Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Good Mom

By Kelly

I was a good mom today.

I say that with no small amount of satisfaction, because many days, I’m not.

I don’t listen well. I don’t play often. I’m not amazed enough.

Simply put, I’m not wholly present. I’m always splintered. I eat lunch with Connor AND check my e-mail. I play Legos AND fold the laundry. I feed the baby AND read a magazine. I quiz Natalie on her spelling AND browse through Twitter.

Multi-tasking is a valued skill when it comes to producing a newscast or editing a newspaper.

It is not a gift when it comes to being a mom.

But today, I had very little on my To Do List. That gave me some breathing room. Instead of measuring my day by accomplishments – laundry folded, dinner made, thank you cards written, lunches packed – I wanted to focus on just being with my kids. I wanted to remember that my most important role each day is being their mom.

So this morning, I watched “Sesame Street” with Connor and Teyla. (The number of the day was 20. Twenty! I’ve never seen the Count go that high before.) I introduced Teyla to the joy that is dancing to Michael Buble. (“Sway” was her favorite. Mine too.) I sat at the table and finally played Legos with Connor, something he's requested every day for the last four days. (Although, truthfully, he didn’t really want me to touch anything. “No, not that one, Mom, I’m playing with that one,” was his constant refrain. So I mostly just watched. But I watched with undivided attention.)

After school, I took the kids to the park. It was sunny and brisk. The wind made our noses pink and our hands tingly. Afterwards, we came home and had hot chocolate (our first of the season) and apples and pretzels and marshmallows. I gave the baby a bath and I sat on the fuzzy matt next to the tub and enjoyed her splashing.

And just now, I put Teyla to bed without nursing her to sleep. (Night three of Sleep Training Boot Camp in the Love Well household.) It wasn’t the most pleasant part of my day, but I feel good about the fact that I’m not just leaving her alone in her room to figure this whole sleep thing out. I stayed with her, comforted her, reassured her. I did what a good Mom does.

That is, I was there.

So often, that’s the crucial piece of the puzzle. I need to remember that. And then live it.

Kelly can also be found blogging at Love Well.


  1. Sounds like you had a great day, i bet the children did too. Days like this are so special for everyone I 'm glad you enjoyed it. I will be having one of these days next week - it'd penciled in ;) Wish every day could be like this!

  2. Ooh! ouch! That was so convicting!

    Great job, Kelly.

  3. So vry true. We so often take our time wit hour kids for granted thinking we can always do more than one thing at a time. Sometimes we need to stop trying to be Super mom and just be mom. Good job on haveing a good mommy day!

  4. That’s all it takes every once in a while, is to just drop everything and give your kids undivided attention :)

  5. What a great day you had! Very sweet! This week was sweet for me and my hubby and kids too. First my kids gave me a pair of diamond earrings that my hubby bought for me from www.idonowidont.com for my birthday which was too cute! They must have bought it online when I was at the gym or something! The we all had a big day out in the park with our dog. Its nice to spend time with our family!

  6. As I read this I am paging through a book for my daughter and scolding her for playing with the mouse. Point well taken.

  7. So true. We have the best days around here when I set aside other things and actually BE with my boys.
    Great post, Kelly!

  8. I'm beginning to see that I am not necessarily a bad mom if I tell my kids to wait for 15 minutes while I get this bread in the oven. It's what I do when I get the bread in that's key. I cannot be their playmate every single minute of the day as I am also the captain of this ship and there are countless chores that need to be done to keep us sailing. I want to be present for my kids but I also want them to learn patience and to play independently. It's such a juggling act.

  9. Good for you. Really, that's one of the hardest things we're asked to do as moms -- be fully present. It's joyous when it happens, maybe because it's rare?

  10. Wow, I'm right there with you. I'm glad you had a good mommie day. There is always so much to do and never enough time. Thank you for this post.

  11. Okay, I wanted to cry over at your blog. But now I have actual tears spilling over. I asked the Lord to speak to me tonight. And He did.

  12. I'm with you there. I'm always doing something alongside being with the kids, and when I finally step back and just hang out with them, it's always refreshing.

  13. Congratulations on a great day, and it's wonderful to focus on what you did RIGHT as a parent. I too often focus on what I messed up instead of taking joy in the positive things that I did. Great post and great reminder!