Days like today make it easy to appreciate and find that "something good". It's days like today, and moments like I had a little while ago, that make me feel like I am a good mom. I am far from a perfect mom, but I am a good mom.
Yesterday I didn't feel quite the same way. Yesterday I felt like a mom with many moments of "not getting it right". Yesterday marked our 3rd trip to the pediatrician in less than two weeks and a second round of strep throat for my five-year-old son. In his first two years of life he had countless ear infections and has tried many different antibiotics of varying tastes and potency. He's become pretty used to taking medication, mostly in his cinnamon applesauce. After an hour and a half and 3 grown adults trying every trick in the book to get him to take his azithromycin, I settled for forcing in what was likely a third of a dose and a plan to call the pediatrician in the morning about a different option. In all fairness, I tasted it and it was putrid. We started a new medication this morning and had slightly better success, a win in my book!
Today is a sick day at home and of course his little sister wants to stay by his side so she is home too. After hours of playing and laughing and resting, we finally sat down for lunch. When we finished, I knew it was time for another dose. So we all had popsicles for dessert! (Interesting tip I recently learned: popsicles, ice cream, anything frozen numbs the taste buds so that you can't taste dreadful medication as well!). As the kids ate, I washed dishes. And then it happened. One of those precious moments that you will remember forever. Moments that make you feel "we must be doing something right" and "maybe I am a good mom".
As I listened to my three-year-old and five-year-old talking to each other at the table, they were listing off names of people who they loved. They named family and friends and teachers and it was the most serious conversation I've ever seen two toddlers have! But it was genuine and I knew then that they knew they were loved. A couple minutes into their list my daughter held up her popsicle, pointed it towards her brother and said "popsicle cheers". They smiled big smiles, tapped their popsicles together and giggled. It was the cutest thing and the funniest thing, but it was also the most real part of my day.
In the midst of the chaos, and all the moments when we feel like we are failing, it is our own children who usually prove to us otherwise. We just have to know where to look for the small moments. Most days are busy for us, and I miss a lot of these moments. But on the slow days like today, when I have a minute to step back and appreciate, they are there.
So when we all have those moments, when we feel like we've done our kids wrong or failed them in someway, we have to look for the truth. But we don't have to look far. Take a minute to stop and listen to or watch your children. How do they treat each other? How do they treat other people? Do they laugh more then they yell? Do they smile more than they cry? When one is sad does the other worry? When one is sick or scared does the other want to protect them? Can they make the best, even in just a small brief moment, of being sick or having a bad day?
I know that I see moments when I can yes to these, I just have to pay attention. I am a good mom and I know that because my kids tell me and show me!
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