I have realized over these last several years of being a mommy that there is a lot I do for my girls I am proud of. I know I love them unconditionally, I take care of them, I would die for them. With just 2 years of being a social worker before having children, it was still long enough to meet several women who just did not feel this way. They did not have that "maternal instinct." Whether it was because of how they were raised themselves, or something actually missing from their heart and soul, they put their own needs first and did not place any (or the appropriate amount of) importance on their children. Abortions, drugs and alcohol while pregnant, neglect, abuse...the list could go on and on unfortunately. Now, I do not want to sound judgemental here. Every woman has her own story, and mine includes being raised by a mom that taught me how to be a mom myself. I am blessed for that, and I realize that many women didn't have a mom to model appropriate behavior to them. Financial, physical, emotional, spiritual needs not being met as a child means a woman has a lot to overcome not to repeat that cycle with her own family.
All that being said, I have also realized that while I am a "good" mom in many ways, sometimes I really drop the ball. Whether it's yelling at the girls because they're fighting and not sitting down with them to work on a resolution peacefully...whether it's turning on a movie for them so I can sit at my laptop instead of doing something with them...whether it's rushing Bailey through her homework because I don't feel like actually teaching her. I know, isn't that awful? There are times I feel just down right lazy, and tired of good parenting. I know, that's awful too. I read of how friend's or family's kids know things like all the states names, and I feel bad about myself, knowing I don't take the time to teach them that.
Becoming a mom has opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn't know about myself. One thing I have learned is that I always do "better" when I am intentional about my day. It sounds odd, but actually writing, "play with girls on the floor with the dollhouse" on my to-do list means there's a much greater likelihood I'll do it. And over time, some things I have had to write on my list have become habits - like praying for our day with the girls before Bailey goes to school.
Maybe if I write "no yelling" on my list everyday, I won't do it as much. Actually, I have tried that here and there over the years, it doesn't really work. I don't yell at them a lot but I do yell. Sometimes quite loudly. I truly think if I had just one child I would hardly ever yell, because most of my yelling happens when the two of them are going at each other and I can't take it anymore. I would think it would be quite calm and quiet with just one child, I just can't imagine that I would "need" to yell hardly ever. And truly, before I make myself appear like a barracuda, I don't yell all the time! But I wish I never did.
So for today -- ok, no yelling (this morning doesn't count, 'cause I already yelled at Taylor for following Bailey around the house, singing at the top of her lungs bc she knew it was annoying), I'll play a game with the girls, and I'll read them each their favorite books - which of course are long ones :) They'll love it, and I'll feel like a "good" mom. And that's a really, really great feeling.