Mother’s Day weekend is almost over. The sun has set and the sky is dark and as I sit here I am at peace, well mostly. It has been a busy few days filled with love and reflection. All the stories and pictures of amazing mothers, strong mothers and brave mothers I have seen the last few days are on my mind. I of course am thinking about ways I can improve, which I do every year and this year something new came to mind. I’m wondering if there are any moms who think they already are the best they can be? I also wonder if the moms who think they are doing the best for their kids right now are really doing it any better than those of us who think we can do better. Or maybe it’s just a different mindset.
For example, there are days I’m over-tired and have less energy. We may have a little extra screen time…not get dressed because jammies are just so comfortable and have a carpet picnic for breakfast (spreading a blanket on the carpet….) and lunch. Then we’ll spend most of the day playing games and reading books. This is what I think of as ‘being lazy’. This type of day are the days where if someone asked me, I would say, “Oh, we didn’t even get dressed, we ate sitting on the floor in the playroom and we did pretty much nothing all day, I am not on the awesome mom awards roster today”. How many of us do that? Make our day sound as negative as we can. I could just as easily say, “We had a great day, just being together, taking it easy. Having quiet book time and fun game time. We played in our PJs all day, laughed, watched a movie and even had two picnics inside! I’m feeling like a pretty awesome mom.”
I’m thinking it’s similar to the ‘glass being half empty or half full’ analogy. I’m going to call it the mom being half empty or half full mindset. Original I know 😉 Anyway I think there are two types of moms. The ones who look at themselves as the ‘half empty mom’ or the ones who look at themselves as the ‘half full mom’.
The half empty mom is the one who never thinks she is doing enough. She downplays her days and accomplishments and generally feels that what she is doing is half as good as it could be. This mom is always trying to perfect her ‘mom-ness’ and often overlooks and undervalues what she is doing. This may be what she is constantly thinking about during the day. The, “ugh, I really should be having my kids eat at the table…I should have gotten dressed and gone out of the house to do something enriching”, mom. Never really enjoying her days or her children because she thinks she is probably screwing up something. She is always looking for more.
The half full mom thinks she is doing a pretty darn good job. Not perfect, but who is, and anyway she’s just teaching her children that we’re all human. This mom views herself with the glass half full mentality. The days where she is over-tired are called ‘stay at-home snuggle days’. The ‘wear our pajamas all day and eat snack like picnic food because it’s easy and fun’. The ‘it’s ok to not go out and spending family time together is enriching and valuable’ mom. The half full mom is adding value to what she is doing, not thinking about what she could be doing. Enjoying both herself and her children just as they are at that moment. She is in the present.
So this year, I am not taking note of my usual mental list of ‘goals’ designed to make myself a better mother. This year I have one goal and it does not involve me perfecting my mothering skills. My goal is to change my mindset to that of a half full mom. I will look for the positive meaning and value in my interactions with my children instead of thinking up ways I could be doing better. I will not downplay our activities and I will spin them in as positive a light as I can. I will not compare myself to other moms real or imagined. I will be the ‘half full mom’, being happy that I am not perfect, but in the present, enjoying myself and my children.
Plus half full is better around kids anyway, less chance to spill 😉