When everything settled down later in the day and I had the opportunity to really focus on my daughter and reflect on the fact that I was now a mother, I couldn’t help but think of my own mother. I knew that I was not going to be a perfect mother, because a perfect mother doesn’t exist.
But, I knew I was going to be a selfless mother, a patient mother, and a loving mother because thanks to my own mom, that’s what was taught to me.
When I was growing up, my mom put my brother and me before herself.
We ate first, we always had new clothes before she did, and she was rarely away from us during our childhood.
Our mornings were filled with stories, our afternoons were spent outside, and our evenings were filled with art projects, family movies, and collaborative cooking activities.
She never once complained about being tired and never napped. She always had a smile on her face, even when some things got tough for us financially or emotionally.
She was the person to teach me to say my name, spell my name, and write my name.
She doesn’t mind if I call her with questions about my kids in the middle of the night. She doesn’t mind babysitting so I can have an hour to clean the house or run errands by myself.
She is ready and willing to lend a hand when my kids are sick, and she is always ready to sing my son songs or go on a walk when I’m absolutely frustrated or exhausted.
She’s still the mom I had when I was young, and she’s like a second mom to my kids.
Because I had such a wonderful woman in my life, I can be a wonderful woman for my own kids. I can teach them everything she taught me, so they can grow up to be a great parents, spouses, and people, too.
Growing up, social media didn’t exist. My mom never felt pressured to post pictures of our activities or vacations. She never felt anxious if she wasn’t setting up sensory bins or doing elaborate arts and crafts from Pinterest with us. And, she certainly didn’t read mom forums online to brag about us or compare our developmental milestones with other children. All of those things did not exist, and let me tell you, we grew up just fine.
I try to keep this thought in my back pocket, because my mom taught me to just be myself.
Just be a “mom” and go with my instincts. She told me to never worry about outside influences (because in the long run, they really don’t matter).
Now that my kids are in their toddler years, I am finding a fine balance between being a great mother like my own mom was, and also making a little time for myself.
Every mom is different and in order for me to be a great mom, I need to be happy and taken care of too.
Sometimes I think my mom cared for us so much, she overly neglected her own needs.
I have hobbies, I have interests, I have friends, and I have a social life. And, although I completely admire my mom, she allowed us to consume her every waking moment.
For her, that was just fine and that is what made her the happiest.
But because she was this way, she taught me to understand that there is a life outside of my home and I need to be a part of that.
And, I can still take part in my hobbies and interests and can be a great mom too.
So, with Mother’s Day coming up, I naturally think of my mom and growing up with her.
I think about the hugs, tickles, kisses, dancing, stories, vacations, and songs fondly.
And, I’m proud to follow in her footsteps, but in a way that works for me, in order to give my kids a happy, loving, and beautiful life.
She taught me everything I know, and made me the person I am today.
Kate Trout is the blogger behind Maternity Glow, where she writes about practical and actionable tips for new moms. She’s a coffee addict, wine drinker, and cheese lover. Oh, and she’s also Mom to the two cutest little kids. Follow her on Twitter.
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