Friday, September 4, 2009

My Mother Invented Necessity...or Something Like That!

I do not love sewing. I know how to sew, although my lack of attention to detail dictates that no one ever look on the inside of a garment I have made. Ever. I do keep a scrapbook, but it will certainly never win any awards or make it into one of those cutsie magazines. I cannot knit and I crochet like I have feet where my hands should be. My quilts would undoubtedly be crooked if I ever got around to making any. There is dust on nearly every flat surface in my house and at least one rotten vegetable in my fridge. I am no good at throwing dinner parties. I cannot decorate to save my life and there are no "best dressed" awards in my future either. I will never be PTA president.
That being said... I do enjoy cooking and if you do not like what I make for dinner, there is always toast because I am nice. Sometimes there is even homemade butter to go on it. I love the outdoors, camping, yoga, hiking and biking. I love God. Music is a high priority in my life. Making music, and listening to it brings me great joy. I have at least 5 books going at all times and I still love to read aloud to my kids, even though they all know how to read themselves. I am funny. I still like to color and glue stuff to construction paper. I can think of at least 10 things to do with an old box and I recycle like crazy. I also compost my kitchen scraps. I love to garden, and while it never looks perfect, it brings me pleasure (also fruits,veggies and eggs). I always vote.
Ok, so the point? My friend Brenda recently lent me a book about mothering and the opening paragraph was all I really needed to read to get that little light bulb to go off. Although I am finishing it anyway.
"Can you imagine what the world would be like if all the mothers in the world were exactly alike in how they behaved, in their approach to motherhood, and in the strengths and talents they shared with their families? I confess I feel great relief in knowing that we can each be our own kind of mom, a complete original unlike any other mother on the face of the planet. If we as mothers do something we absolutely love alongside raising children we absolutely love, we will almost guarantee that our children will be raised in an atmosphere steeped in joy."
--Debra Sansing Woods It's Okay To Take A Nap
That is the point. I could shut up now and all you moms out there would have received the message that I want to convey, but if you ever read this blog you will know it is hard to shut me up. But really, is not that all we want for our be "steeped in joy". What more is there? If I begrudgingly go about activities that I don't enjoy in the name of "perfect" parenting, where does that leave me or my kids at the end of the day. I am guessing tired. And not just nap tired! Sometimes I have wished that I was a different kind of mother. The kind that could knit and sew and bottle peaches. That was good at making them do chores and teaching them to always send thank you cards. That each room in our house was straight off the showroom floor complete with handcrafted quilts on the beds and stunning one of a kind baby scrapbooks on the shelves. And, and, and... But that's not me. In the end I think there will be more joy in my home if I learn to capitalize on my strengths. Do I have to know how to do everything? Nope. Do I have to drive myself crazy trying? No way! Can I learn new things? Of course! Can I find joy in those "must-do's" of motherhood? Certainly! Will I constantly strive to be a better person, friend, wife and mother? I will!
This is me. I am one of a stinkin' kind! And in the end I want to be the kind of mother who finds joy in doing things I love with people I love (and also mopping the floors).


  1. You're so stinkin' awesome, Leli!

  2. Amen. Thanks so much for posting that, especially when my house would be the opposite of magazine material right now. Have a great weekend!

  3. You sound like a wonderful mother to me!! And I have found that over the course of life our interests and even talents change. I once did the scrapbook and tole painting thing. Now I have no interest in either. But my house is much cleaner now than it used to be and I have learned to bottle peaches and meat, but I will never enjoy sewing--and am so very glad that I have reached a point in life where no one can make me feel guilty about it.:-) Love your post!

  4. It would be a sad world if all moms were alike. I too feel many of the things that you were saying. Why do moms put so much pressure on themselves?

    I think that you are a great mom and a wonderful person!

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog today! and you're right! We are saying the same thing!