The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Becoming the Mother I Would Like to Be

I’ve had years to decide what kind of Mom I would be. The criteria has been honed and re-honed in my head through the decades but always delivered with great conviction and certainty.
I started my “note to self” list as a child. Ogling the enormous, multi-tiered candy display at the grocery store after hearing Mom’s denial I vowed that my kids would get all of the candy they wanted! (I suspect the same declaration was made about toys, too.)

Now the thought of all that sugar combined with our inherited sweet-tooth would be… cruel! The visual is already interrupted by a deep “no way!” bellowing from my head.

In high school I swore that I would never be one of those moms who leave the house with curlers in her hair! Or an uncool outfit! Or just lookin’ like some frumpy mom.

Well, so far I haven’t donned the curlers, but I would have to claim the term “frumpy” on many occasions. In my defense, I now understand how being in public in an uncool outfit happens when the last time you shopped outside of Gymboree was several fashion fads ago.

The fine art of reason would be my way of disciplining, too. I think this idea arose from watching tired parents deal with kids’ meltdowns at the mall. If my future children understood why they can’t do something, they wouldn’t, right? Just dragging a screaming child outside the store doesn’t give them a chance to explain why they’re screaming.

Laugh aloud all you not-new mommies out there who have since learned that reasoning with a toddler is just plain exasperating and often getting out of the environment gives both parent and child a chance to cool down and recharge.

I swore that I would never yell, never bribe and certainly never spank.

Since then I have.

I find myself yelling to be heard, cajoling with bribes to get behavior turned and have twice spanked on the bottom in exasperation. I’ve failed what mattered most not to do in my envisioned loving home.

I wish I could say otherwise.

But I have used the opportunities to figure out what would actually work, clarify expectations and my reactions with the kids and to try, and try, and try to become the Mom I want to be.

To my three young children I promise that I will always aspire to be MOM.
I hope they will define that as their Mom who:
Is always there for her kids.
Has an open heart and open arms.
Tries to be a good listener.
Provides honest answers to tough questions where possible.
Joins in on the laughter and goofiness – even instigates it.
Gives “I will try” or “I tried” higher value than any accomplishment.
Establishes expectations whenever possible.
Firmly executes “time outs” and our “reward” charts.
Praises the virtue of empathy.
And admits mistakes.

What I still do know is that love, love, love will always be overabundant in our home. That promise to myself for my family has never changed.

By Maija Threlkeld

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I am still trying to be the mom I WANT to be now which is so different from what I thought I wanted to be or what I would have wanted as a kid. Hmmm.... I guess there is no "right" kind of mom. You are right, as long as your kids know you love them and you can admit any mistakes our kids will be just fine. Perfection is not only hard to achieve it is subjective and overrated! But knowing when to laugh is absolutely necessary.
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