Monday, December 7, 2009

What kind of Mom do I want to be?

I never really sat down and asked myself, "What kind of mom do I want to be?", but I guess I should have. I suppose I always thought about the "normal" or obvious things like: I want to be a good mom. I wan to teach my kids right from wrong. I want to be a fun mom. I want my kids to like me. I want to provide structure and discipline as well as guidance and love. I want to provide them with necessities of life but also teach them how to provide for themselves. I guess I always thought that was what a mom should do and those were the things I wanted to do.

Today I had a play date planned for Cecilia. I was going to bring two of her friends home with us from school, giving me a total of 5 little girls at my house. Sometimes I can barely handle my 3 so what would ever possess me to agree to have 2 additional little girls at my house? I'm not really sure. I guess I just wanted them to have fun. So, I decided that we could make cookies. My initial thought was I would mix them up before the girls came home from school and, after lunch, I would put them on the trays and the girls could all decorate them. Granted, this approach would have made for a lengthy process, decorating only one tray at a time and doing so in a very orderly manner, but that was great for me! In case you can't tell or don't know me well enough, I am a complete control freak. I never really knew this about myself until recently, but I really am! In fact, Tommy has been teasing me lately that for Christmas he wants to load the dishwasher his way and I have to stand and watch without saying anything and without changing it when he is finished. He also wants to get the girls dressed and fix their hair for Christmas mass. The thought of either of those two occurrences makes me a bit crazy. I just don't like the feeling of not being in control of things. I can't believe that I never knew this about myself but I just can't help myself. I'm trying to be better, I really am but it is a difficult trait to overcome! Anyway, getting back to my point...this morning I put a post on facebook asking if I was crazy for having all these kids at my house at one time and a friend, that I haven't spoken to in years but recently got back in touch with through Facebook, left a comment about how it was no big deal and to remember how my mom always had groups of my friends over at our house and she always managed it with no problem. That comment, which she probably didn't really consider to be life changing, has changed my life and my thought of what kind of mom I want to be.

I started thinking about all the times there were groups of friends over at my house. My mom would host the best birthday parties! I had a nerd party, where you had to dress up as a nerd, a tea party, where everyone had to dress up in their mom's old clothes, countless sleepovers and many nights of just hanging out. My mom always had some craft or something fun for us to do, things like tye-dying t-shirts or decorating t-shirts with puffy paint. She never complained and never lost her cool with any of us, not even when a pillow fight got crazy and we broke the lights on our ceiling fan. She never make us do things her way. Instead, she would show us how to do whatever it was we were doing and let us do our own thing. She was always fun and we did a lot of wonderful things together and I have many, many wonderful memories of growing up. That is the kind of mom I want to be. I want to be a mom who does not have to have things perfect all the time. A mom who does not need to be in total control all of the time, especially when it comes to things like cookies. So, after this change of heart, when it came time to make the cookies I gave the girls bowls full of cookie dough, an empty cookie sheet and spoons to scoop them out with. I showed them how to do it and then let them go to town. We ended up with some cookies that were the size of pennies and other that were the size of my fist but it was ok, because they did it on their own. After they finished scooping them out, I gave them each some sugar to decorate with and let them do it on their own once again. There were pounds of sugar on each cookie, but again, it was ok. I let go of the control I would normally have to have and I didn't even flinch. The girls had a great time and I loved seeing them struggle and succeed all on their own.

These are Cecilia's and Maddie's cookies.

This is Lila eating most of our cookies (ok, so I still helped Lila but she is only 2!)

These are Emma's and Emily's cookies. Don't you LOVE all of that sugar!?!

I need to say a special thanks to Kim for making that small comment this morning. It was the comment that made me change my way of thinking towards my girls. And I need to thank my Mom, for being the most amazing, calm, patient and fun Mom a girl could ever ask for. I love you with all of my heart.

I am going to try to be not so control freakish and I'm going to let my girls experience more things on their terms and not mine...we'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!!!

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