When I was a little girl, I did not like to play with baby dolls, or even barbies- I was probably more on the "tom boy" side of life.
I also never really grew up saying "I want to be just like my mom"
But now, as an adult, I say all the time " I wish I were more like my mom"
But God has created us all differently, with unique life situations, making us shaped differently . Sure, I have characteristics of my mom's, but I will never be just like her.
Recently, I made a big baking "mess up", and ended up crying over it because (and I quote myself here) " I just want to be like my mom was with us. She was the best baker. She made goodies all the time. She let us help with them, and she never dictated how we did it, and it always still came out right." Sniff... sniff.... wipe a (silly) tear.
Now, I laugh about it, and Michael and I have made the joke that I am teaching my kids how NOT to bake! (To my defense, this was not typical; I can usually bake fairly well. Cooking, on the other hand, not so much.)
But as we joked about that and kidded around about it, I wondered "what am I teaching my kids?" I have beautiful memories of my mom. What memories will my kids have with me?
I confess, I struggle with mommy working guilt. I was blessed to have my mom stay at home. And now, all the ladies (my siblings' wives) stay at home. I am the only female who works outside of the home. For a long while I struggled with this. And my mommy guilt left me often times giving in to the kids' whims more. This has been a conviction of mine a lot this year of 2013. I have not conquered giving in to my own guilt totally, but it's a work in progress. But a working mama can teach just as much as a stay at home mama....
so, back to my question of "what am I teaching my kids?" It's not always about what can I teach them; I have learned it's what can we (Michael and I together) teach them as a partnership....Looking back I learned a lot from both my parents, even if at times in indirect ways.
Both stay at home moms and working moms can teach their kids the most important things in life; it just looks different for each person. I am blessed to have a husband who gets them on the bus and to school, while I am already at work, and then I get the major after school duties. Good team work.
So I can teach them team work.
I have modeled rough characteristics at times in the last few years, with countless meltdowns and not always wise decisions. But I have grown tremendously through that and I can teach my kids better now. Especially my daughter, who often has the same emotional characteristic of me. I already see her dealing with things more gracefully than I ever did at that age.
Hopefully I can teach them about handling emotions and life as God wants us to; not as we want to.
Michael can teach them to cook far better than I can. I can bake with them. (and teach them that it's ok when you make mistakes when baking!)
The list goes on and on really....
But lately I've been learning to grow in new ways as a mama. Both kids are growing up tremendously fast! And with Elizabeth in a whole new phase of life, it's also creating a new phase for me and us. Perhaps that's why I have missed my mom with more depth lately.....I have longed to call her for advice .
Michael found this song for me and gave it to me at just the right time. The words go like this: