08::It's Not About Me, It's About Them
If you read this blog, you definitely know about my battle with not feeling good enough and constantly thinking about things I need to improve on. This battle of mine definitely applies to motherhood as well.
You see, I live in the most amazing place with the most amazing people. But the problem sometimes is, I live in the most amazing place with the most amazing people. I see wonderful, amazing, talented women all around me and think "she's such a good mother, she does such-and-such and such-and-such, and I wish I did that as good as her, and my kids are missing out because I'm not doing this or that, and they deserve to have a mother like that, and I'm just not that good at this whole mother thing...etc...etc..."
Well, it doesn't go exactly like that, but that's the gist of it and often the conclusion I come to.
(I'm telling you, it's a battle.)
And so then I get focused on the things I need to be better at.
I get focused on me and me being a better person and me feeling good about me.
I worry that so-and-so thinks this or that about me or my kids and I just need to be better and that will fix it and everyone will think that I'm great.
I can get so wrapped up in "being a better mom" (whatever that even means) or just "being a better person" (because I'm trying to be who I want them to be, remember?) that sometimes I forget to watch, and listen, and see how my kids even feel about it and what they really need from me.
Is it me that thinks I need to be better, or is it them that actually need me to be better?
Is it me or them that are unhappy with the way things are going or who I am?
Most of the times it's just my own insecurities and self-comparisons that make me feel that I need to be doing things differently and be better at certain things that other people are just better at than me. Sometimes it's my own pride and my desire to be really great at what I do, which right now is motherhood. Sometimes I lose focus on what ultimately is important - my relationship with God, my kids, my husband, and what our family needs - and get too focused on me, me, me.
The truth is, the kids usually don't even notice the things that I notice I fall short at.
They think I'm the best mom in the world (they've told me so), and we are a great family, and they are really happy kids.
We are happy and we love each other and we are not perfect, but we are trying our best and we have fun together.
Which brings me to some conclusions I've come to with this whole thing -
It really isn't about me.
It is good to have the desire to be better.
It is good to want to be my best self and to learn what that is.
It is good to want to be my best self for the sake of my family.
It is good to look to other people as examples and inspirations.
It is good to evaluate the way things are going and to be honest with myself about changes that need to happen.
It is not OK to be jealous, or envious, or compare my weaknesses to another's strengths.
That is destructive.
It is not OK to be self-centered and so focused on what I need/want/do/am all the time.
That is selfish.
It is not necessary for me to be great at all things right now.
It is OK to be working on one thing at a time and to take time doing it.
In fact, I think that's the way it should be.
But when it comes to being a mother, I am learning and realizing that it is important to keep perspective on the what and why - I am trying to be my best self for them, not for me.
I want to be positive, patient, loving, and slow to anger so they always feel loved and accepted and supported and confident in who they are and the family they come from.
I want to let go of my pride and my need for recognition and do all I can for them so that they learn that leadership is not about control or acclaim, but love and service.
I want to find joy in every aspect of motherhood so my girls look forward to being mothers and my boys learn to honor women and mothers.
I want to smile every day so they know that happiness is a choice and that there always is good to be found in even the hardest days.
I want to keep my house clean and organized so they feel comfortable and peaceful when they're home - and teach them how to clean and organize it too :)
I want to take the time to talk and listen and just be with each one of them so they know that people are important and it's important to give people time.
I want to hug them when they're sad and kiss them when they're hurt so they know that I care about how they're feeling, what they're going through, and assure them that everything will be OK.
I want to be silly and laugh and play so they know how to and they don't take themselves too seriously.
I want to share my testimony freely and speak of Christ often so they know where to turn for peace, forgiveness, and healing.
I want to do things that are hard and sometimes scary so they have courage to do the same.
I want to cherish my relationship with Husband and love him in every way so they know what love looks like and that it can be found.
I want to give compliments freely to them and to others so they know how to see the good in other people.
I want to say please and thank you and sorry and how can I help? so that they know how to say it too.
I want to try to be my best so they have the courage to be their best.
I want to take time to run, and read, and write, and be with my friends, and develop my talents so they know that it's important to take care of yourself.
I want to go to church, read my scriptures, say my prayers, have family home evening, and go to the temple so they know that true happiness comes from keeping the commandments and following the Lord.
I want to be patient, and kind, and thoughtful, and careful, and diligent, and hard-working, and trustworthy, and confident, and all of the things I hope them to be.
I want to keep secrets so they know that they can tell me anything.
I want them to know that love sometimes looks like hard-work and sacrifice and diligence - not perfection.
I want to be better at all of these things, not so that they and others think that I'm so great, but so that they can be great by learning from me as one of their examples.
Because everything I do, everything I work on, everything I want to be, is ultimately for them.
Because being a mom is not about me, it's all about them.
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Thanks for stopping by!