Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Winning Role

Red Couch Project Set 10 (65 of 70)
Photo Credit: Dave Austria
“I need Mommy!” My little man Noah uttered this cry and threw his arms around my neck as I attempted to get him back to sleep in his crib in the early morning. It did the trick and melted my heart, so seconds later he was cuddling with me on the mommy-daddy bed. It got me thinking about how many needs we fill on a daily basis while answering the mom call-of-duty.

Sure, there’s the huge list of feeding, cleaning, and scrubbing, but the list is augmented with countless airplanes to waiting mouths, spot cleaning faces while playing “body-name tag,” and letting little hands “help” with the housework. Sometimes I worry that my focus is too much on ticking items off my list and that my children become obstacles between me and a job well done. Other times I’m physically in the right place but mentally stewing over the half-cooked meal lying neglected on the stove.

Steaming pan of burnt grease
Photo Credit: Jon
There have been unanswered cries and glossed over protests when I make the call that it’s just a minor problem the kids can sort through on their own. It can be healthy to let siblings resolve conflict themselves, but not for the reasons I’ve let it happen. As a mom, it can be really easy to either become too blasé or to heap on the mommy guilt. I’ve run to both sides of the spectrum, and right now I’m trying to find balance by noticing my actions and attitude and evaluating them a little more thoughtfully.

So, I resolve to put my heart into being the best mommy I can be. I’ll re-prioritize my list and make sure cuddles and lap time come before vacuuming, a kind word and gentle touch comes before an impatient or scolding tone of voice, and the reset button in my mind gets pushed whenever I’m feeling resentful when I’m behind on dinner. Because while it’s too easy to put off the unquantifiable part of daily mommy duties, I want my kids to grow up knowing a clean house isn’t the best expression of demonstrating love. Their Daddy and I are the people in charge of showing them how to love and growing them in love. Now, I could really get into that role!


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