I was ecstatic that Sarah agreed to come over from Clover Lane to 320 Sycamore for the day!
She is the mother of 5 children and blogs at Clover Lane about her passion: being a mom. In her own words: “I love old-fashioned values. I love keeping my kids young in a world that wants them to grow up fast. I love staying home and consider my role as mother the most important job on earth.”
Some Things I’ve Learned About Being A Mom
1. In spite of all we hear today, being a “good” mom isn’t about making sure my kids have the fancy toys, the newest stroller, the best pre-school, or private tennis lessons. It’s not about reading the latest and greatest parenting book, or being able to recite up-to-date safety protocol. It is about spending time with my children, period. And that costs nothing and doesn’t require expert advice or expensive stuff. ANYONE can do it if they really want to. It just requires me being present, letting go of all the other junk in life, and getting down to the important stuff.
2. As a mom, I am my child’s best advocate. Who loves them more? Who knows them more? No teacher, no doctor, no friend, no one else. As they get older, the advocating needs to be handed off to them…but when they are young, I will be the one to trust my gut. Mother intuition is a gift that comes along with that baby. I’ve learned to never doubt mine-even if it makes me uncomfortable, even if it makes others uncomfortable, even if it makes me unpopular, even if it makes me the odd ball out.
3. TV, the computer, and video games are time-suckers, brain-mushers, and argument-inducers, and I learned that the hard way. I also learned to stop complaining about these things, whining is a better word, and just set rules…or throw them all up unreachably-high in a closet and call it a day. As my children have grown, I have found it necessary to grow a big strong backbone, a voice of authority, and use the famous, “Because I said so.” No guilt, back-pedaling, mushy-gushy.
4. I am, oh and this is hard, the spirit of my home. I wasn’t elected or hired into this position…it isn’t a paying job, that’s for sure….and often I lament these facts. But I have found, especially as we have added more and more children to the mix, and I am dealing with all ages and stages, that it is true…I set the tone of the house with my mood. I determine the pace of the hours….calm or frantic. I determine the spirit of my home with the way I react to things. It’s all me. That means….
5. I have to take care of myself. And not in the mani-pedi ridiculous way we are told to. That never lasts long…I can snap right back in that bad mood no matter how long that spa treatment lasts. I mean the way that requires self-awareness and self-evaluation: Knowing myself, and my limits.
Really it’s about little things…knowing how to schedule a day that will make it smooth vs. stressful, knowing when to say no and not feeling guilty about it, knowing what makes me be a good, present, consistent, cheerful mom. Stressed out, rushing, impatient, crabby-I have to pay attention to myself when I feel this way, and ask what I can do different the next time around.
For me, it’s about running around as little as possible. It’s about maintaining a sense of order in my household, staying home with my younger ones, and bringing a sense of accomplishment to my day and theirs also. I have to accept my limitations, accept my differences, accept what I can handle day-to-day, vs. what it seems like every other mother seems to do gracefully.
My poor first child is a giant experiment, I tell him. Each one after that, maybe less so, but there is no other way to learn how to be a mother, than to be one. I have changed and have grown right along with my children. Each one teaches me something new. Each one teaches me to see something in a new light, with a new understanding. They have gifted me with patience, with compassion.
Most of all they have shown me how fast time flies. When my first three were young, I would be eager for their next stage-as soon as he gets out of diapers, sleeps through the night, goes to preschool-and now I resist the pull of the days. I know that soon I will work myself out of a job…a job that I love and treasure more than anything else…that of “mother”.