Ah motherhood. It’s so grand. I have gone through many stages of what kind of mom I am. I was the arrogant mom (before I actually had kids), the know it all first time mom, the frazzled second time mom, and now I am just going by the seat of my pants mom. Growing up I remember thinking, gosh I never want to be like my mom. Why? Well no one wants to grow up to be just like her mother. Now, I am turning into my mother more and more every day and I couldn’t be prouder.
A little background, my mom is the hardest, nicest, most energetic woman I know. She is amazing. She gardens, quilts, reads, bikes, walks, bakes, cooks, cans, cleans, DIYs, visits friends and families, works, and on and on the list goes. She raised 6 children, all with very different personalities and needs. She was strict about curfews, dating, swearing, and going to church. She was adamant about the importance of family, hard work, and giving back. I could go on about her and her amazingness, but here are a few traits and lessons of hers that I am taking on as my own.
Limiting what my sons can read and watch
Growing up in the middle of nowhere Nebraska, we had a few local channels and a VCR to keep us entertained. I grew up watching a lot of musicals, PBS, and TGIF on ABC. I never watched Nickelodeon, MTV, or R-Rated movies. I read Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, Boxcar Children, and American Girl books. I couldn’t read Goosebumps or Fear Street. My music couldn’t have swear words. If I remember correctly, several of my sisters CD’s and cassette tapes were trashed due to this.
I do the same thing. Already my five year old knows that I have to watch the cartoon with them to see if it is okay. If I decide it isn’t really appropriate for him and his younger brother it is off the watch list. They have a tendency to be more physical and violent in their play (because they are boys!) so I limit superhero or shows battling bad guys. The oldest complains that the shows they watch are baby shows. Tough dude. Sorry, not sorry.
I get now why my mom did this. So I do it too.
I start singing in public. I hear New Kids on the Block come on at the swimming pool and I am dancing away. Britney is blared at full volume. I kiss them and hug them ALL THE TIME. I get super excited about a rainbow, a cloud formation, the animals at the zoo. I take them to museums, land marks, and get them out in nature. Right now my boys love this, but soon they won’t. But I will keep doing it.
UGH, my parents did the same thing. My mom worked at my school. Spirit week was my living hell. Halloween shirt. Check. Christmas earrings and socks. Check. My cheer leading button on her fall jacket. Check. My mom use to make us listen to Jesus Christ Superstar at Easter. She exposed us to humility. She showed us how not to be so full of ourselves. She did whatever she wanted. I hated it then. I love it now. My mom embraces life and celebrates it, and doesn’t give a shit what others think. I want to be just like her.
Make them work
Chores, jobs, work. Call it whatever, my boys have to do it. With no allowance or reward. Why? Because I want to instill upon them a good work ethic. I want them to know how to work hard and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Without a materialistic reward. Also, they are a part of the family. Helping out the family is the reward. My sons get a lot. I worry they have too much. But they can’t take things with them. When they are old enough, they will be working to make money to buy all their extras they want. Knowing how to work hard is one of the most valuable traits I can give them.
My parents are hard workers. Like really hard workers. Six kids. One income. A farm. I learned how to garden, can vegetables, raise and butcher chickens, cut and haul wood, cook and clean, bake, scoop snow, and so much more. There are times I wish I lived on a farm now so my boys can do this all too.
Every opportunity I have, I try to show my sons how we can care for others less fortunate than us. Yes, we don’t have a lot per some standards, but we have more than most. My mom is the same. Donating used clothes and household items, donating time and talent, and giving monetarily when she can. I take the time to explain to them how lucky we are to live in this country and state. We pray for those who don’t have what we have. I want my children to know how satisfying it is to help others. A feeling you don’t get anywhere else.
I hope that I do a good of job on them as my mother did on me. I know I need to do more.
To have faith
Jesus is real. God is real. Heaven is a place we will go. I talk with my sons constantly about Jesus and His love for us. We go to church. They will be active in youth church groups. We say grace before meals. We pray before bedtime. We are doing it as a family of three. My T & G see me have faith. They see me live my faith.
I saw and still see my mother (and father) have faith. Church was non negotiable growing up. At times I resented it, yet now, I love the people and community I have from going to Church. My parents gave me this gift. The gift of Jesus Christ.
I glance down at my hands and see my mother’s. I hear her voice when I am talking to my boys. I see the woman I want to be in her. Her selflessness is breathtaking. Her love is moving. There is nothing I can do to thank her enough for being my mother and a damn good one too. Except to be more like her everyday.