Friday, February 11, 2011

Growing is possible

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~Guillaume Apollinaire

This weekend it is my goal to pause and just be happy.

We'll see what happens! If I write it down it tends to be more effective so I write this with high hopes!

There was recurrent theme this week around moms and mom guilt.

My favorite blog touched on it :
"It will be a repeated declaration here, something I will continue to remind myself to do by typing the words, and I'll feel good just by saying it. I'll celebrate triumphantly when I've had a nice stretch of days completely aware and undistracted and yet I know I'll have days where I'll feel guilty for multi-tasking and spending too much time checking e-mails or planning what we'll do next. I think the see-saw of being fully present and reminding myself to be is good though.
But I think that tiny uncomfortable feeling of guilt that arises when we feel we could have done better is good too. Because what follows it is the best of the best, Baby--the full-dose, the first fruits. If we've already arrived, we have no place to go. But if we, for just a moment, feel like we might have slipped, how amazing are those next efforts, eh?
My sister and I recently discussed the presence of fear because it seems everyone wants to be fearless these days. Don't get me wrong--I want to be a badass. But, as my sister said, "A little bit of fear is good. Without it, we'd get into a lot of trouble." I thought about it, and she's right. Fear and guilt and all those bad emotions we think we, as moms, are supposed to detox out aren't always so bad. Sometimes they govern good. And, while I ultimately seek a beautiful world of balance, until then, I will use a good occasional dose of guilt to propel me to deliver the best of the best. Ebb and Flow. One step back and three badass steps forward." Kelly Hampton

My week started with those words and the conversations I had with other moms this week really centered on that balance and the guilt in between.  I've been there ya know. I've been the mom that I am proud of. The mom that I hope to be, but I've also been the type of mom I would never want to be. The kind that yells too quickly, speaks to harshly, sits too long absorbed in my own thing wishing the kids could go to bed just a little sooner.  I've been the mom who desperately wishes she could have more time with her kids and I've been the mom who thinks she cannot spend another minute alone with my kids.

I am not sure what makes a "good" mom. I am not sure that I can ever live up to this illusive, undefined, definition of what I think I "should" be.  Maybe that is okay. I am going to go out on a limb here and so no one probably ever does. 

I think what I am most amazed by is that I have some great friends who I trust with most anything.
These same friends can be brutally honest at times about their own lives.
It is in those moments, those brutally honest moments, that we are able to realize that we are the same.
We are all trying our best, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing miserably...but that's the thing society seems to put this golden standard out there and every mom {who is willing to be honest and chat with me}admits they think they are failing at some point....and that makes me sad. It is hard because sometimes we may run into another mom and think "man they got it together and look what they are doing for their kids and...." There is like this sick unspoken competition between moms and I just really despise that. It is inevitable I realize but I don't like it. The thing is we may compare ourselves but unless "that" mom is in your inner circle you may think she's got it all pulled together but in all likely hood she probably has some doubt and mom guilt of her own. {Or at least I telling myself that to make myself feel better!}

I am starting to wonder if in those moments of doubt if that isn't where the difference lies between "good" parent and not.
That maybe "Good" parent doesn't mean perfect.
That maybe "good" parent doesn't even mean without doubt. 
Maybe "good" parent means that sometimes you are going to mess up,
but the fact that it causes you to lose sleep means you care.
You want to do better.
You have motivation to do better and you get up and try again. 
You try again to do it better than you did last time...
and maybe that moment is the defining moment for "good" parent. 

One of the greatest blessing for me and keeping my sanity {okay I realize that is debatable but whatever}is the fact that I have been blessed with friends who will say it like it is...thru the good, the bad, and even the ugly because without that I would feel pretty alone.

This parenting thing is a process...just as the kids are growing so are we!
A good parent is parent who continues to grow.

 I am far from perfect. I am not pretending this is easy.
Sometime I rock!
Sometimes I nail it!
Sometimes I fail.
Sometimes I am selfish and not attentive.
Sometimes I leave my house in shambles.
 but I can grow....growing is possible.
Perfection is an illusion.

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one” - Jill Churchill

So I can't help but repeat:

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” ~Guillaume Apollinaire

Sidenotes: 1. Click on the link below to read posts from a Columbus Medical Mission Team. Very Interesting!
2. I recently realized that in the midst of the crazy work schedule I had this late fall I neglected to capture a winter list and that makes me a little sad.  In fact I even went back through old posts trying to find it! {which sort of makes me chuckle!}  I may have to start dreaming about spring...but feel compelled to create a late winter short list, but when I sat down to do it....nothin'.  What is this world coming to?!?

1 comment:

Kim said...

I love the statement "what makes you a good mom". This post hit all the "good" points and I'm a still growing :)