We moms go through most of our years wondering if we’re doing anything right. Wondering if we’re screwing up our kids. Wondering if they hear anything we’re saying. Wondering if they have any clue how much we love them. As a seasoned mom and with only one left at home (and even she has one foot already out of the nest) I can look over my past mom years and wonder no more.
I did do a lot of things right. I didn’t screw them up (completely). They did hear a few things I said and maybe they still don’t have a clue how much I love them but they have a better idea.
In humility and gratitude, I decided to document five ways I feel I’m winning at this motherhood gig.
1. Our children left home.
Our two oldest are married and living on their own and doing that very well. The “baby” is marrying her forever soon and living her own God-given path well. We are watching them live out the parenting mission statement we raised them by. Which is:
Parenting Mission Statement: To raise responsible, well-adjusted, emotionally & physically healthy adults who own their own faith and are productive members of society.
It is such a gratifying win to see all of our hard work (with a whole lot of God’s grace) play out so beautifully before our eyes. Our kids are good. They are responsible, well-adjusted, emotionally and physically healthy adults who own and share their own faith. They are also productive members of society. And to top it off, the two who are married have spouses who are the same. Massive win!!
Do you have a parenting mission statement? Having something like this in and of itself is a parenting win. It is such a great filter when decisions and choices need to be made. Feel free to use ours. We’re happy to share!
2. Our children want to come home.
A friend asked me several years ago what I would say about how we would know if we were successful in our parenting. I thought long and hard. I feel like winning as a mom is evident when our kids want to come home even when they don’t have to. Especially when they don’t have to. When they want to hang out for days or weeks. When they come home and bring their kids and animals and plop comfortably on the couch. When they can’t wait to spend the holidays together or just come for no reason but to come. Our kids know when they come home they are welcome. There are no expectations. We are just simply grateful they are with us. Yes, this is a win.
3. Our children genuinely enjoy hanging out with each other.
As a mom of older kids, there is not much more joy to be found than when your kids love hanging out with each other. Our kids stay in touch with each other. They know more about each other’s lives than we do as their parents. I’m totally okay with this! They talk, they text, they visit each other. Our youngest daughter wanted to spend her spring break this year with her brother and sister in law. I love that our kids love each other, support each other, get along and encourage and build each other up.
4. Our adult children call home for advice and recipes.
“Mom, what’s your salsa recipe?”
“Mom, I have these three things in my fridge and pantry. What can I make for dinner?”
“Mom, we’re going through a tough spot right now, can you and dad pray for us?”
“Mom, can I take these two meds at the same time?”
“Mom, how can I help my baby’s diaper rash go away?”
“Mom, how do I get car grease out of my husband’s shorts?”
I’ve used this “call a mom” lifeline countless times with my own mom over the years. It’s so rewarding to be able to pass on the wisdom. I love that my kids think I know stuff. I love more that they know I will help them in any way I possibly can. I say “anyway I can” because there is a trickiness to being a mom of adult children. There is a mom line I shouldn’t cross. I can’t always help them and that’s hard for me. There’s a big ole’ “let mommy fix your boo-boo” place in my heart. While that once was my standard go-to, with adult children, they are now responsible, and quite capable I might add, of fixing their own boo’s. That being said, I’m still winning at motherhood when I lovingly let them find their own way. I often wonder if the “leave and cleave” (Genesis 2:24) is an admonition for the ones who are leaving or a reminder for the parents to let them leave. The bottom line is, they will always know where to find me and they will always know their dad and I will do whatever we can to help them.
5. I married a man who would be a good dad.
When Tommy and I met we were friends for a long time. Really… just friends. We met when my niece was about 3 and she loved him. I paid attention. When we were at church, he was what I called a kid magnet. They found him. He didn’t really ask for it but it just happened. He engaged with them, laughed with them, rolled on the floor with them and enjoyed it. Backtrack a little… all I ever wanted to be was a mom. I guessed at some point I would have to get married so I could accomplish that goal. We laugh about it but it’s true that I’m a much better mom than I am a wife. I was created to be a mom. I feel like so much of what God has called me to do has been carried out through my work as a mom. I was made for this job. No, I don’t think marriage takes a back seat at all. I’ve just had to work harder at being a wife than a mom. Motherhood comes naturally, wifehood does not. Anyway… one of the first things that attracted me to my husband was his connection with kids. I could tell that he would be a good dad. This was very important to me. We have messed up some things in our marriage but I didn’t mess up when I married a man who would be a good dad. For the win.
What are some ways you’re winning at motherhood? Do you feel uncomfortable or guilty even asking yourself this? I sure hope not! So often we see all the negative, the failures, where we’re missing the mark. How about today we focus on the win. And share!! Let’s encourage each other in this motherhood gig. It’s not for wimps! We need to rally around one another and pass out some high fives.