We all have a mom.
This is a simple fact of life. We may call her mother, birth mom, mama, or mommy but we all came from a woman’s womb. No matter our age or situation, I believe every kid longs to have a mother that makes them feel loved and special. Kids don’t need perfection. I don’t even think kids expect perfection. We might catch ourselves saying, “I wish my mom was . . .” or “I wish my mom would . . .” Or we might catch ourselves saying, “I’m so glad my mom was . . .” or “I’m so thankful my mom did . . .” Sometimes we realize this by having the mom of our dreams and sometimes we realize this by having a mom who is not the stuff dreams are made of. Regardless, we all have moms and there is something to be grateful for—even if simply our heartbeat. Each of our lives has a purpose. We can rejoice in the healthy relationships we’ve had with our moms and give ourselves permission to grieve the relationships we might wish we’d had.
This list is not intended to make any mom feel “less than” or insecure in their role as a mom. Consider this a conversation starter. Have the conversation with your kids or with yourself. What do they wish for? What do you wish for? Perhaps these five things might make your list too.
- Be the kind of mom who takes care of herself.
Motherhood is a tricky balance of self-love and unconditional love. Too much self-love and we become selfish. Too much unconditional love and we smother our kids. There can be a balance but it takes work and it’s not for the faint of heart. Every kid wishes for the kind of mom who takes good care of herself. In taking care of herself, they will be able to trust that she will take care of them.
- Be the kind of mom who loves well.
Moms can come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Loving well is also engulfed in variables. For a mom to love well, she is forced to be creative as she learns how to love each child differently – and it is a learning process. Every kid wishes for a mom to be a student of their heart and soul. They need the freedom to learn some lessons on their own, maybe even the hard way, but they also need to know that mama bear will jump in the ring, gloves on, positioned to defend. Those same fierce fighting arms should be ready to double as tender holding arms. A mom’s love should be the kind of love that a kid never has to question. She may not get it right at times, but she always wants to and she always tries.
- Be the kind of mom who is supportive.
I believe that every kid wishes that their mom to be their best advocate. I mean, why wouldn’t we kids want our moms to support us and cheer us on? Perhaps the bigger question is why wouldn’t a mom be supportive? But I’ve seen it first hand. Moms should be their kid’s biggest cheerleaders. It should be a mom’s gut response to be their child’s biggest fan. There’s a difference in getting a participation award and actually winning a trophy. There’s a difference between being a supportive mom and doling out accolades on free flow that offers false hope. Every kid on the planet should know their mom is in their corner.
- Be the kind of mom who is a mom.
There are a multitude of facets to being a mom. I feel like a mom needs to parent in such a way that sets her kids up for a successful future. There are many ways to achieve this desired result. Kids need a strong and established foundation with structure and boundaries. While friendship with our kids can be a good thing, it is the blessing that comes later in life when we are no longer responsible for disciplining and raising them. This is not to say that a mom with a backbone can’t have fun with her kids, it just shouldn’t take the front seat to solid parenting. Every kid wishes that their mom would be their actual mom.
- Be the kind of mom who shares her story.
Finally, for this post anyway, I think that every kid wishes their mom would share her story with them. Depending on the story, the timing and age appropriateness should be considered, but I believe that sharing our stories with our kids can enhance the relationship. In sharing our stories with our kids, it will encourage them along in theirs. They could avoid some of the mistakes we made and possibly repeat some of our successes. Sharing our stories with our kids makes a mom reachable… it makes her real… it makes her human. Our sharing will foster a safe place for them to share their stories as well. If a mom is hiding her story, her child may assume she’s guarding her heart. Everyone misses out when this happens. Stories are meant to be shared.
As a mom, I don’t always pass muster, but I want to, and I try. Maybe it’s in our trying that God’s meets us with His grace that covers our fits and failures. From my own experience, I am inclined to think this is true. Don’t think that God’s grace lets us off the hook, though. We must step up to the plate and do our part.
We moms should be intentional in our role as a mom. We should mother on purpose and with a purpose. What is your purpose? If you don’t have one and you’re just wingin’ it, consider coming up with a mission statement. Have a plan. A mission statement for parenting can be such a great filter to sift through the daily and the big decisions we are faced with making as we raise our kids. I’ve often said that being a mom is not for wimps but it’s also one of my most favorite things to be. I want to be the kind of mom my kids wish for but ultimately I want to be the kind of mom God wishes for.
What’s on your kid’s wish list? If you aren’t sure, consider asking them.