There's been lots of debate and focus on whether a mom is truly "mom enough" to handle the pressures, judgements, and expectations society gives a lady with a baby. It all stemmed from the cover of TIME magazine whose cover showed a young mother breastfeeding her three year old son. Many women were affected by the cover, or at least the discussion the cover sparked. What does being "mom enough" mean? Breastfeeding, extended breast feeding, co-sleeping, cry it out methodology, organic produce, private school, attachment parenting, or the opposite? Well, folks, I've been a mother for a only a while now, but from what I've learned and witnessed firsthand, it means all of these things. Being mom enough for your children simply means loving them the best way you know how. Sure, I chose to breastfeed my kids. Did I do it until they were three? Nope. We didn't need that for our family. Is the woman on the cover of TIME a better or worse mom than me? From what I can tell, she's neither. She is, in fact, a different mom than me. Probably because she lives in another place, has a different husband, has lived an entirely different life, and has given birth to different children. So, if nursing her three year old is what works for her and her child, keep on. I can guarantee that mother, just like me, is just trying to love her babies the best way she knows how. Unlike me, she chooses to do it in different ways, but that's okay. Love looks different for everyone, mother or not. Mothers, non-mothers, waiting to be mothers, seasoned mothers, every mother knows how to love. But, when it comes to loving OTHER mothers, I feel like we can end up falling short. One of my greatest hopes is that one day Regan is able to know the indescribable love that being a mother offers. But even more importantly, I hope she feels like there is no wrong way to love her babies. Whether she chooses to breastfeed, co-sleep, whatever. I hope she feels encouraged and accepted despite her choices. I hope she builds up other mothers and friends. I hope she falls into a rhythm of mothering that works for her and never allows outside, unsolicited judgements change her. The end of the story, no matter who is writing, is this: Mothers are born the day they give birth. They begin learning when the job begins. There is no set of rules, no clear guidelines. They do what feels right, they make mistakes, and sometimes, they fail. But, what each mother, every single mother, always knows is that mothering is hard, it's worth it, it's a whole freaking lot better when those who surround her remind her of what an amazing job she is doing, no matter how she chooses to do it. My promise today, so that my daughter will know no different, is to build up other mothers. To not focus on the way they mother, but to focus on the love she shows her child. Because that my friends, sounds like the way to be "mom enough."
We started Mother's Day weekend with friends. And open gym. And the kids showing off their new skills. Tyler with his awesome front roll that looks like a body slam that will surely break his neck, and Regan with her new round off and back roll. Oh, and there was lots of trapeze action involved.
Then there was lots of hanging on Mama 'cause they are experts in this category.
A trip to the neighborhood park was involved.
They are precious jewels, I tell ya. Look at those faces. Adorable, right?
Finally, we packed up for a little YMCA action (I did 11.5 miles this week and lifted weights 3 times. Say whaaat?) and headed home for some family yard work/play area rejuvenation.
Yes, margaritas and yard work go together. The next day we were up and ready for my nephew Ryan's first birthday party! He is a complete gift to all of us.
After the birthday party, my girl had a softball game. It is so unreal to see how she's learning and improving her game. She takes instruction and applies it well. Of course, we were cheering and carrying on as she got four hits and ran into home FOUR times. I am so intrigued to see if she will continue loving this sport as she gets older.
She got to play catcher. I asked what she thought of the experience afterwards and she thoughtfully responded, "The face mask smelled like pig poop."
After her game, the kids got all packed up for a slumber part at Mimi's house.
Tyler packed his bag that included a doggie, a Thor hammer, a sword, and two Captain America toys. I asked him where his clothes and jammies were. He said he forgot those.
Kids at Mimi's house= date night with my man.
Monon Food Company= best Greek salad and tacos I've ever tasted.
It's remarkable how cool we are. Some days we just ooze awesomeness. Or not.
While we were dining, a man casually rode his horse up to the neighboring bar. He tied that thing up to a fence and went in to have a beer. You know, normal stuff.
Brother's bar for drinks and darts.
And, alas, my favorite day in a long time... Mother's day. We started with church.
And then met my mom (who really is the best mom in the whole world and taught me a lot about mothering) and Papa for lunch. My mom is loyal, had working, and dedicated to her family something fierce. Oh, and she's funny. Like, the kind of funny where your face hurts.
Next on the to-do list was to take a two hour nap with my mom and be woken by the babies with sweet surprises.
And finally, it was time to see Mimi, who is loving, and affectionate, and teaches a lot about grace. I can never remember a time my husband saying she was anything less than amazing.
The weekend was perfection. I was surrounded by mothers who spent their day doing other things that were perfect for them. They did things differently today. Some may have had breakfast in bed, some may have planted flowers, some may have spent an easy day at home. I'm sure they thought that was perfect too. Because, once again, there is no right way to celebrate being a mom. There is no right way to be a mom. There is no one way to love your mom. The only thing that is certain is that loving a baby or loving your mom the best you can is the best way to do it.
No matter how I do it, I do my best. Being "mom enough" some days is hard. Some days I come no where near being "mom enough." But my babies are loving and forgiving. And so I too, choose to be that for them... and all the other moms out there.