There are a few parenting images that weigh heavy on my heart. Images that haunt me when I’m a “bad mom” and encourage me when I’m being a “good mom”. The first is of my own mother. I remember very vividly my mom putting together a presentation. Even now, I don’t know what it was for, or where it was or how important it was. This is what I remember. My mom did something unexpected with her career and I was proud of her.
That was a new feeling for me. You know parents are proud of their children all the time, but the other way around? not so often. I was in college, working in the basement of the library and my mom asked for help with her powerpoint. For me, it was easy work, but for her, that darn power point was the stumbling block in her way towards a fabulous presentation. I remember at the time I was a teensy bit irritated at having to do something for my mother (as if they weren't paying for my college education at the time…what a brat!), but deep under that emotion, I felt proud. …of my mom.
You see, my mom was a teacher all of her life. She worked hard to get there and I should have been proud of the fact that she put herself through college with one little baby at home and one in her belly. …but of course it took having a baby in MY belly to fully comprehend how hard that must have been. Instead, I took it for granted that my mom was a teacher. That is what she was the whole time I was growing up and that was her “thing”. I didn't really consider her ambitions beyond it. …but ambitions she did have.
She wanted to do more – she reached for a big goal – and she got it. She got the presentation and I was proud of her.
As a mom now, I feel guilt for all the things I want to achieve. It is a balance of leaving behind dreams, while not leaving behind myself. I struggle with how much of myself I need to lose to be the best mom I can. Lose all of myself and I will be the worst mother imaginable, but keep all my dreams and my kids dreams take the back burner. When I err too far on the side of giving up all I dream of, I remember my mom and how proud I was of her. My kids might get irritated with me now and then, but when they are old and grown, I want them to think back and have moments they are proud of me. Just me. My accomplishments. Not out of love, but simply a moment that they are proud of what their mom accomplished.
Then there is the other side of the coin… CONTINUE…
I remember a story told of a little girl (or perhaps it was a boy) that used to interrupt their father during his devotional time. While I don’t remember the book or magazine or author or even whether the child was a boy or girl, I do remember this. The Daddy closed his Bible, turned to his child and gave them the attention they needed. No matter how good the thing was that the Daddy was doing, he still had time for his child. That author remembers vividly the father that loved her enough to pull her on his lap during a moment of peace and quiet instead of shooing her away.
I’m a shooer. When I have a thought, the words claw inside my soul for a few short minutes aching to get out. If I don’t make it to a keyboard or a pad of paper, the words can’t stand it and fly the coop. They are gone. The thoughts, the direction, the whole articles goes poof! and it is gone. So those moments of inspiration are like gold to me. I want to hold onto them, squeeze them for all they are worth and then get back to the dailly chore and journey of mothering. The problem is that sometimes the time my child most needs me are in those moments of inspiration. I’m learning to let the thoughts fly some days and hold onto the little baby hearts that need my lap more than the paper needs my words.