It’s been silent around here for two weeks. Colds, viruses, and bad tempers have abounded. Being sick, worn out and irritable meant I felt like a bad mother which, in turn, made me wonder why I even write about parenting at all! But, we all have those times, don’t we? If no one else does then I definitely shouldn’t be writing about parenting! I’ve asked 5 other bloggers four questions and can’t wait for you to read their answers.
We may compare ourselves, and feel other mothers do everything well. They have a perfect house, perfect kids, perfect life, and they dream of perfect things. It just isn’t true and I wanted us all to be encouraged knowing that we are all great at something, just as we are all not so great at other things. That doesn’t make us sub par, that makes us human.
- pinpoint an issue
- draw out how it’s affecting you
- label what you don’t like about it
- determine areas of responsibility
- figure out how it’s showing up
- say what you’d rather happen
- brainstorm solutions
Below are the four questions each mother was asked. And you know I had to sneak a deathbed question in there. I really love those.
- What part of motherhood and parenting do you feel really good at?
- Where do you feel you fall short?
- How do you overcome the plague that is mother guilt?
- On your deathbed, what do you want to be able to say you taught your kids?
Caitlin from Mother Down Under says…
- The organisation and the cuddles.
- I feel that I turn to the path of least resistance (tv) on those long afternoons when my three year old hasn’t napped and when we both need a break!
- I know that he feels loved. He is a happy, trusting little guy… and really that is enough.
- To enjoy spending time on his own, to be independent and rely on himself…. but also to seek company and ask for help when he needs it.
Chelsea from Moments A Day says…
- To be honest, when I read this question my first thought was, “Nothing!” But I know that’s some negative self-talk going on. Honestly at the end of the day if my kids have eaten a fairly balanced diet and feel loved, I feel I did a good job. Just spending a few moments connecting with them – whether that’s by reading a story or simply asking them about their favourite part of the day – it helps me know “I’m doing okay.” I try to do that every day so I guess I’d say I’m “good” at it. :-)
- Hmm probably the most mommy guilt comes in with diet. We eat a pretty balanced diet but not as many veggies as I’d like, and I do use a couple processed foods to get by. Like I’ll use a jar of sauce for a chicken dish or give them some chips with lunch. All in all, I know that is pretty silly. I really do think they eat okay. But with all the pressure on Pinterest to make meals totally from scratch and get kids to eat lots of greens makes me feel bad! I’m laughing at myself now. Seriously, where does all this guilt come from.
- I try to just recognize when it’s hitting me (which is often, as you can see). I don’t feel I can totally do away with it… but when I hear my own voice putting myself down, I try to really consider if I’m being logical or if I’m being too hard on myself. Then I remember that many of my friends are having the same struggles and they are awesome mothers, so I must be doing okay too.
- I want my kids to know that life is a journey, and that each day is a gift to spread love in the world. I used to strive for perfection or some “end goal” but as I’ve grown I have realized that each moment we have the choice to be happy and grateful, or frustrated and resentful. Even in tough times, there are amazing blessings – and I would love my kids to live their life with a “glass half full” perspective, knowing that doing good in the world is what will bring them true fulfilment.
Corrie from Retro Mummy says…
- I am very involved in my kids lives and am always helping at school and in all of their activities so they know I care and know what is going on. I also really work hard on giving everyone lots of attention which isn’t always easy with 5 of them and 1 of me. I really make the effort to sit and eat dinner with them every night at the table and everyone gets a chance to talk and I’m usually the last one there at the table eating my fruit and everyone goes off to do their own thing.
- Being calm and peaceful in the morning trying to get everyone dressed and out of the house and on time to school without raising my voice! Someone is always missing a shoe, their hat, their library bag and now I just send off another child to help them look for it.
- I think telling yourself that you are doing the best that you can do and are always there for your kids can get rid of that. And also that no one is perfect!
- To be good and honest people with a strong Catholic faith and a love of life. I hope that they will want to raise their family as they have been raised and will still love each other and be a close family even when I am not here.
Franziska from Home, Naturally says…
- Keeping a family rhythm.
