Ya wanna know something?
I am NOT the best mom there is.
And boy it becomes awfully apparent at times.
One instance of this happened while I was substituting at my daughter’s preschool last Friday. My two wonderful, loving, Zen-like friends run this Waldorf/Montessori inspired preschool. They have created a warm, rhythmic feeling through both the atmosphere and their interactions with the children. This particular morning I was helping some of the children bake our morning snack. We hadn’t even made it past the hand washing and I was nearly brought to tears. Two of the girls, including my daughter, began to fight over a chair, and one boy did not want to share, things quickly began to careen into maddening chaos. I was trying my best to be calm, to offer solutions, to help each child feel needed and heard. But it was not working. There was screaming, yelling, crying, and pushing. Suddenly from down stairs a melodic calm voice invited the children to change from baking to playing make believe in another room. It was that simple, with one question she broke the fighting and yelling and screaming and I was left quietly alone in the messy kitchen.
Instantly the thought came “I just do not have the same skill set as my friends. I am not soft spoken, I am not generally kind and patient, I don’t use affirmative language, positive reinforcement or natural consequences. I do not have their skill set.” But before I began to cry I thought, “That is ok, because I DO have A skill set. MY skill set.” Now I don’t know exactly what my skill set is. But I do know it doesn’t feel like the model preschool teacher. But I do have wonderful skills, wonderful characteristics that my children demonstrate and have learned from me.
Being a mom is tough work. I do love my work. I know that I usually try my best. But mostly every night I think how grateful I am that my children are so resilient. Even when I know I have had a terrible, no good, horrible, very bad mom day, my kids still want ME at the end of the night to read to them. They want ME to sing to them. They want ME to rock them. And they want ME to kiss them and tuck them in. No, I am not the best mom there is, but I am sure grateful that my kids haven’t learned that yet.