I love Mother’s Day. Not just because I have the best son in the world, but more so because I have a fabulous Mom. In fact, she was so wonderful that I wanted to be just like her when I became a Mom.
This is what a typical day was like at our house:
- Mom woke us up by quietly calling our name from our bedroom door.
- She cooked a hot breakfast, always.
- If it was raining Mom drove us to the bus stop and waited for the bus to arrive.
- We took our lunch, and there was usually a hand written note inside to give us a mid-day boost.
- When we came home from school, she was eager to hear about our day.
- She cooked dinner – every day – and we sat down and ate as a family.
- And then, she stayed up with my brother and I until all homework was completed.
I promise I am not making this up. It seems so far-fetched from the lives we lead now and yet if you talk to many “old school” moms they’ll tell you they did all this in addition to volunteering at the school, at the church, and in the community. Sometimes they worked outside the home too!
So with that as a backdrop imagine my surprise when I discovered how difficult it was to put that plan into action! It seemed so effortless as my Mother floated through her day. But when my son started school I discovered that I couldn’t quite replicate her brilliant parenting. Our day went like this:
- Call “get up” loudly through the door as I zing by to get myself dressed.
- Pop by the doughnut shop on the way to school to get breakfast kolaches.
- Pull up as the bell is ringing – get side eye from the kid because I’ve made him late.
- Send lunch or lunch money, depending on if I had time to grab groceries
- Screech to a halt at 5:58pm as the after-school program closes at 6pm – if traffic was good and I managed to leave work at 5:17pm.
- Pick up dinner because I’m too tired to cook OR on a good day go home and cook while I listen to his recap.
- Sit next to him and work while he does homework. Pray he doesn’t have much so we can both go to bed early.
I chuckle about it now, but in those days I had so much guilt over it. I worked a lot of hours, traveled on a regular basis, and consistently felt like there wasn’t enough me to go around. More than anything I wanted to be a good , mom, but it was so much harder than my Mom made it look.
I spent countless hours worrying about not spending enough time with him, not listening enough, feeding him too much junk food, and on and on and on. Always trying to live up to the standard of what I thought it took to be a good parent, and worried that I was somehow missing the mark.
But for all you busy Moms here’s some good news – you’re wasting time worrying. As a busy Mom who now has a happy, healthy, fully functioning adult son I’m happy to report that they survive, they “find” themselves just fine, and most of what you’re worried about never happens.
I’ve discovered that at the end of the day, in addition to providing food, shelter and clothing, there are really only 3 lessons our children need from us:
- Love passionately – God, themselves and others. We know this but here is what we sometimes forget – if we don’t teach our kids to love themselves as God made them they will forever see themselves and those around them through their lens of insecurity. Helping our children develop a healthy self-esteem is one of our greatest gifts to them.
- Be less concerned about the amount of time we have, and instead be fully present in the moments we’re given. No matter how much time we have, it will never be enough time with our babies. But when we give them our full attention in the moments we’re together, meaning put down the smart phone, we’re teaching them that people matter. That they matter. And that time is a precious gift to share with the people you love.
- Think for yourself, make good decisions, and forgive yourself when you jack stuff up. Listen, they’re our kids. That means they won’t be perfect. When they make bad choices, forgive quickly and move on. And most importantly, help them forgive themselves. That way they maintain enough confidence and courage to try again.
That’s about it. When we get this right, everything else seems to fall into place. So busy moms, give your selves a break. In this hyper crazy world where you’re supposed to make your own baby food, breast feed until their 18, and let them live with you until their 30 the pressure to be a perfect parent has really just become too much!
Being a good parent is about being fully present in the moments we have. Having fun and laughing, a lot. Playing together and listening, more than speaking. Mostly it’s just doing the best you can with what you have, and knowing that’s enough. Because from one busy mom to all of you here’s a little secret…that’s what’s most important to them, and it’s really all they remember.
Know how I know? My son describes me the same way I describe my Mom, and that’s just fine with me.
Hugs and Love to All the Busy Moms Loving their Babies, Big and Small. ❤
Lol!!! I love this! He is definitely blessed to have you! Happy Mother’s Day!!!
Katrina McGhee says
Ah…thanks! Please extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to your mom too! She did a great job with you! 🙂
Brandon Scott says
This is a great read mom and very very true! Make the most of each moment. Love you lots.
Katrina McGhee says
I love you too! So, so proud of you. 🙂