“I’m not a perfect mom. I’m not even a great mom...but I am an okay mom.”

This thought has been flowing through my mind off and on today. 

This afternoon our little guy kept asking me to play with him. I was busy the first couple of times he asked so he just waited (mostly patiently) and anticipated.  He came back to me twice to ask how close I was to being able to play our game.  He doesn’t just accept my company, he actually prefers it (probably because I’m not as competitive in play as his big brother...but still). 

As I sat in the grass in our backyard listening to him explain the details of the dragon game he had created using his imagination, some play doh and some mud I had a new thought.

I became very aware of how ordinary I can be and still be so wanted.

His expectations of me are so simple.

 All he really wants from me is to be heard.  

He wants me to listen and pay attention to him.

He just wants me to be present…to share something that’s fun for him.  

It’s not a tall order to fill.  <3  

Sometimes when my children bicker, when I see the laziness and disrespectfulness and a plethora of other character issues creeping in….

 I begin to question, “Where did I go wrong?”

Isn’t that what we moms do?  

We take on the weight of the world and then wonder why our shoulders are sagging! 

When this happens here I start to think if I were more patient, if I were more gentle, if I were more compassionate, on and on and on.

I’m sure you can fill in your own blanks.

When the day finally comes to a close I walk down the hall to find two of them snuggled up peacefully dreaming (almost on top of each other) in a twin sized bed.  All the while a completely empty bed is unoccupied 6 feet away.  They don't have to be near each other, they want to be.

I love to check on my children after they’re sleeping. It’s something I began when I had only one little one and I have continued all the way through to number 4. There’s just something so reassuring about watching your children breathe easily, completely at rest and surrounded by the security of knowing they are home and all is well.

Right across the hall I hear my two teenagers laughing and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. It is light and real and they are there for each other.  

 The tensions of the day melt away and a different voice takes over.

It soothes my soul. My spirit whispers, “All will be fine. Breathe. Love. Repeat.”

I  remind myself that although I am not a perfect mom, I do get parts of it right. 

They hear me say:

“I believe in you.”

“I love you completely and without conditions.”

“Being your mom is my favorite job.”

“You are kind and thoughtful and the world is better because you’re in it.”

“I’m  Sorry.”

They don't just hear it, they see it too.  They see that my life is lived always with their well being at the center of it. 

They know that I am there for them.  My children know that their corner is my corner.

No, I’m not a perfect mom but they are loved full up to the tippy top.

I’m not even a great mom but I can play a mean game of Dragons, Chess, Yahtzee, Mario and whatever else is of interest to the ones I’m interested in.

You don’t have to be extraordinary to raise children that will thrive.

Isn't that exciting?!

I’m going to leave you with this thought.  Yesterday as we were trying to make a decision if the teenagers should drive themselves to camp or I should go along our oldest said something that struck a chord deep within me.  When I asked him, “ What do you prefer I do?”  He answered me simply and truthfully, “I don’t really care either way, Mom.  I just want you to be happy.”

Isn't that it?  That's what they really want and need.  That's what makes us "great" and even "perfect" moms in the eyes of our children.  

Our kids just want us to smile, to look in their eyes, to be there (with all the ordinary-ness ;)).  

They just want their “Okay” Mom.  <3

So if you are a mom who realized a LONG time ago that you are far from perfect, I say, "Cheers!" Cheers to all the ordinary moms that are doing the best they can to teach, love and guide their children through this turbulent ride we call life.  

It is okay to be okay.  It's actually more than okay.  It's real life and real life is the best life.  

<3 Susan

You don’t have to be extraordinary to raise children that will thrive.