I had a wonderful day yesterday which means that I didn’t lift a finger besides getting my girls and myself ready for church. J made all my favorite foods for dinner including crab legs and steamed artichokes (yum!) and we ended the evening with some star-gazing in the backyard. All in all a really nice mellow day. It only could have been better if our own moms were here with us.
All day I kept thinking about all that I have learned the last 8 years and although J thinks that being a great parent just comes naturally, I know better. I really didn’t think when I was younger that I would have any kids, let alone 4, so when I found myself in this mom role, I became an observer of those who I thought were doing a great job.
I was very studious watching my sister as well as my neighbors and friends interact with their kids (especially the ones with teenagers). I asked tons of questions and the advice I would hear over and over was to teach them at a very young age confidence by encouraging their dreams and interests, to help them gain independence through responsibilities, and that kids do need and actually like structure and discipline. Hopefully these theories pan out for me. Eventually I’ll find out!
I feel so blessed to know so many great women and mothers. I still watch and listen and learn more and more every day. I’m also so lucky to have a great mom who instilled so many great values in my life, even though I think that sometimes she regretted how strong-willed and independent I could be!
She is such a great Nana to my kids and I love that she can make any normal, everyday thing feel magical. My kids love spending time with her getting messy in the garden, feeding the animals across the street and playing night time games outside with her. She is still so young at heart and I love that she has no problem being just as silly and crazy as her grand-kids.
My mother-in-law has also done an incredible job in raising her kids as well. I am convinced that there is no one who gives more selflessly than her! She taught my husband to be strong, yet sensitive and I love who he is and it all has to do with the relationship he had and continues to have with his parents.
My kids know that Grandma will drop anything and everything to play a game with them, or make “icky stuff” and if they mention they need something (you know really need, like a new toy) she is sure to make it happen. They love to spend time at her house in the room she has created just for them, full of craft supplies and all of their favorite things.
Being a parent is not always the easiest or funnest thing, but it is the most rewarding job I have ever had or will ever have. I know I wouldn’t like it half as much if I didn’t have a husband who worked so hard at being a great dad, as well as parents and in-laws (and countless family and friends) who are willing to help me when I need a break. I am wise enough to know that I can’t do it alone.
I know that somewhere along the way I will screw up with my kids. That’s just life and it’s bound to happen. But I hope no matter what, they will always feel and know how much I love them and that I’m always doing the best that I know how to. Just like my mom did, just like J’s mom did, and just like their moms did…