Good Morning Mamma!

I’ve spent many-a-year in mommyhood now.  A dozen and 6 months to be exact.  I know by some standards that is a drop in the pan and some of you more experienced, expert mommies are laughing, saying, “honey, you ain’t seen nothen yet!!”  and I quite agree – I’m sure there is MUCH more on this mommy boat that I have yet to learn.

But there is one thing that I have learned.  One little secret that saved my sanity. and my happiness.  and quite a lot of money not spent on years of therapy to come to the same conclusion.

Here is the secret:  there is no ONE way through this path that we call mommy hood.  There is no ONE perfect way to be a mommy.  There is NO pinterest perfect mommy.  I don’t have to bury my own quirks in some vain attempt to become the perfect mommy mold.  My quirks are what make me uniquily  qualified to mother my children.

When I started on the baby train, I loaded up on the mountain of mommy books that everyone recommended.  I did the checklist preparation.  I read.  I planned.  I prepared.

And then they came.

And I realized that I was anything but prepared.

In fact, the more children that came, the less and less prepared I felt.

And I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t cut out for this whole mommy gig after all.

So often, I felt like I wasn’t fitting the mold of the good night tubs, the hours spent on the floor playing candy land, the cutsie-faced (healthy!) food arranged decadently on plates for them to gingerly consume as we smile and giggle and point at the birds singing sweetly in the trees.

And everything I read just heaped on more guilt.

For me it was particularly about the night time routine.  People went on and on about how their night time moments were treasures to them – how they loved to do the bath-time and read to the kids, then how much they loved and cherished that snuggle time as their children drifted slowly into slumberland and their mommy hearts burst at the time that they devoted to these activities, knowing full well that all to soon the bed time snuggles would vanish.

Songs were even written about ‘letting them sleep in the middle’  (it’s actually a really good song, even though it did infuse guilt for quite some time!)

You see – the reason that I had a hard time with this is because I am NOT a night time person.  Never have been.  Never will be.  My cinderella clock chimes WAY before midnight, and instead of the sweet cinderella hum, my children more often than not got some version of the step mother character begging, then pleading, then threatening them will all sorts of not-so-well wishes if they didn’t GET TO BED RIGHT NOW!!!

As much as I hate to admit it, even the sweet, innocent face, puppy eyed plea of ‘can I snuggle with you?’ would send shivers down my spine.  Yes, I did all of those night time things.  But I didn’t cherish them.  I didn’t relish them.  I counted down the minutes until I could finally fall into my own semi-coma toast state of slumber.

And while doing so, man did I pour on the guilt.  What kind of mom don’t like to snuggle in bed with her children??  What kind of mom gets super mad and even yells at her kids to get out of her room so she can have some (ever-so-selfish) alone time? What kind of mom will purposely plan a meeting right about bed time… and then even drive around the block a few times to make sure that they are all in bed and for just one night give herself a by on this dreaded routine??

THIS mom – that’s who!

Now don’t get me wrong – I have stayed up late, and I will stay up late when need be.  On vacation, I love late night talks.

But just as a routine, daily occurrence, I’m all about sleep.

Sweet slumbering silent sleep.  For this mama…

adam hands

it is literally my ‘zen’

true story:  I used to tell my dates to not be offended – that if we went to a movie I would most likely be asleep before it reached the plot twist.  Some of them didn’t believe me.  they were wrong.

Nope – never been a night owl.

Now… give me a bright, early morning???  I’m your gal!!!

I LOVE mornings.  Crazy.  Weird.  Even a little sadistic.  I know.  But I LOVE them.  Don’t get me wrong – that first moment of dragging myself out of bed is rough – not gonna lie.  But once I’m up, I feel so energized.  I can get so many things done in those wee hours of the morning.

including mommy hood moments.  Oh how I love those early morning snuggles!  I love looking over the stirring baby and soaking in their reaction when they open their eyes for the first time, focus in on my face, and break into that huge unadulterated smile.  THESE moments are the ones that I treasure.

Yep – I am a morning mommy ROCKSTAR!!

I love to hear all of the stirring and tiny feet plodding down the stairs to join me in the kitchen as I cook breakfast.  I love to listen to their excitement for the day that lies ahead, aid in the last minute studying for the quiz or test, put the last touches on the homework, and listen to the description of dreams, both night time and life-long.

Then one day it hit me.  I can do tubby time in the morning!  I can do reading time in the morning!

Once I unleashed myself from the ‘perfect pinterest recipe’ of what a ‘good mom’ routine looked like, I came to realize that I could do this mommy hood gig, because I could do it on MY terms.

Some mommies get on the floor and play candy land for hours.  This mommy puts on some music and zumbas with her kids for hours (okay, not for hours… but I had to keep up the literary consistency!).  Some mommies make gourmet meals for birthday breakfast.  This mommy brings home donuts and chocolate milk for birthday mornings.  Some moms do night time readings.  This mom does morning math.

The point that I came to understand is that there isn’t one right way or time to make mommy moments.  We just need to make sure that they get made.

An interesting side effect of this discovery not only freed me from my own guilt, but it also freed me from judging other peoples journey of mommy hood.  As I have come to not only accept, but more importantly cherish my unique mothering methods I have also been able to openly cherish and relish other mothers in their mommy hood moments (without feeling the urgent rush to abandon my own ways and jump on her bandwagon).

I am not anywhere near perfect in my mothering moments.  In fact, there are many, many times that I would love to call ‘do over!’ so I can go back and get it right.

But I am learning

and growing.

and releasing the guilt as I help my children experience this world through the use of my individual strengths… that perhaps they were even sent to me because they would benefit from my particular set of strengths, not my trying to morph my motherhood into someone else’s set of strengths.

And THAT, my friends, has made all the difference.

So what are YOUR mommy hood strengthening moments??  C’mon by, let’s chat.  I’d love to hear them!  (just not during the midnight hour…).

 

Comments

  1. Jen's Mom says:

    Jen, well said.
    You are doing a great job raising your 7 children.
    Love you to the moon and back, and to eternity and back,
    Love, Mom

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