Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day.  For whatever reason I am sitting here wondering what exactly MAKES a good mom.  I know you don't even have to give birth to a child to be a "good mom" but what if I don't even measure up under the definition of "decent mom" let alone a "good mom"?  I guess perhaps there is a difference between a "good mom" and a "super mom".  "Super moms" don't really exist I suppose - but for some reason - society makes us think there a million of them running around out there and we are failing at our jobs.  At least it does for me.   It's a RARE RARE thing where I am told by someone that I am a "good mom".  As a matter of fact...minus my husband...I don't think ANYONE has told me that.  My husband gets compliments about being a great father all the time - but me?  Not so much.

As a mom to two girls, and the wife of a firefighter whose schedule does not give me a partner that is home every single night (and lately - has not been home for a couple weeks), I find myself feeling like a failure as a parent.  I yell.  I put in time out.  I make my kids cry.  I cry.  I feel like a bully.  I crave alone time.  I have been known to have the kids watch some tv so I can take a break and decompress as best as a stay-at-home-mom can.  I have checked out a time or two.  I am not a good play-partner.  I don't spend as much time as I should with them.  I can't quite figure out how to give both of them all the attention they both need at the same time.  I can't seem to keep the house clean.  I can't seem to please everyone.

Hmmm.  Maybe that's the problem?  I spend so much time pleasing everyone else (or at least trying to) - I forget about me.  But does a "good mom" just do that - forget about themselves and put everyone else first?

I love.  I laugh.  I tickle and make them snort when laughing.  I've even been known to make them laugh so hard they snort and fart at the same time.  I hug.  I kiss.  I scratch backs to relax.  I wipe butts.  I sing.  I rock.  I read books and play with puzzles.  I take them places.  I TRY to teach the ABCs and 123s.  I TRY to teach how to spell C-A-T or D-O-G.  I give them a sense of family by having grandparents and aunts over (to me it's so important to have a good family bond with extended family).  I bake (although I know they only help so they can eat the batter or the dough).  I bring them to the park when I can't stand going to the park.  I allow them to learn on their own (as hard as that is).  I feed, clothe, bathe and fix boo-boos.  I dry tears.  I love. 

I don't know what makes a great mom.  I'm sure my mom wondered if she was a good mom herself.  I am sure most moms wonder the same thing.  I guess the one thing I DO know is in my heart I love those little girls more than I could ever find the words for.  My actions may not always show that - but it's true.  I just really hope I don't screw them up to where they need therapy later in life.  I make mistakes.  I am human.  I am a mom.         



John said...

I don't know what makes a good mom, either, but, I don't know, maybe you said it in there - you love. That's really it.

I'm the "worker" with a stay-at-home partner, so I really try to do whatever I can for the weekends to give my wife a break. There was one weekend where I talked my wife into going away for the weekend to go to a bridal shower. Of course, everything went wrong. The dogs rolled in something vile in the yard, the kids were both fighting sleep so ultra punchy, the girl would just poop through diapers like her life depended on it (I think I had to change her clothing 5 times this day, my own twice), the boy would throw an ultra-tantrum anytime I paid attention to anything but him. TV was not working as a distraction. We were out of milk.

It was a bad day.

Sometime in the afternoon, I changed the boy's diaper, went downstairs. My girl looked up at me with a great big smile so I picked her up & *squish*

Pick her up, pick him up, head upstairs for yet another diaper change, and I realize that we're out of wipes.

I just lost it. I threw a towel on the floor, sat the girl down on the floor, sat down myself, and started bawling (manly, I know). My boy started going "sssssssssssss" and patting my head. I realized he was imitating my actions as I try to soothe him when he's having especially evil teething pains.

I realized that, maybe, I was doing an ok job then.

You're a great mom, Denise, because you want to be one.

alison said...

oh D - to me, the definition of a good mom is good love. your girls KNOW they are loved!!! even if you may not seem the most lovable, they'll never have to question what they mean to you.

maybe nobody has told you that you are a good mom because you aren't - you're an EXCELLENT, loving mother. your girls are truly, truly, amazingly lucky to be YOUR daughters.

MommaKiss said...

I know what makes a great mom. Love your kids and make sure they know that it's ok when they cry for you. And when you cry in front of them. Make them feel loved, even when you may have to yell at them - that will stick with them. You good Momma you

doyoudangle :) said...

The good moms are the ones who question whether or not they are good moms. The rest couldn't care less to figure out where they could do better. You're awesome!!