Monday, April 25, 2011

What Makes You A Good Mom?

I've been thinking. If we're such confident together moms (even carefully not-quite-put-together, you know, just enough to let other moms know we're human) why is it that so many of us have such a hard time writing about what we're doing right?  I don't know that I want to read about perfect moms with their perfect kids and their perfect houses all time.  But I do want to hear what's working for other families.  These are the things that I think, "Huh, that might work for us, too."

I mean, do you really want to hear about all the different ways I lost my temper this week? Or how many times I used a Disney movie as a babysitter so I could take a quick nap? No? I didn't think so. I'm betting most of you already have your own daily #momfail stories to tell, and probably only want to hear mine if it's really exquisite (and those do happen from time to time). So I thought, for today at least, I'd try to think of some things I've done this past week that I think were really good.

I'm giving Ciaran more pressure. Not pressure to succeed, I mean actual physical pressure. We're playing tug o' war with jumpropes, and giving long squeezy hugs. It's already helping him stay more calm (at least when we're together) and he's better able to communicate with me after doing some of this heavy work.  With his sensory issues, it seems to be something he really needs, and I'm glad I figured it out.

I'm teaching Piper and Bridget to communicate. I realized that the vast majority of their arguments were because they weren't really listening to one another, or communicating what they wanted. Now I make them sit down, work it out, and come up with a way of talking that they both agree on. It's really cutting down on the fighting.

What I'm proudest of this week is that I'm remembering to actively parent. What I mean is that I'm not just sitting and reacting to what's going on. Having the right reaction to things is important, but I'm putting more thought and into being pro-active. No, I'm not a perfect mom, not by a long shot. But I think I'm a pretty good one most of the time. And, you know, we are all so aware of what we screw up on. Sometimes don't we need to pat ourselves on the back for what we've done right, too?

It may not be as pithy and clever as the self-debasing posts. But honestly, if I write to many more of those I'll be tempted to think they're all better off without me.


  1. This is a good point! It DOES help to hear what's working for others.

    My girls keep having communication issues too. Communication seems to be a common area of contention in every family.

    Last week, I had one of my girls coming to me to "tell on" her sibling... because they were helping with a chore. Obviously the problem was not that someone was helping with chores, it was something else, and after we talked about what was REALLY going on, it all came out. But I just had to laugh, I NEVER thought I would have one of my children coming to me all mad "Mooooom! She's HELPING with the DISHES! Tell her to quit it!"

  2. <3 Good ideas all around!

    I am not sure I have done anything worth noting this week. We have made a new policy where Spud has to actually **earn** his TV/video game time with good behavior at home and school. The taking-away of privileges was not working so well, so we had to switch it around. We are also trying to get him to check his backpack for homework after he comes home from school, so we know how much to plan for during the evening. First graders have a ton of homework, OMG!

    I love you and think you are awesome. Even if you have movie-sitter days, I am awed by how you manage to juggle so many things. <3 Don't forget, movie-sitter days are your way of taking care of Liam. He needs mommy to rest so he can do his gestating business. <3

  3. Kathryn, I love that image of one child complaining that another is helping her. Who would think that happens? But it totally does.

    Thanks, Sonya. I know I need rest, but I want to feel like I'm giving enough to everyone. And some days that's harder than others.


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