I go back in, she hugs me, then she happily runs over to the lunch table with her friends.
It’s not always about the big gestures but rather the follow-through that matters.
Today I feel like a good mom.