Sunday, December 8, 2013

21st century mom

It's been a really long time since I've posted here. This pregnancy has taken it out of my quite frankly, and it's just been a crazy last few months. That being said, our baby is due to arrive literally at any time, and I have had A LOT on my mind. There's nothing like the impending birth of your second child to get you reflecting on anything and everything, and BOY I've been doing a lot of thinking. This weekend Tommy has been sick (have I mentioned that he is 18 months old now and basically a man? He's the best). This weekend has been one big cuddlefest, watching movies on the couch and just holding our son. This hasn't happened since he was a newborn because quite frankly, we got the one kid who actually has zero to no desire to sit down and watch a TV show, let alone a whole movie. As much as I hate seeing him feel icky, at the same time it felt really good to have what will potentially be one last weekend just to soak up the threesome that is our family, with nothing to do except just snuggle. I've been thinking alot, especially today about what kind of a mom I am.
As far as being a mom in our day and age goes, I feel like I've really missed the boat sometimes. Long gone are the days when being a good mom just meant that you kept your kids fed, clean, relatively well behaved and tried to pass on some good values along the way. Sometimes I just feel so much pressure. These days it seems like being a good mom starts before you even push the baby out. You have to have your newborn and infant family photographer booked well in advance, the baby book purchased and ready and waiting for every milestone to be recorded. We're expected to provide age appropriate, but stimulating and educational activities for our little ones starting at birth. Have the best toys out there, but make sure that you dont have too many...but not to few either. Your baby should be arts and crafts-ing by at least age one. Sometimes I just feel like its all too much. Don't get me wrong...every once in a while I have a moment where I feel like I've really gotten something right. But so many times I feel like while I've been putting all my efforts into doing what I believe is best, or at least trying to figure it out, I've been missing all the extras. I'll be honest, our family doesn't even own a decent camera. We've never had family photos professionally taken. I've never had a baby book for Tommy where I recorded his milestones when they happened, and when I got a coupon to order one online, I had a very near emotional breakdown when I realized that I couldn't remember all the details of his first year of life. I didn't take a picture every month for that first year either, to compile together for him to look at later when he can appreciate that he was a baby once. Someday he might ask me exactly how old he was when he first rolled over, and I'll have to make my best guess. We play with the same toys over and over and over, and I wonder whether or not he is getting bored of being here with me all day long. Apart from a few scribbles with crayon, we haven't done many art projects up in here...never busted out any finger paint or any of the fun, creative things it seems like so many moms are doing. It makes me nervous...we are having a baby girl in a few days. The family she is going to be born into is a simple one. We don't go all out, we just do the best we can. We have fun, we are living and thriving and loving each other...but there aren't alot of extras, and I certainly don't have any photographers booked to capture her first moments of life, her first year, the beginning of our life as a family of four. I don't have a baby book, and If I did I'm not so sure that it wouldn't get put in a closet somewhere, with my best intentions, for later, and get forgotten about. But I can say one thing with confidence. I've put my heart and soul into being a mom over the past 18 months. I've been there for every first moment, and I've cherished them all. I may not be the most fun mom on the planet. I may not have created a pinterest worthy Montessori play space for my toddler, with only the best and highest quality toys on the market, and I may not have him enrolled in any toddler activity classes so he can get the just-right amount of social interaction. But I love the kid more than I will ever be able to explain, and even though I know many parents worry about having enough love to go around for another kid, I am so excited to meet this little girl and get our life started as our new family unit. I can't promise my kids that when they grow up I will have beautiful family photo albums and precious keepsakes from their baby years to pass on to them, but I really am doing the best that I can, and I hope that they remember that I was there; That I cuddled them when they felt sick, that I knew what would make them laugh, that I played with them, and became a better person because of them, and grew up with them into the woman that God wants me to be. Maybe someday, maybe even soon I will get my act together and start recording some of these special moments. Maybe I'll try to take a few more pictures, even if they are just on my cell phone. But maybe I'll also let go of this ideal mom I have in my head that I need to live up to, and just be content with being the mom that I am, and know that I am the best mom for Tommy and Agnes because I am theirs.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to meeting this new little soul...God keep her safe and sound until she is ready to come and greet the world. And if you're a mom and you're reading this, you are doing a great job.


J_Hylander said...

Melissa, your family is so beautiful! There is nothing for you to feel insecure/anxious/inadequate about! Tommy has such a great mom! My parents came from very simple families too, no fancy photos, no extensive family histories, but, what they lacked in materials to "pass on" they've more than made up for in stories. I know your kiddos will feel the same! ;)

Ellen said...

Thank you for this. You have read my heart and mind. It's so easy to compare myself to other moms and get wrapped up in what I am not doing for my daughter. Thank you for the reminder that living simply can be a very good thing. Praying for you and your family as you await your baby girl!!