When I became a mama, I was so set on what our family wouldn’t and wouldn’t do.
I knew what kind of mama I’d be:
- The one that was never going to get her kids watch TV. Maybe, on occasion, but only if it was educational and we were desperate. But really, no TV.
- The one that was never going to feed her kids fast food.
- The one that was going to read to her kids every single night.
- The one that was going to pray before meals and every night before bed.
- The one that was never going to lose her cool with her kids. Cuz, you know, I was educated in social work. I know how to deal with people.
- The one whose kids would never have a battery operated toy.
- The one who would not let her daughter become obsessed with any TV characters. Why? Because my kid wouldn’t watch TV, of course. And definitely not Sofia the First. Or as I affectionately call it, “Sofia the Worst.” (I can’t stand Amber).
Well you know what, here’s the mama I am:
- The one who lets her kid watch TV almost every day. And you know what, very little of it is educational. My daughter and I have fallen in love with the Tinker Bell movies. TV for an hour or so is what allows my husband and me to get some things done and to keep our sanity.
- The one whose kid has eaten her fair share of Chick-fil-A (You know, the healthy fast food). And a few other places along the way.
- The one that reads to her kid some nights, but definitely not all nights.
- The one who rarely prays before meals. It’s usually Dad who prays before bed.
- The one who loses her s**t with her kid at least once almost on a daily basis. Some days are better than others. Yeah, my social work training has helped me a lot in my interactions with my husband and kids, but it can go only so far when emotions run high with a toddler.
- My kid has gotten so many battery operated toys. It’s what people buy.
- My daughter fell in love with the movie Inside Out. Ok, I fell in love with Inside Out, and that’s about all we watched for a good stretch. So now she has Inside Out curtains and decals on her wall. She also has so much Sofia the First stuff I can’t go anywhere in my house without seeing (or hearing) Sofia. And Amber? Well, usually she learns a lesson in the episodes. I still think she’s a snob, but she has a good heart deep down. Or that’s what I keep telling myself. And what’s one of my daughter’s favorite shows and characters? Sofia the First. And you know what, I’m okay with that.
At the end of the day, it’s all about having some sense of balance.
- Margaret doesn’t watch TV all day every day.
- She doesn’t eat fast food every day, or even every week.
- She has loving parents who read to her and pray with her more nights than not.
- I may be harsh with Margaret at times, but I always follow it with an apology and a hug.
- We generally let Margaret play with battery operated toys for a while, then put them away. Mostly because they’re obnoxious and don’t encourage active play.
- Margaret likes some characters, but they’re not her whole life. Her entire wardrobe isn’t Sofia and Minnie and Princesses etc. etc. She is uniquely Margaret. She doesn’t identify herself with characters.
I’m the mama I am. You are the mama you are. We both are likely nowhere close to the kinds of mamas we thought we would be. And that’s okay. Really, it’s okay.
We can’t be so hung up on wishing we were doing things differently that we miss out on each special moment with our kids.
Sure, we can make positive changes, but nothing is going to happen overnight. Give yourself grace. We all need to give ourselves LOTS of grace.
We may not have balance in all areas of our parenting. Why? Because we’re not perfect. And that’s okay. God loves us, imperfections and all.
Is there an area in your life where you struggle to maintain balance? Share below. Is it something worth putting your efforts towards to change, or are your efforts better directed toward something more important?