So last night at 2 in the morning when I finally tried to go to sleep (refer to insomnia post), I actually thought that maybe this blogging thing was detrimental to me. Here's why. Let's refer again to the OCDness of my insomnia. When I'm kept up late at night by thoughts that keep repeating themselves, there are these devilish ponderings about what makes a good mother that keep plaguing me. What makes a good mother? Probably not me...because I don't do this or that or whatever. I read these blogs of people who sound like such amazing mothers, and I think...who am I kidding? I hate cleaning my house. I hate cooking even more. And my kids do actually watch TV and play video games (at least now it's the Wii, so there's a bit more exercising action going on, but still), and I get upset and raise my voice. My boys are 10 and 8 and they still can't remember to flush a toilet. Their teeth are probably going to rot out of their heads because they won't brush no matter the amount of nagging I confront them with. My thoughts go on and on like this, with ever more self-deprecating remarks from the devil inside me, and then there's this little voice from the corner that says: But you read to them. And you take them to the library. You taught them how to make food (OK, so maybe it was for selfish reasons so that they could be self-sufficient and you'd get a good meal on Mother's Day, but that's entirely beside the point), you sign them up for piano, swim team, baseball, basketball, and singing groups. And you suffer through their complaints about it all. You actually make them practice (but not nearly often enough). You make them finish the season even if they hate it (because we're not quitters). You attend every single game, performance, or activity they participate in. You take pictures of said games, performances, and activities they participate in (so that at least it LOOKS like you're all having fun and enjoying this life you're living). You take them to church every Sunday (but you absolutely stink at scripture/prayer/FHE during the week). You answer any tricky questions about life/sex/birds and bees and other embarrassing subjects they might have (because if not me, then holy cow, who??) You are always there for them, and really you pick them up from most everything on time. You take them to the dentist and eye doctor regularly, and you give them medicine and love when they're sick. You limit their amount of TV and video intake (probably not nearly enough, but definitely more than the drug addicted mother down the street).
The argument goes on and on. The little voice in the corner trying to outdo the big devil who makes me feel defeated. It's usually a losing battle. I end up thinking I had better start trying new recipes (oh who am I kidding...any recipes at all would be great) to be a more domestic mom. I should be like the mom with 17 kids in Arkansas who has every minute of the day planned, and the sticky sweet disposition that most kids would love to be descended from. She can solve a crisis with a hug, a scripture, and a little tater tot casserole. I can't because my kids just yell back at me, and there's no food in the house to remedy it with because I've forgotten to go grocery shopping again. I realize there are all different types of moms, and I can't try to be every single one. I really should focus on being me and just buffing out the little imperfections, but when I read these blogs I feel like I need to become them. I need to love unconditionally and sacrifice all and bake 3 casseroles (to share with the less fortunate) and have a missionary experience (with my kids around to observe) and be the fun mom that all the neighborhood kids want to hang out with because we have the cool stuff at our ultra clean house. So maybe the solution is to find all those moms out there who neglect their kids because they're hooked to their computer, and read their blogs. It would probably make me feel better. But then again, maybe I'd start trying to be more like them???
What makes a good mom? Maybe it's just loving your kids no matter what. Maybe it's sacrificing your job (that you're really good at) to stay home with them and be there for each step of their amazing lives. Maybe it's not caring what anyone else is thinking or doing, and just following your own instincts. Maybe what really makes a good mom is someone who has found the perfect sleeping pill so that she can sleep at night and is therefore refreshed in the morning and ready to tackle the many challenges of a child-filled day without argument, complaint, or fatigue. Anyone know where I can find one??