I asked my kids how I can be a better mom and their answers melted my heart
Moms have the hardest job. I don't think I need to tell you this; anyone who is raising or has raised kids knows the feeling. We are also told this all the time. Countless articles have been written, posts shared, status updates posted supporting the tough job that is being a mom. I am going to explain something though; the toughest part about being a mom is outside of your home.
Inside the home, with your kids and in your own domain is the easy stuff. When you step out your front door is when things get real. There is so much judgement. Coming from people with no kids, other moms, politicians, the nosy lady down the street, random strangers commenting on your kid in a cape in the grocery store. That is when this whole being a mom thing gets tough.
Somewhere along the line being a mom became about so much more than just being. There is currently a war of words attacking moms who have had C-sections, slinging insults to moms who do or don't vaccinate their children. Certain ways of parenting now have labels, and you have to pick your side. It can get terrifying and exhausting being a mom out in the world.
But, here is the thing... I am a mom because I have these three children. I am their mom, not the world's. This is where each mom's world is, their children. My kids are 7, 5 and 4. I asked them to list what they liked about me. Here is what they came up with.
"What do you like about me, about me being your mommy?"
- You find my blanket
- You help us
- I feel loved from you
- You walk me to the bus
- You keep us safe
- You like flowers
- You have a big heart
- I like that you married Daddy
- I like that you decorate our home
- You talk to us
- You have sword fights with us (with pretend swords)
I then asked, "What should Mommy do more of? How can I be a better Mommy?"
- I like you the way you are
- Play with me more
- Have more tea parties
- Don't make us eat vegetables
- No more bedtime
My heart melted hearing these things. However, I am not sharing this with you all as a humble brag of how awesome I am. I am simply trying to prove a point, which all of us need to realize. When asked what they like about me not one time did my kids mention how I birthed them, if I breastfed them, if they are fully vaccinated, if they eat organic. Not once did they bring up the style of parenting I am using to raise them. There was no mention of the method we used to put them to sleep as babies, or even any mention of our discipline style.
When I asked them what I needed to improve on it was sweet and simple things. My youngest also mentioned I should learn to skateboard like him. Other than my method of making them sleep and eat vegetables, their only request is to have more of me. They want me. That is it. That is all any of our kids want. Us, their moms. I explained to my oldest about how there are people in the world who like to tell moms what they should be doing, how what they are doing is wrong. I asked her if she cared what they thought. What she said floored me and humbled me. She said "No, we care about only you, Mommy, not everyone else." It was so clear cut, no hesitation.
Our kids care about us. They have no knowledge of the mommy wars, word slinging, accusations about who is doing what the best. Whatever the world thinks of you does not matter at all. Those children who you love matter. To them you are the best feeling, most comforting hug, safe haven, giggle attacker, ouch kisser. You laugh with them, teach them, encourage them, force feed them vegetables. Your kids, the people that actually call you Mommy are the ones who matter. Because to them, you are the absolute best mommy.
When it comes to Mother's Day you need to remember one thing, for this day celebrating us, as well as all year long. We are moms because of them. Those little ones who only want us. The voices, reprimands and judgement should mean nothing. Because to the world we are just a woman who is misguided and needs help doing the right thing. To our kids, we are simply their world.
Remember that when you are feeling attacked, when people give you a side eye because you're parenting differently than them. Just look to those children and hold to the truth that all those kids care about is you.