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role model

Play Dates, mom friends, older mom, role model, role model mom

I think role model moms should be standard issue to all new moms. Being a mom is hard. It is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not because of all the work it entails but the sheer force of the all-consuming energy that unconditional love tolls on your mind, body and spirit. Having done it twice, I really think that most of us spend the first four years of of our children’s lives in a fog induced by sheer love meeting complete desperation and exhaustion. I mean, I know I didn’t have a full night’s sleep until year 8 and it was only once.

 

The thing is when we come up for air from the insanity of new motherhood, we need to look for a mom role model.

I don’t mean someone to emulate or keep up with. Believe you me, I’ve had more than my fair share of those in my parenting lifetime. I’m not even referring to those amazing mom friends who hold your hand and lift your soul when you are neck deep in diaper blowouts, colic and regression. Though those broads are worth their weight in gold, for the listening and nodding agreement alone. If they can offer helpful advice and be a gentle sounding board, bonus.

 

When I say a role model, I mean a mom you meet who has older kids who are turning out pretty damn good. She might know a thing or two. Sure, she might not have cloth diapered but her oldest just started college and that kid’s got all of his shit together. This mama knows how to get things done the right way. I was fortunate to meet one such amazing woman on my oldest daughter’s first day of kindergarten.

 

You see, it was my first child and I didn’t want her to go to school all day. I wanted to cherish these final moments together. Plus the kid was still taking naps and who was I to take that away from us. Her sleeping peacefully while I gently stroked her head and silently sobbed because she was leaving me. Looking back now, on the precipice of puberty, I wasn’t wrong.

 

Anyways, I digress. This other mom, let’s call her Maureen ( because that is her name and she is too awesome for me not to refer to her by her real name), had a little boy who also happened to be only going ½ day. We.were.the.only.2. ( It’s Catholic school, people. Most of these mamas have plenty more and full day it was.) But not us, we wanted our kids home with us.

 

I walk into the corridor to wait for my daughter and I see this lovely woman, blonde and beautiful. Obviously, she has her shit together. She was not wearing the yoga pants and t-shirt with spit up on it that I was and her hair was so not in a ponytail like mine. We started talking and she was a little teary eyed and all I thought was dear Lord, what are they doing to our children that this obviously seasoned mom was brought to tears by. That’s when she told me that not only was this her youngest child’s first day of kindergarten but her oldest child’s first day of college. You see the irony, first and last and last and first all in the same day. I got a little choked up myself. I just wanted to hug her but I didn’t because that would have made me seem deranged, right ? Well, maybe I did, who can remember, the brain fog was strong with me in those days. Either way, I knew I loved this woman instantly.

 

Her heart was as big as anything I had ever seen and she was is (she’s not dead or anything) just a really lovely person. She had kind eyes and an unspoken kinship that put me at ease. For once, I felt like I could shut up and listen and not tell the other mother what month of life my child achieved a basic life skill (good thing too because I was getting tired of pulling out those motherhood aces up the sleeve: Bella walked at 10 months and Gabs totally potty trained herself by 18 months. Ok, see that was the last time.)

 

From that first day, I knew we would be friends and when I met her other children ( she has four) I realized that I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Her kids are kind, well-mannered, smart, well-rounded citizens of the world. Her kids blow my mind, ergo, her mom skills are the bomb.

Six years later and she is still my mom role model. I hope one day I can be the same for some other new mom because God knows, I am not the youngest mom in the class, ever.

Who is your mom role model?

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I want to be the best Mommy with all the right answers, the patience of a saint, only feed my kids organic food, occupy their time with mind expanding activities, make sure they get enough sun and exercise and be a good life role model for them. Isn’t that what we all want?
I also want to be able to maintain friendships, my sanity, my marriage, and possibly contribute to society in some small way. I realize that there are some of you out there who have this all under control. That is awesome for you. I am glad you have found your healthy balance. I ,on the other hand, have moments when I get really ambitious and decide that this is it. This will be the day that I make a list and pursue my dreams, be the Mommy I want to be, the friend who actually has time to listen to her friends when they talk, to workout and watch what I put in my mouth, to take the time to get dressed and get ready before I go out in to public view. I do. I get really optimistic and I just do it. The longest it lasted was for 7 months. It was awesome. But lately I feel like I am all talk and no action. Too tired for action. I am full of ambition and good intentions but it seems an impossibility to bring them to fruition. The day to day minutia is starting to feel like quicksand and I’m sinking.
The thing is I notice that there really is no such thing as having it all. You can have a whole lot of little pieces of everything, basically do everything kinda half-assed or you can pick one thing and do it really well. This is as it pertains to me, anyways. The rest of you may have a more astute  grasp of your limitations and be able to balance things a little better than I. To my detriment, I tend to be an all or nothing type of gal.
When I have all my balls in the air and everything falls into place, it is wonderful. But I have to find a steady rhythm, and place my energy very strategically. It’s hard keeping all those balls in the air at the same time but it is totally worth it. The problem comes that once you get one iota off balance the whole thing comes crashing down.So, that doesn’t work for me either.
On the other hand, focusing on one task at a time has never been my strong suit. It feels like wasted time. I am a multi-tasker. How then can I find a way to balance it all? I feel that if I focus on only my children, I am doing them a disservice as a role model.Though I would be an awesome example as a Mother.  I feel that if I focus on a career, I am not only missing out on my children growing up but am also teaching them that a career is more important than family. I know it shouldn’t have to be one or the other but that’s the way it feels.
I want all my balls in the air in perfect symmetry; I want to have all the time in the world to see everything my children do as they grow up, I want to be revered for my mind and want a career that recognizes that, I want to be able to give my husband my undivided attention when he talks to me, I want a clean house, a healthy lifestyle for my family,a working relationship with God,friends, and family, and to breathe the fresh air of a beautiful country.I want happiness and fulfillment; not just contented pacification. I want it all! Any suggestions?

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