"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am that mom

Once I believed there were two kinds of parents: those that could control their kids, and those that couldn't. Years and experiences later, I know better now.  Now I see a much different kind of separation between parenting styles, a separation no longer defined by the ability to control, but the ability to let it go.  And, I am that mom who is learning to let go. 

• I am that mom who sometimes says "yes" to dessert before dinner because sometimes it just tastes better that way :).

• I am that mom who slips on bedtimes because cuddling and listening to Harry Potter together is just too sweet, fun, and exciting to turn off any sooner.

• I am that mom that doesn't discipline her children (insert gasp here), because I don't see a need for it anymore.  Because when you replace control with compassion, you see that every behavior, every action, every tantrum, is their way of trying to tell me something.  Because kids don't have the words we do.  But if I wait, if I watch, and if I listen, everything I need to know, is there.

• I am that mom that will give every child, yours or mine, the time of day, even if they are interrupting an "adult" conversation, because what they have to say is just as important to me as what anyone else has to say. 

• I am that mom that will drive her children hours, or fly across country to visit a good friend, because I know the value of a good friend, and good friends are hard to find. 

• I am that mom who will sometimes let her kids watch a whole series on Netflix in 2 or 3 days, because I know what it feels like to fall in love with a great story and not be able to stop until you know the ending.

• I am that mom that will choose to be late for an appointment, to spend the time looking for that one special toy my child needs to bring, because I know what it feels like to lose something and not have something that I need to have.

• I am that mom who will try to stop herself before complaining about her children, because if I am complaining, it's usually not about them at all, it's about me.  It means that my own needs haven't been met and that is my problem, not theirs.

• I am that mom that believes in giving with no strings attached.  I give because it's something I want to do for them.  I don't expect special conditions or eternal gratitude.  A thank you would be nice, but I won't hold it against them if they forget.  Because sometimes in the excitement of things, we all forget. 

• I am that mom who will spontaneously agree to go to Sea World, or the beach, or ice cream, or the bouncehouse, or the zoo, because sometimes following the whims of a child is the most fun and amazing thing you can do.

• I am that mom that will let her kids spend all their money, even when we know saving is important, because in the end, it is still their money.  And, because sometimes we have to lose things before we understand their real value.

• I am that mom that will stay with her child every night until she falls asleep to help her feel safe, because when she tells me that she needs me, I want her to know that I will always be there.

• I am that mom that makes mistakes all the time, and sometimes forgets to let go.  I am also that mom that apologizes to her kids for those mistakes, because it's one of the most honest and freeing thing a mom can do, for herself and her children.

This post was originally inspired by Ronnie, then re-inspired by Jeff's latest post.  Thank you Melissa, who brought me back there.  You helped remind me that I have always wanted to write that I am that mom. 

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  1. Gosh, how freeing.. I loved reading that. And I love that you are sharing all of this with the world. PS, we ate jelly beans with our eggs this morning.

  2. Beautiful MJ. Isn't it amazing when we let go, how much we really receive. Thanks for sharing. I too make many mistakes and don't always let go, but I do apologise to my children, for they deserve that much at least.
    Parenting can be such a humbling experience and for that, I am grateful. Jacinta x

  3. I grinned and almost cried all the way through this. You are so almost exactly the mom I'd like to be when I grow up ;) I'm so thankful for you and your passion and inspiration. <3

  4. So great to be that mom! wonderful post, so intuitive. We try so hard as parents to do what we think we are supposed to do instead of doing what just feels right. Happy day to you!

  5. Hi! What a nice addition to the I'm-that-mom carnival combined with the current NP Blog Party.

    I'm Ronnie's husband, Frank, and I'm still that dad.

  6. Oh I loved this! Especially the one about complaining usually being about my needs not being met, instead of my kids behavior. I'm going to bookmark this, so I can re-read it when I need a little inspiration on those hard mama days!

  7. You are beautiful, MJ. This is so inspiring, such a wonderful reminder and so full of love. Thanks for sharing this - you are one of my heros!

  8. Oh my goodness, this post comes at such a good time. This is the most beautiful post ever.
    MJ, it is so true what you say about surrendering, and listening to your children. I think our parenting styles are very similar. I read a brilliant book called the 'Idle Parent' and although the book is very tongue in cheek. it does encourage parents to give the reins to their children more, and by surrendering, you are giving them independance, love and empowerment.
    I found myself saying 'yes' to all of your statements. I love that you are recognising YOUR vital part and joy in the journey that is parenthood. Love you xxx

  9. And that's what unschooling is all about, isn't it?

    Freedom and Joy. Patience and Kindness.

  10. You inspire me to be a better mom! Thanks for this post...it's awesome!

  11. i'm that mom too! who doesn't love dessert before dinner?! ;) great post, mj.

  12. I love your post today. I am a new mom (my baby will be turning 1 in a week - yikes!) and I find your post very inspiring.

    On another note, during a recent visit to your blog I noticed your butterfly quote. I really love it, particularly at this time in my life. I mention it in my post today:


    Have a great day and thanks for the inspiration!

  13. I sit here crying through this post because I too try my hardest to be that mom to the best of my ability. Some days I succeed, some days not so much. But always trying.

    Your words are consoling, inspiring and affirming.

    Thank you MJ, what blessed kids, what a wonderful Mama!

  14. You are painting the picture of the Mom I want to be someday. I have so much I could learn from you!

  15. And you are that mom whose children will remember their childhood so fondly they will attempt to recreate it with their own babies. What a wonderful legacy you are creating MJ. I WANT to be that mom and you are inspiring.

  16. Great post! Love your honesty. Not many mamas admit to being "that mom." But you are than mom in a positive way! Found you through the blog party and you are now on my radar!

  17. "How does one become a butterfly? she asked pensively. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."~ Trina Paulus I love this quote!

    I'm coming to you from Mama Om.

    I love this post, especially the part about snuggling past bedtime to listen to Harry Potter and the 3 days of Netflix. I want to remember that Netflix thing for myself.

    Also, great to know that part about getting my own needs met and replacing discipline with listening. I believe in listening.

  18. What a great way to ease into Mother's Day.. Beautiful!

  19. I'm that mom too. :)

    When I first became a mother, I felt unsure about doing those things...but now I find such gentle confidence in that way of living.


  20. Thanks for sharing this! It inspired me to write this:



“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw