Am I Good Mom…or Do I Just Play One on TV

25 Jul

OK, it’s been one of those days…or perhaps one of those weeks.  Most of the time I feel pretty confident (in general) in how I care for and about my children, but every so often doubts creep in.  In the worst moments, the doubts not only creep in they hold a whole doubt party in my head.  I think one of the more difficult tasks in mothering is keeping your eye on the prize…building strong, healthy, happy, confident and caring people. 

I am notorious for getting myself locked on to a mission and making it happen at all costs.  This includes getting my kids the things I think they need or frequently want.  The last couple of years quest has been to make my teenagers world happen.  About three years ago, I could tell homeschooling was taking a toll on  him.  While I was confident that in most every way homeschooling was the right choice for him; I knew that we were coming to a crossroad where if he didn’t have somethings associated with “normal” life major battles were inevitable.  I immediately set forth in establishing teen social opportunities.  Worked hard with co-ops and other groups to create an environment that would be exciting to other teens to participate.  He had been discouraged that he wasn’t part of a team, so I developed a team for him to be part of and actively recruited other participants.  It was long that he had a busy and active social life and was attending “real” classes taught in a more structured environment that he yearned for – and he, as a member of his team, won an award in competition.  Sounds  like a major success story…right?

Of course, it was just as I was feeling the greatest amount of success in creating this world, I discovered how seriously depressed he was – he was thrilled with the friends, classes and teams, but our family life was all about making things happen.  In addition, our younger children had been participating in this organization – had to since this is where we spent all of our time – but in a lot of ways they were not thriving either.  This has led me on a several months long reality check.

More than anything I want to create the perfect world for my children, but sometimes it is hard to remember that good moming is not a project.  It isn’t a task that has to do with setting a goal, creating a to-do list and making it happen at all costs.  Good moming is about the relationship – it seems like so many things in life ultimately come down to this.  It’s about having a relationship that is nurtured with time – and I do mean “quality time” – aaagh that PC phrase of the 90s.  But as a  homeschooling mom of four, theoretically I have nothing but time with my children.  However, we busy “make it happen” moms lots of time have a lot of time in the presence of our children, but do not necessarily have a lot of time being with our children.

I have learned, or more honestly – am learning, to be less successful with the programs and plans so that I can be more successful in the relationship.  I think sometimes the programs and plans overtake our lives to the point that the children are neglected and the parent is exhausted and sadly, in the beginning, the whole point was to do something for the kids.

I think in my heart I am a good mom, but it is important that I don’t get so caught up in checking the boxes in my “good mom” role that I miss out on the opportunity to just be and to just be with them.

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