The Mom I Am

The Mom I Am

As part of the From Left to Write book club this month, I received a free copy of the (very entertaining) Exploiting My Baby which was the inspiration for this post. While Teresa feared being like her mom, I dreamed I would be…

As most of you probably know, Valentine’s Day was on Monday. Me? I knew it, but quite honestly, I couldn’t do it. Between juggling new work assignments, house projects and coming down off of Lenny’s birthday (which was last Friday…and not all that impressive on my part either), it got lost in the shuffle. I didn’t make heart pancakes, decorate with cute little heart animals a friend had blogged about or even sign the store-bought cards I bought for my family.

I did buy some pre-made cookie dough at the grocery store and told the boys and our nanny that they could bake ‘em up during the day. I also spent an hour or so helping Big get his name written on the 23 Toy Story cards he needed to take to school for his party on Tuesday—even inserted the tattoos he accidentally ripped to pieces. (Heck, I did them all twice when I realized I did them wrong the first time because I wasn’t paying attention.)

And after this crazed day with very little hoopla, I just kept thinking, this isn’t the kind of mom I thought I’d be. You see, when I was younger, I didn’t dream of white dresses and prince charming (though arguably I scored big on both fronts). I dreamed of being a mom. (And given the mom I grew up with, I figured being good at it was in my genes.) I dreamed of finding inspiring ideas for homemade cards and wowing all the other moms with my my kids’ creativity. I dreamed of leaving little love notes around the house for my family to discover throughout the day. I dreamed of cooking a delicious homemade dinner that we’d all gather around the table to enjoy.

But alas, I have a couple years worth of parenting magazines collecting dust. I have a binder full of recipes yet to be attempted (which my family is actually probably grateful for). And I have yet to impress any moms at the preschool.

As I was beating myself up for all of this, I realized that while all of these “dreams” might have made for a more entertaining day, my kids honestly didn’t care. Big didn’t even seem to notice that the Valentines he gave out were scrappy little things among the amazing loot he brought home from school. He did notice that we all said, “I love you!” a bit more that day. Even Little got in on the extra hugs and cuddles. And they both went to bed exhausted and thrilled after a serious game of tackle football with Lenny.

So maybe I am closer to being the mom I hoped I’d be than I realized. Because, in my mind, all those perfect little touches led to giggling kids and a happiness all around. And while each of us has room for improvement—especially me—I’m so in love with all my Valentines and the best part is, I know they love me right back—just the way I am.

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  1. I can so relate, except in reverse! I always thought I’d be a working mom, busy but oh so gracefully juggling it all. Instead, I am a stay at home mom to two kids, one of whom has special needs. It isn’t what I expected, and although I sometimes still dream about that other life, I love my kids and the life we are living.

  2. Well, I don’t know if that is going to work for me, however definitely proved helpful for you! :) Excellent post!

  3. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  4. Ooooo gorgeous, I love it! That’s so the right attitude to focus on. I missed the deadline – oops, didn’t realize it was last night – and now searching for inspiration for my post!

  5. what a wonderful post! i completely relate. when i was pregnant and lamenting about whether or not i was up for the job of “mom”, one of my dear friends said “leslie, in the big scheme of things, it doesn’t matter what clothes they wear, if they eat their vegies every meal, and if they pick up all of their toys – what matters is how much you love on your babes every single day.” when the going gets tough sometimes between everything going on in life, i know that i’ve at least mastered the art of absolutely loving on my little one. and you have too!

  6. Thanks so much for this post — glad my book could inspire you. I love that few of us – for better or worse and often both — aren’t the moms we thought we would be. We are so much better or such bigger disasters. Thank you, again.

    • Teresa, I absolutely love people who speak honestly and with a sense of humor. Your book was right up my alley and the perfect book for me during my 3rd pregnancy (I can laugh at it all now without having a panic attack). One of my favorite parts was the O’Dells. I keep thinking there’s another post there too! Thanks for the fun read and entertainment.

  7. And see, my daughter did pass out my homemade Valentines, but she would’ve preferred the store-bought kind! Neither of which I would’ve expected, either, but the love is unquestionable, and that’s all that really matters.

  8. Amy – you are a wonderful AMAZING momma and don’t ever forget it! :)

    For my kids, Valentine’s day boiled down how much candy I let them eat at the end of the day… and I have a feeling the amount of love they felt for me was directly correlated to the number of pieces they consumed ;)

  9. I love this post! Things are rarely as we pictured but as long as there are smiles we’re all good!

  10. I too always dreamed about being a perfect mom with at least two or more children. Then I got Lupus and I feel lucky to have one beautiful son. I suffer a lot from “sick mom” guilt, but I am the only mother my son knows and I manage to do pretty good with what I’ve got. I am proud to be called “Super Mommy”. Yes, my son still thinks I am a superhero.

  11. I’m with you! I didn’t even get cards for my daughter. She made 1 comment about it but since they got candy at preschool, she didn’t care. I was doing handmade cards and all that until #2 was born. Now I feel like such a slacker. But she’s happy so i can’t complain.

    We’re all doing our best!

    • It makes me feel much better knowing you were in the same boat. No doubt when she’s older and life is calmer (ha, ha) she’ll make amazing cards with her crafty mom’s inspiration!

  12. It’s as if I wrote this… My mom was just like your mom and I’m so far on the other end of the spectrum these days. Sometimes I also need a little reminder that just because I’m not doing it that way, I’m doing alright in my own way.

    What a great post!

    • From what I can tell, you’re doing much better than alright. Hope you’re feeling well and looking forward to the fun that baby will bring!

  13. Spoken (written:-) so beautifully, Amy….your boys (and baby girl to be) are lucky to have you as their mom! I can only imagine how proud of you your mom must be……

    • Thanks so much! My mom certainly set (and continues to set) the bar high and I’m lucky to be surrounded by lots of other great moms like you too.

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