Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bringing Out My Best Mom

I used to think a mother could only be the best mother if she stayed at home with her children.

I was young.  And naive.  And I had only one baby at the time.

I've since wised up and learned that every mom has to find her own schedule to bring out her best mom.  For some that's working full time.  Or part time.  Or working from home.  Or homeschooling.  Or being at home full time.

For me, working outside the home would not make me the best mom I can be.  It's not that I need to be with my kids 24/7.  It's that I'm too domestic.  I like to clean.  And cook.  And bake.  And organize.  I like wearing my yoga pants with my sequined apron all day.  I don't mind wearing a ponytail and scant makeup every day.  I don't need to leave the house every day to make my life feel complete.

This is who I am.

Another thing that brings out the really excellent mother in me is abiding to a schedule or routine.  Flying by the seat of our pants is only fun for a day or two before I start to get frustrated.  Mostly I get frustrated because the domestic part of me falls by the wayside because the kids demand all of my attention when there isn't a plan for the day.

But then comes September.  We find our rhythm.  There's a nice little hum at Casa del Nash when all gears are fully greased and running smoothly.

I have found that although the older kids are away from me more now than they ever have before, that I'm spending more quality one-on-one time with them than I ever have before.  I yell less.  They tantrum less.  We talk more.  The TV stays black.  The house is in order.  Birds sing.  Rainbows appear.

In the mornings I sip my hot cup of coffee while seated on the floor, watching my baby crawl around and discover new things.  She is undisturbed by older siblings who pull her this way and that and who yank toys out of her tiny hands.  What happens if I pull on this?  What happens if I open this?  What does it mean when mom says "no no" and says my name in that tone?

At lunch I sit with the little girl who is stuck in the middle and rarely gets her one-on-one time.  Her baby sister naps and together we have girl talk.  What did she have for a snack at school today?  Was she a helper?  Did she get to paint?  Did she go outside?  What are her friends' names?  There is no whining.  No screaming.  No demands.  Her little voice uses five-year-old language.  And she complains not once when I tell her it's time for a rest.  Her little body is weary from all that preschool play.

In the middle of the afternoon I see him skipping down the sidewalk with his green backpack and his Batman lunch box.  This boy gets lots of time with his dad but hardly any alone time with me.  He's the oldest so it's easy to say "just a minute" or "not right now".  His younger siblings' needs are more pressing.  But he's only just five and he still needs me too.  So we sit at the table while he eats his snack.  I give him my one hundred percent undivided attention and full eye contact.  His cup runneth over.  He talks and talks and talks about his day.  I don't even need to ask him questions.  All he asks for is my listening ear.  Sometimes he gets cranky and I know he's not acting out.  He's tired.  It's a long day for a little boy.  So we sit and read books knowing there will be no time after bath because he will be fast asleep before the sun has even had a chance to think about setting.

This is me, my best mom.  A slotted time for each child (and husband!) and still some left over for me.  I go to bed with little guilt and no regrets.

With another baby soon entering the picture, I realize it won't always be like this.  Come December my time will be stretched further and we'll have to find a new rhythm.  But just knowing what works, and most of all, what doesn't work, is always half the solution to any puzzle.

Each member of our family holds a unique spot that only they can fill.  And each is deserving of my attention no matter their age or ability.  Being able to fill up their love cups each day brings out my best mom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © Mama Nash | Custom Blog Design by Lilipop Designs