Lately, I’ve been reflecting quite a bit about what it takes to be a good mom. I haven’t come to a conclusion, I doubt I ever will, but I have traipsed my way through a few ideas that were in need of some organization. And thus, this post has been born – mostly with thanks to today’s sponsor, MassMutual, who forced me to sit down and write everything out in a timely manner rather than letting it sit in my drafts for weeks on end :)
I have a really good mom. Probably a great mom in the line up of all mamas. She often tells me I’m a good mom too. But I find myself questioning her affirmation. I don’t feel like a good mom most days. I have moments, maybe even hours of good mothering, but overall? I’m not sure if I totally own that. I yell and shuffle the littles in front of the television for some peace and quiet, I ache for bedtime when the house is quiet and I countdown to my few and far between “escapes” whether it be to the bathroom (which is usually an interrupted escape) or the grocery store or the rare night out. Those, those are not things that embody a good mom.
I do snuggle my babies and facilitate story time and crafts. We go on walks and I aim to prepare wholesome meals. I tell my littles ones that I love them each and every day. So, yes, my moments of good mothering exist, but I have much to learn; much to grow into and become during these influential years that will forever shape my little people as the people they will become.
That’s what is scary. You hear all the time how crucial early childhood development is. Safety and security, boundaries, independence, quality nutrition, exercise, spiritual awareness … the list is miles long. It’s no wonder I feel inadequate in my goal of becoming a good mom. And what if I mess up, what if these influential years are tainted and I forever mark my children with troubles they’ll battle in the years to come?
I just started reading The Happiness Project and it’s compelling me to reflect on some aspects of my life. I want to solidify my priorities and outline an action plan. Reflection is nothing without action. And so, this is part of my reflection phase – to identify attributes of a good mom and take achievable steps in moving that direction.
I want to be better – for me, for my family. I don’t want to be perfect – Lord knows that will never happen. And truly, I want to teach my children that perfection is NOT something we’re striving for. Rather, a balance of refinement and perseverance.
My mom is a good mom. The more time I spend with her, the more bits of wisdom I gain from her and her mothering journey. I’ve watched her relationship with each of her three daughters evolve as we’ve moved from infants to adults. She has modified her role in our lives countless times and yet, has somehow figured out how to be consistent in her caring and nurturing. She is mentoring me in motherhood and I’m learning from her successes and her failures. Her life is living proof of good motherhood and I’m studying, watching and asking questions to learn from her experience. She is teaching me to be a good mom.
Through her, this is what I’m finding. Good moms raise good moms. And good moms encourage good fathers. Good mothers and fathers who partner together build strong families. And strong families produce good children who them become good parents. It’s a generation of love, and it goes on for as many generations as we allow; as many as we persevere.
This cycle sounds simple. We all know it’s not. There are many bumps and obstacles along the way, we live in an imperfect, sinful world and ultimate goodness is nothing anyone will ever achieve. But, I think the principle remains the same. Moms who are actively committed to improving themselves and therefore becoming better mothers WILL impact their children positively and that has generational reprecussions. Mistakes can come full circle with forgiveness and reconciliation, children can stray and still become good in the end, parents can fail and still teach their children invaluable lessons.
And with that, this love, this striving, is the ultimate gift of motherhood. It’s never-ending and tiring and so incredibly worthwhile I would never dream of being called to another task in this life. Love is truly a sacrificial gift and one worth giving over and over again.
MassMutual has sparked a social initiative on this though of love being a gift. You can learn more it about by watching this short video:
No doubt, Love Is A Gift and I’d be thrilled if you choose to participate in identifying and virtually high 5-ing those in your life who exemplify this. Here’s what you do …
- Find or take a picture of you and the people you love.
- Upload it to your personal Instagram account with #LoveIsAGift or log onto LoveIsAGift.com and add your photo there. You can include a few words about your loved ones and why they matter most. Your Instagram must be public for the # to be located and to trigger the donation linked to this initiative.
- Once the photo is uploaded, you can share your photo and details about the initiative with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
- Each upload triggers a $1 donation from MassMutual to Easter Seals, up to $50,000.
As a little extra, there will be a #LoveIsAGift Twitter Party on Wednesday, November 5th between 8:00 am – 9:00 am PST/ 11:00 am – Noon EST – plan to join in! I’ll be there! There will be prizes :) One little note, the Instagram photo upload and the Twitter party are separate projects within this hashtag campaign – Instagram triggers donations and the Twitter party allows you to join in with possibly winning a prize. Make sense?
Now … tell me, who do you love most and why? I think it’s obvious that my dear Mama is my #LoveIsAGift front runner! Also, I’d be curious to read your thoughts on this whole idea of good mothering … chime in, friends, I love having conversations on topics like this!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the MassMutual.
Oh, and see my necklace? It’s from Archer + Hare and you can save 20% on any purchases through 10/31 with code THATMAMALOVE. Think ahead for Christmas and surprise those you love with something beautiful and mama made!