Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What Kind of Mom Did You Think You Would Be?

Posted by Mandy at 11:12 AM

Do you remember the days before you had kids? For some of us.. our brain power has been nearly sucked dry and thinking back is nearly impossible... but try if you will.

I was thinking the other day about the type of mom I thought I would be. Even when I had my first baby, I had visions of the things we'd do together when she was older. When I had my second child, I had these novel ideas of how life would be through the years. By the third, I think I had pretty much figured out that those ideas were not gonna happen.

I used to be super creative. I loved art - painting, sketching, even coloring in a child's coloring book was a great way to pass the time. For a few years I kept this side of me up with the kids. And then, days started showing up that I'd sit with a blank sheet of paper, a great piece of black chalk, and... and... I'd sit there. The paper wasn't all that was blank - so was my mind!

"What are you going to draw mamma?"

I had no idea. Pictures that are pleasing to kids are easy.

"Will you draw me a flower?" "A dog?" "A worm?"

But, eventually, I stopped drawing things I loved and ONLY created art on a 2nd grade level. (well, that might be a bit generous...) I literally could not think of a single thing I wanted to draw...

As time passed, I totally lost my creative edge. I can barely draw a pretty heart anymore. One side is always too big, one hump on top is always more round than the corresponding side... when did that become difficult to create? Thankfully, my 5 year old son appreciates my efforts.

It just hit me that I am NOT the mom I thought I would be. I am NOT Suzy-Homemaker like I imagined. I'm not crafty. I have a difficult time thinking of fun things to make with toilet paper rolls and hot glue. I don't see a pile of trash and think of all the fun projects that we could do with them. My daughter definitely does... but I don't. Wow! I never saw this coming!

Another dirty secret? I don't like cooking with my kids. Yeah.. I said it. I hate it. They get in the way and they  make a huge mess and they make a 10 minute job turn into a 35 minute job. I keep trying to think of ways to teach them to crack eggs and measure flour without actually having to let them do it. So far, no good idea has come to me on that one.

I thought I'd be that mom that loves to bake with my kids, that loves letting them help me cook supper and such. I just don't... I really like being in the kitchen ALONE. Those family shows that picture a food fight in the kitchen full of smiles and laughter would just not happen in this house. If any one of my children purposefully threw a pile of food across the room... well.. let's just say there would be no laughter.

Of course, the kids love to help me cook so I put on a happy face and take an extra 35 minutes to do everything for the sake of making memories. No one read this post to them - don't call me out for the horribly impatient cooker I really am. So far my front is working.

I must have lucked out that I have kids that love to use their own imaginations and then draw me into their games, instead of looking to me for entertainment. I guess over the years they figured out that if they want to bake a cake they better ask their father. (they also learned to ask him for things like putting up a crazy zip-line, building an INSANELY BIG tree house, and putting up a tire swing.) What am I good for again? Hmm...


Amy on Tuesday, 13 April, 2010 said...

I know exactly what you mean. I actually have a blog I'm posting tomorrow about what I didn't expect from motherhood.

I think that's what all mothers do though. We are all just trying our best to make sure our kids have fun and have a good childhood even if we don't always feel like it.

I would imagine all mothers just feel spent sometimes. Being a SAHM, I feel that way a lot! I don't know how many times I just want to put in a movie for the kids and hide, so that I can have time to think to myself or sleep! :)

I am definitly not the mother that I thought I would be, but I guess that's ok. I love my kids and they know that, so I must be doing something right. I think it's fine to not feel very creative or fun ALL the time.

This is a good saying....
It's not what you say or what you do that people remember...it's how you make them feel.

As long as your kids know they are loved, I think it's ok to not to try and fit yourself into a tiny box of what you think a good mother should be (creative, fun, etc.)

Reagan on Tuesday, 13 April, 2010 said...

Glad you said that. I don't like cooking with my kids either. Actually, I don't like anyone in the kitchen when I'm in there. That being said, I do cook with my kids but it'll never be tops on my list.

Like you I'm not as crafty as I thought I'd be. I used to love to do all sorts of crafts--scrapbook, cross stitch, paint ... now when I have time to myself, sometimes I don't want to do anything!

One area where I'm better than I thought is play. I really play with my kids. So I figure if we don't cook all that often or make crafts at least they'll be able to say, "my mom played trains and ponies, and kid, and camping, and hide-n-seek ..."

Angie on Tuesday, 13 April, 2010 said...

I am the mom I thought I would be...But I do have those moments thinking I should do this or that with my kids and have no motivation to do something I don't really enjoy to make "memories". As for cooking...if your kids can read give them a recipe and leave the room :) so you can't see the mess(and have a bit of mommy time). I let my kids use the oven and stove they are 9 and 12 but there are recipes you can do with out the oven. Look for no-bake recipes.

Sun-Kissed Scholars on Tuesday, 13 April, 2010 said...

This *kind-of* made me feel better. ;-) I thought I would have a clean house. Don't ask me why, but I always pictured it clean in my mind. I was going to be super-organized, tidy, excel at my fantastic job and juggle family life easily.
And now I'm the homeschool mom to four, who loves art, crafts, and cooking with her kids. And, because I focus so much on art, nature, etc, I don't necessarily fit in with other moms out there. I mean, who likes to paint their own shoes, while wearing heels and pearls? No one but me.
The fact is, though, that God gave me MY kids, and we are a perfect match. I'm *finally* realizing that I don't have to be like anyone else. I don't have to work outside the home, or wear blah clothes, or send my kids to awanas, or anything else to be a good mom. Each to his (or her) own.

Stacie on Wednesday, 14 April, 2010 said...

I have been thinking about this blog since I TRIED to read it the first time. I got not even half way through before I had to close it out with the kids into something, haha. By the way, if you see I visit often on your traffic ticker it is probably because I can't even read a full posting before having to close the screen and deal with the kids.

While thinking, I could think of a million things I "dreamed" about before I was a wife and mother. Half of them isn't anything like the way things are, but the other half is exactly as I had dreamed.

I don't like to cook with my kids either. I lose my patients sometimes. My husband doesn't come home every night. The kids don't sleep in their own beds every night (which I now realize I don't want them far away from me all night). My house isn't spotless every moment of the day. If company comes over unexpectedly, I (nor the kids) am not always fully dressed in decent clothes (sometimes it takes us a minute to answer a knock, haha!) My always-been, bestest-friend-in-the-whole-world isn't my neighbor where we can take turns visiting every day to drink a cup of coffee together (we can't even always find the time to talk on the phone every day!) I don't always have supper on the table at 5:00 while looking my best with the kids looking clean and well put together waiting on Daddy to walk in the door. And the list could go on and on BUT...

I am a SAHM raising my kids as I feel I should. My kids have a home where they are loved, feel safe, and can be kids. I am trying my best to raise good, Christian kids that love Jesus, love their family, and love going to church. I have a wonderful husband that, even tho he isn't home every night, loves me and our kids and supports his family. Together, me and my husband are trying to show our girls how a marriage should be since so many people in the world today have it wrong. I am the kind of mom that doesn't care what your friends think or are doing. This list goes on and on too.

Half of the million things I have thought about are how I dreamed and they are so much more important and precious than the half that didn't pan out.

I guess I think that as long as your priorities are in the right order, you will automatically be Super Mom! My mom wasn't always perfect in every area, and she is still Super Mom to me. I bet our kids will think that about us one day too.

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