When was the last time you sat down and wrote a list of the things you do well as a mom? I made one of mine, the same day I made my tongue-in-cheek-wanna-be-list-of-semi-failures-and-full-regrets. And I surprised myself by again making fifteen items without difficulty. To tell you the truth this list is harder to share than the list of things I don’t do well.
- I plan great birthday parties and make their cakes to order.
- My children come easily to me with their little questions, fears, and problems.
- I tease my children and tickle them and joke with them. We laugh a lot.
- I introduce them to the amazing world of literature, and they are captivated.
- I establish fun traditions: pizza Saturday nights, pancakes and popcorn on Sundays, holiday treats.
- I apologize.
- I sing.
If you can, I’d love to hear from you. What do you most enjoy as a mom? What do you do well? Some of you will be more uncomfortable with this exercise than with the “unreachables” list I recommended first… But if you are not up to sharing publicly, may I suggest you do it still, on your own? You will be surprised.
When I was all done, I made a final list—
Parenting Essentials I Never Want to Live Without
Love: My children are precious to me. I treat them with care.
Commitment: I’m not leaving this place. These are my people.
Joy: I do not enjoy every aspect of mothering, but I work to incorporate happiness into my life and my children’s.
Discipline: I do not allow my children to live without consequences.
Forgiveness: This is how we make sense of our many mistakes. Jesus is the Redeemer!
Shared Time and Interest: We invest in each other’s lives and enjoy time together.
Character: Together, we are being shaped into the image of Jesus.
Thanks for listening. Thanks for blessing me with your words. And before I stop talking on the subject, I want to give a shout-out to the many women from whom I am slowly learning motherhood. First of all, to my own Good Mom, and to my mother-in-law, and to my many wonderful sisters and sisters-in-law—some who do not have children yet but all of whom are beautiful examples of mother-love… And to my friends, some of the most capable and committed mothers I know… And to my single or childless friends. I know who you are. You too are mothers—joining forces to nurture the young lives around you. Many of you signed up on purpose for a life wrapped up in small ones who call other women “Mommy.” You are amazing, and my children are the richer for having you.
And no, I haven’t forgotten the question I asked you. What do you do well? What do you enjoy most as a mom?