Saturday, May 07, 2011

Thoughts About Mother's Day

All day I've been cranky. It might have something to do with the lack of sleep this past week, but more likely it has to do with unmet expectations.

I'm talking about my own expectations of myself. I expect a lot of my mothering. And some days I live up to them, but typically, most days I fall far short of my mothering goals.

I find myself crying at 3 pm because I have no idea how I am supposed to mold these little girls into Godly women with the example I am setting for them.

My patience wears thin with the high expectations I have of them and of myself. Nobody could meet these expectations. I know this, but that doesn't make it easy to let them go.

But, I'm working on them. I talked with an older, wiser woman last week who helped remind me that I lack perspective right now. She helped me to remember to look at my 3 year old and my 1 year old as exactly what they are - 3 & 1.

They aren't sissies, but they are fragile in some ways. They are watching me. They watch everything I do. And Charlotte is at the age now where she can communicate her needs in a meaningful way.

I think it all really hit me a month or so ago when, after bath time and washing of hair, Charlotte was thrilled when I pointed out that her hair was curly like mine. And when I say thrilled, I really mean it. She began dancing around proclaiming that she "always wanted curly hair like Mommy!" I got tighter hugs in that moment  than in a while.

And that wasn't the only time she declared she wanted to be like me. It's come up again several times in the last four weeks. And each time I resolve that I will be a better mother. That I won't yell at her and Mary. That we'll read our Bible together more. That we will play outside more. And it usually doesn't take more than a few hours before my resolve has disappeared in a cluttered house and piles of dirty laundry.

I get cranky when I can't meet my own expectations. And this largely happens because I don't manage my time well enough.

So this Mother's Day, I resolve to do less of everything else and more mothering. Fewer hours spent online. Less time on the phone. More time creating a clean, safe environment for them to play in. And more time with me, just sitting on the floor playing with dolls or sitting at the table playing with play dough.

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