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Challenge: Finding Your Voice as a Parent

Momming Goals for the New Year

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I've been doing a lot of thinking about the mom I want to be. Kind of a loaded thought process, as of course I want to be it all... the fun mom, cool mom, motherly mom, crafty mom, healthy mom, etc... but truth is, I'm only human.

I have three young boys, all five and under, already with distinct different dynamic personalities. I want to make sure I honor each of their individual selves, encouraging them to be who they are and be good people- while fueling their confidence, empowering their independence, and showering them with love, affection and reassurance.


So as the new year begins, here's what I've come up with; things I strive to be as a mother.

I want to be a mom who doesn't judge.

Someone once told me a boy will forever seek their mother's validation. Surely, that's a huge responsibility- knowing they turn to me for reassurance and positive, constructive feedback. Granted, we'll have disagreements, but I strive to refrain from going down a judgmental path. If I throw out harsh criticism, they'll seek guidance elsewhere.

I want to be a mom who doesn't disappoint.

No parent wants to let their kids down, but this statement goes much deeper than that. Look up "disappoint" in the dictionary; it means: fail to fulfill the hopes or expectations of someone. In a world of potential dysfunction, I want to be the "function" in their lives.

I want to be a mom who encourages my kids' interests.

I can already tell my three young boys will lead their own beautiful, individual paths. My oldest loves dressing up- being creative, art and music. My middle loves trains and his baseball book. And my youngest- while it's too soon to tell- is obsessed with lining up toy cars. Their personalities shine in such different ways, and I want to be a mom who honors and fuels their interests, hobbies and dreams.

I want to be a mom who is accepting.

Like the saying goes: I pray to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. This is especially the case when it comes to persona and personality. I can already tell which of my kids is going to be a loud-mouth spitfire, and the other who embodies a lovely sense of sensitivity. I gotta remember they got it from both me and my husband, so I may not always understand who they are... but I will surely accept and embrace their individual selves.

I want to be a mom who is present.

And by that, I mean emotionally available; in tune with what's going on and aware of things happening in their lives. I want to stay on top of any issues at school, issues among friends, or issues in their head or heart. I want them to know they have my undivided presence and attention when they need it most.

I want to be a mom who is patient.

I yell. I get frustrated. And I have been known to (quietly) drop the F-bomb. Hence, we're all human. However, I want my kids to look back at my mothering skills and say- for the most part- I was rather patient. I want to work on crafting my reply in the midst of frustration; I want to work on speaking slowly, in addition to speaking softly (yelling doesn't make them hear any better). Sometimes a good counting to ten does the trick, giving me a few seconds to calm myself- therefore showing my kids a productive approach to handling challenges.

I want to be a mom who is a good kind of crazy.

Duh, I must be a fun mom! Normal's boring, and I want them to look at me knowing I often let my inner child come out to play. I want to be silly. Adventurous. Frivolous. Care-free. Playful. Creative. Imaginary. I want to gift them memories of staying up too late, running in the ocean at sunset, eating dessert for dinner, dance partying to Michael Jackson, traveling to new places and playing hooky for Disneyland.

I want to be a mom who is a confidant.

While I'm their mother first, I also want to be their friend. I want them to confide in me, cry to me, lean on me, have fun with me, and most of all... talk to me. I want them to know I'm there for them no matter what, and shift from mother to friend when need be.

I want to be a kind mom.

Every night, we read stories, talk about our day, and sing songs. Even after challenging days, I let it all go- snuggling with each child individually, giving them some undivided attention rich in affection and love. It's a very sacred time that I treasure- a ritual I hope goes a long way, instilling in them that feeling of my adoration. Kindness counts, and I simply strive to be nice.

I want to be a mom who is consistent.

They'll have enough inconsistency in their lives, and will surely see ups, downs, and come across an array of personalities. So when it comes to me and my mothering, I want to be consistent. I don't want to be rash in my reactions- I aim to be even keel; reasonable, calm and collective in the way I handle things.

I want to be a mom who is protective.

And I'm not talking about being a helo-parent; more so, I don't want to burden them with my personal issues (I'm the parent; they're the kid). Sometimes we unconsciously, unknowingly or accidentally treat our kids like adults- when really, they shouldn't know about adult stuff (like bills). I don't want them to worry about me when they should be consumed with themselves. I want to protect them from growing up too soon. They should relish in their childhood and be kids for as long as they can.

I want to be a mom who is proactive.

You won't see me DIY'ing, crafting, or cooking from scratch; but I will be that mom who shows up (in leggings and all). Whenever I can, I want them to know I'm there: for sports games, performances, school activities, appointments, whatever it may be.

I want to be a mom who mothers.

Simply put. My job as a mother is to teach them to be good people. To be kind. Inclusive. Strong-willed. Confident. Compassionate. I want to instill in them life isn't always black and white- but grey; and that going through life is about the journey, not the destination. I want to encourage them to try hard, pursue their dreams, and stay true to themselves. I want to instill in them empowerment, a playful spirit, and the determination to morph into good men.

I want to be an imperfect mom.

Because none of us are perfect! Burning homemade cookies will be the least of my mistakes. I'm learning as I go- there's no handbook to motherhood. I'm constantly figuring out the balance of wearing my hats as a wife, mother, individual, and professional... but I'm trying, and that's the best I can do. I want to lead by example- showing my boys that life is a bunch of trial and error, but that's the fun of it; figuring it out, and being positive while doing so. All in all, I want to be a happy mom. I want them to remember me laughing, singing despite my terrible voice, and smiling through it all.

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