Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Questions Than Answers

I've been a weird place for awhile now, probably longer than I would actually admit to if you asked me.  Where as a normal day used to pass me by in the blink of an eye, I'm not stopping to examine just how we do things in our family.  I want to know, what kind of a mother am I?

I want to raise my boys to the absolute best of my ability.  Heck, I want to raise them beyond even whatever the best of my ability is.  I want them to be happy and successful and to laugh more than they cry.  I want to push the limits of what a good mother should be, because God entrusted me with molding these little people with their huge personalities and I don't want to set a line where on one side lies an mediocre mother and on the other side lies the mother of the year.  I just want to love these boys and care for them in the best manor that I can achieve.

Unfortunately, at times I have no idea just what that is.

When I signed on the dotted line I had no clue just how hard this whole parenting thing would actually be.  I mean it sounds great, snuggling up with a sweet baby or two all of the time and having a little bundle to love and take care of.  But more than that, for the first time in my life, along with a baby came the immense responsibility of being the one to actually make the rules and set the boundaries for our family, boundaries that have the ability to shape our lives.

It's been a daunting task, of course, because that's not how I was raised. There never really were rules.  I was always a self sufficient child, happy to be alone and playing in my bedroom with my barbies. But my boys are not me and they need more direction that I did.  They need affection and encouragement, love and hugs, and mother who does silly dances with them and who gets down on their hands and knees with them and builds floor to ceiling Lego towers; a mom who knows that even though we have fun we have guidelines in our house that keep up safe and happy.

Eventually we got into the swing of things though - we keep our toys in the bedroom or the playroom, not in the living room, we watch these cartoons and not these ones, we pick up our toys before we pull any more out, we say our prayers before dinner every night no matter if we're home or out to eat, we keep out elbows off the table because the littlest ones should not take up the most space, and we don't make annoying noises that drive mommy up a wall.
I had no idea that the power of rule making would pale in comparison to the rest of the deal that is motherhood. Do we keep God as the guide of our family when He's not allowed inside of Brayden's school?  Do we keep Brayden in public school at all, or should we home school?  Do we cut high iron foods out of everyones diet even though it's just Gage who can't eat them?   Do we spend our Sundays in church?

I want to be a wonderful mother.

And I want the world for my kids.  I want them to grow up healthy and active, running circles around me, with nothing holding them back.  I want them to discover how things work and to question the world that they live in.  I want them to find happiness in what they choose to do for the rest of their lives so that when they're all grown up they are excited to get out of bed in the mornings.  I don't ever want them to experience "just another day" because every single moment on this earth is something to be celebrated and enjoyed.  And so even though there are more questions in our lives than answers, I know that in the end I have their best interests at heart.

I need to let my boys be who they are. I didn't choose their personalities, God did.  But I can choose to embrace them rather than limit them.  I've spent too many hours correcting the tiny meaningless little things rather than encouraging them to find their places in the sun.

Am I messing up my kids by questioning the world in which they live in, or should I stick to what I know?


tessica said...

i think that a lot of moms ask some version of those questions all the time (but not all)...and there is no right answer...but that you ask shows your dedication and that kidn of dedication often comes along with things being done right (even if we doubt along the way)

AlyGatr said...

I don't think even the best planner can help but wing it when it comes to kids. You lay out a plan, stuff changes, you adjust and move on. You try stuff out and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you think something should be one way and then you change your mind. That fact that you are mindful means you care and that's all you can really do!

Joanne said...

From one Mom to another, I think you are doing a terrific job of raising your boys. They are well loved and taken care of. You are teaching them right from wrong. They are being taught there is a higher power through religion, irregardless of what is allowed in school. They know what their boundries are. To have a well adjusted adult, I think you need to be a child with rules. Now is the time to be a parent. You will be their best friend when they reach adulthood. All you can do is teach them all you can and hope it stays with them as adults. In the end, the choice is theirs.