Sunday, December 18, 2011

Finding Your Own Identity as a Mommy

I've decided to write this article because it's another one I feel quite passionately about.  Through having two children, both under the age of 5; being married 6 years and deciding that it's never always going to be a walk in the park; and finally deciding that I've  found what I want to be when I grow up...I've found my true self.  Not only as a person, but as a mom.
     Although I did get lucky in marrying a wonderful man at the age of 23, I've decided no woman should marry before she is 30 years old.  Seriously!  We don't even know who we are as a person yet.  How on earth can we know who we will be a as a wife?  And don't even get me started on going to college at 18.  At 18 years old I wanted to be a lawyer.  Ha!  I have a hard time sitting at a desk and focusing for 8 hours.  Researching laws, remembering details, working till 3 am....I'm already cringing.
     I became a mother at the age of 25.  Much too young I assure you, however if you'd known me at 13, you'd understand.  I was babysitting kids by the truckloads and wanted to have at least five kids by the time I was 30.  Again, at 25 I had no idea who I even was yet.  Let alone, who I wanted to be as a mom.  I saw other other moms in action, friends and relatives, and friends of friends.  I immediately judged and assumed I'd do better; I thought I had everything figured out.  
    I've written plenty of stories to explain to new moms and mothers of very young babies one important thing:  Do not judge other moms.  It will bite you right in the ass.  However, this article isn't focused on that so I won't go into it.  The point I'm making is that at 25, I had no flipping clue what kind of mother I was going to be.
    I thought being a mom entailed picking out the cutest outfits, making sure your babies had the healthiest foods; and assuring that your children partook in creating the latest crafts and putting together the age-appropriate puzzles.  Learning words, the ABC's, spelling their name; this all was part of who I would be as a mom as it represented who I wanted my children to become.
   Wrong!  In bright red letters, see the word WRONG!!!  Identity as a mother has nothing to do with what you teach your children or how smart your kids will be, or anything to do with what America's standards are for our society of mothers.  
    Your identity is who you become, what you create, what you want for you as a mom.  I learned fast I don't have the patience to sit through a full puzzle, so instead,  the majority of the time I teach them the ropes, then I watch with glee as they learn on their own.  I teach them the ABC's by singing to them, then watch as their little sponge brain's associate the song with the actual letters.  I play with each of my children as much as a I can, while still being myself as a wife; as a woman.  Let me tell you, that differs very much from how much my best friend, or my sister, or even my own mother played with her children. 
    I discipline my children very differently from other mothers, and of course I get advice every time I turn around.  Could I give you advice?   Sure!  But since you are not me, and your children are not mine, it could very well be a waste of both our times.  Find your way!  Find what works for your kids!
   I am amazed at the woman I've become; at the mother I see myself forming into every day while I mother and love my children.  Am I perfect?  Hell no.  But neither is that twit down the street that is pretending to be.  I'm owning up to being imperfect...that's just the way I am.  
  My advice is pick the books you enjoy reading to your child, and then the books they enjoy.  Choose the amount of TV you want for your children to watch; not what books and magazines say is appropriate.  Decide what form of discipline works for your family, not what works for your friends.  Cook the meals you feel comfortable feeding your family; if that includes fast food, so be it!  Everyone's situation is different.  Everyone of us is different.  You have to come up with what works for you.  I figure, as long as I know my identity; who I want to be as a mother and what I want to accomplish in that role- I am winning all the way around! ~Trina