I am in a rather bad mood: sleep-deprived, dealing with crying children, and having a rather bad day. I am in need of some lift-me-up. I recently read this Huffington Post article called: “The Good Mother,” and it has done the job. We should tell each other why we are good moms, and here are my reasons.
Image: Kirsten Skiles via Flickr
1) Because I raise my children to be multilingual
I can’t tell you how proud I am to raise my children with so many languages and cultures. It is a huge privilege, and it is so much fun! Not only is it a part of my own heritage, but I hope it will give them a strong foundation for life. I do identify with being a multilingual mom the way other parents identify with a certain parenting philosophy. It does, however, come naturally to me. It doesn’t mean it is easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
2) Because I parent through culture
I love this article on Salon where a mom states that she parents with her brain. I can so identify with it. Things that come easily to other moms are a struggle for me. I had to forget everything I’ve ever read and learned about having children and learn it the hard way -- by trying and making mistakes and correcting them. I had to learn how to talk to my children. How to listen to them. How to love them. That was hard work. But I know I am at my best when I talk about the things that interest me: cultures, books, languages and art. I love explaining that to my eldest who is already old enough to understand these things. I love it. Also please take a moment to read this article “I Mother with my Entire Body.” I love it.
3) Because I can be playful
Just because I am clever and brainy doesn’t mean that I am boring or dull. Often, you will find me right there on the floor with my children, rolling around and laughing and playing. You will find me taking their hands on the street and singing aloud, not caring what others think. I have a sense of humour, and through puns and silly games, I can relate to them and have some childish fun!
4) Because I love cooking
Cooking is the one house-related activity I truly enjoy doing. I love preparing the ingredients, putting them into a hot pan or baking tray, and getting a wonderfully nutritious meal out of it. If that is not magic, I don’t know what is. It always astounds me that the same ingredients, mixed together in different proportions and prepared in different ways can make so many different things! And I cook a lot with my children. Once I asked my four-year-old what cake she wanted to make, and she surprised me with an almost perfect recipe. (3 flours, 2 sugars, 2 yeasts, 3 eggs, and apples.) Preparing bread or cake dough is pretty much the only crafty activity that I love doing with my children, and even my usually sensitive two-year-old chimes in and wants to knead some dough. I love cooking and hope my children will too!
5) Because I want them to have a good relationship with extended family
As an expat family, we want our children to spend some quality time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We travel to see family. We buy tickets for family so they can come see us. We leave the children with extended family so that we can go out. We know how important family ties are to children like ours. And they’re quite a relief for us, too.
6) Because I ask for help
I can’t even begin to tell you how much help I need with daily things. I have a cleaner, daycare for the children, and my husband is also a huge source of support. For expat families specifically, having a support network of other like-minded people is of crucial importance. I am grateful for my expat friends here in the Netherlands, and I also get help from other bloggers. I believe asking for help is not a weakness, and it doesn’t make me a bad mom. On the contrary, recognizing when I need it is absolutely crucial to my well-being and can makes me a better parent.
7) Because we travel
We don’t travel as much as we used to, except to see extended family. But we’re going to. We will take our children to other countries and show them the world. We will ensure that they see other countries, learn about other cultures, and feel at home in the world. We both love traveling and hope we will instill the love of travel in our children as well.
And, above all,
8) Because I love my children and want a good relationship with them
All the other points would be moot if it wasn’t for this one. Each of my children is different, and I love them all in a special way. I love them all individually and all of them together. I love pretty much everything about them, and I just love them because they’re here. While I don’t want to be their friend, I want to be the mom they turn to when they’ve had a bad day. I want to be the mom who gives hugs and kisses, in good and bad times. I want to listen to what they have to say, no matter how small. Because I love these little human beings.
I just came up with 8 ways that I am a good mom and am already feeling somewhat better, and I think there are many more! But this post is not to say “look how awesome I am for doing all of these things.” This post is to say: “think about what makes YOU an awesome parent.”
So please share your best qualities as a parent!
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