- Knowing how to respond to tantrums.
- I don’t overcome the guilt. :-) Instead I plague my husband with endless hours of conversations about why I should/shouldn’t parent a certain way!
- How to live a life of faith, simplicity, kindness, responsibility, and how to love their family.
Megan from A Blossoming Homestead says…
- I feel like I’m pretty good at maintaining a cheerful attitude with my girls. I’d say I am patient with them 90% of the time!
- I’m afraid I fall short at being intentional with our days. I should really plan more age-appropriate activities instead of popping in another Veggie Tales! We go for walks, play outside, read books, etc. but I definitely let them watch too many movies/TV.
- I give myself grace and remember that each day is a fresh start.
- I want to see that my children are following the Lord. I hope I can teach them about the truth, grace, and love of Christ by authentically living out our faith.
I loved reading these answers, and felt very encouraged. Motherhood can often be geographically isolating so I find it comforting to see that we all have our own victories and occasional defeats. Thanks so much, ladies.
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If you have a minute, I’d love to hear your answers to the questions in the comments. I read every one!
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Thank you for including me.
I loved reading the other responses.
And I will check back in to see what answers are left in the comments!
I hope you all are feeling better soon!
Rachel Norman says
Thanks, Caitlin :) I loved reading them too, I instantly felt more normal and less like a failure. Ha. Funny what our minds tell us!
1. I’m good at food. Homemade bread, cookies, etc. and dinner is usually from scratch.,
2. I am NOT very patient and lose my temper more than I’d like.
3. I tell myself I’m doing the best I can do. “One mom, four kids” gets said a lot, both in my head and to the children. Everyone has to wait their turn.
4. I want them to know that I loved them, and to be serving the Lord joyfully.
Rachel Norman says
I love that “one mom, four kids” statement. So true and brings you back to reality. And I am impressed you’re great at food with so many of them. I like to cook, but when there’s a time crunch and they are under my feet I find it hard to be calm and enjoy it!
Hope you guys are on the mend soon! I have just one of mine (so far) down with Hand Foot and Mouth, and that’s miserable enough!
Rachel Norman says
Oh no, I actually thought we might have had hand, foot and mouth but think it’s just something viral. Hope you guys are on the mend and not on the way down, I know how that goes!
Glad to hear everything is OK in your household – I was wondering what happened to you since there were no new posts on your blog! Happy to hear you are feeling better about being a mother too. Please don’t feel bad about not being ‘qualified’ to write about parenting … no one is perfect and we all have days and moments we feel like a failure! I always enjoy reading your articles and learn from them too!
Here are my answers to your questions:
1. Routine, organisation, healthy meals, consistency (well, most of the time – this is a hard one – to consistently be consistent!)
2. Patience … patience … patience …. with the kids! I pray for patience every day and I feel I fail every day. God gives me opportunities to grow in patience, and I don’t take them up as well as I should! I also love to be busy and doing things from my ‘to do list’ – so sometimes I feel guilty I don’t spend ENOUGH time doing things with my children (even though we do do activities together throughout the day).
3. This is a tough one. I think of the positives about our family and remember that we are given a new start every day. Motherhood is a ‘season’ we are going through right now and I have to learn to embrace the challenges (as well as the joys) that this ‘season’ brings. It won’t last forever – so try and enjoy it while we are in the midst of it.
4. To grow up to love their Heavenly Father and live a life of faith. I would also love to teach them how to be hard working, to help others, to be honest, thoughtful and to have fun! … and hopefully the example of Daddy and Mummy will help to teach them these things.
Rachel Norman says
We sound very similar. I share your strengths and your weakness!!!! Oh dear, do I share your weakness :)
Jessica W says
Loved this post Rachel. I always love reading how other moms are thinking and feeling in motherhood. Makes me feel like I’m not alone. So sorry you all have been sick. Hope things are getting back to normal for you. Thanks for sharing this!
Rachel Norman says
Thanks for the encouragement, Jessica! I totally agree with you and love getting into other mom’s heads. It is refreshing and encouraging!