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Monday, March 31, 2014

Being Me is Best for Them

As a follow up to my last post where I was remembering my childhood view of my own mother, I am thinking about how being my best self is the way I want my children to remember me.  I have a friend, who is a mother of three children, almost the exact ages as my own, and she is often complaining, worried, frustrated, critical and generally seems unhappy.  I hope that is not the message I project to the world, but especially to my children.

Basic mom responsibilities include a whole lot of cooking, dishes, laundry, wash, rinse, repeat.  Some days feel discouraging as the cycle repeats and it feels like a futile, endless process.  To keep my sanity, I incorporate some things just for ME in my day - exercise, reading, a few minutes of quiet alone time after work.

But I also try to add make our home more than a place to crash by cutting spring blooms and arranging them by the fireplace.  I enjoy setting the table for meals and eating by candlelight.  We do seasonal 'crafts' and I add holiday items to our mantle or table.  I want my children and teen daughters to see that life at home is fulfilling, rewarding, inviting and fun.

I want my children to see that I love the color purple and am excited when we find purple wildflower.  I hope that notice that certain songs elevate my spirit so that I can't help but turn up the sound as we commute to school together.  May my daughter realize that trips to the grocery store are opportunities to know our community and walks around the "block" are chances to meet to neighbors and admire their pets.

I know that my influence with the teenage girls in our home is limited - yet my heart wants them to notice that homekeeping can be a joyful and rewarding option.  I hope they remember our time together as warm, relaxed, cooperative and pleasant.  I hope that I will earn the respect of my life choices, even hope they may adopt a few for themselves.

I want to be my best self for my family because that makes their lives better - it just does!  So when I splurge on something for me, or spend extra time on my hair before going out with my husband, I hope the youngsters in our home notice more than the woman in granny shoes trying to keep up the house.  I hope they see that I love to laugh, get excited about just about any animal (expect snakes) and get giddy about things that are organized.  Will they remember that I trudged through evenings or that I couldn't wait till the dishes were done so we could get outdoors?  Will they think I obsessed over a clean house or that I was ready to put up the laundry so we were free to get dirty again?  I hope they notice me like I did my mother.