Part of my job here is to write about topics that I think other working moms will relate to.
Often times, that means talking about the unique struggles that women who work full time jobs outside of the home face.
Women like to commiserate. It’s part of who we are, and one of the ways we remind ourselves that we are not totally failing at this motherhood gig. Because if someone else is having the same issues, maybe we can ease up on ourselves a bit.
Today I’d like to offer us an opportunity to share in the things we do not suck at.
Let us forget for a moment the times we forgot to bake cookies or return permission slips. Let us not worry about the quality time we might be depriving our children of or the life lessons we might be handling poorly.
Let us, instead, bask in the glow of knowing - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that there are some things we do exceptionally well.
My children know that they are loved.
This is the thing I do best. I hug and I kiss and I overwhelm them with encouraging words. I tell them I am proud of them and that they make my life better.
I was reminded of this recently when my daughter and I were enjoying our morning chit chat while I got ready for work. I told her she needed to brush her teeth, and she turned to leave my bathroom for her own.
“Emma?” I stopped her just before she’d left the doorway.
“I love you, too, Mommy,” she replied. And she skipped off to find her toothbrush, secure in the knowledge that her mother loved her and told her often.
My children know that I am not the only person who loves them.
This is the parenting decision I am most proud of. When I was pregnant with my son, I made a conscious decision to make sure that he knew that he was loved - not just by me, but by tons of people who could offer him security and support if anything should ever happen to me. It is a decision I have acted on over and over again throughout his and his sister’s life.
I have made sure that they have a great relationship with their grandparents, uncles and aunt. I have told them over and over again about all of the ways that different people love them. I have made a point to give them time alone with the other adults who care about them.
We play the “who loves you” game regularly.
“Who loves you?” I ask, usually while squeezing their bodies and nuzzling their necks.
“Mommy does!” they cheer.
“Yep! And who else?” And we spend several minutes listing all of the people in their lives who love them.
It’s important to me that they grow up knowing that they are worthy of love - not just from the people who have to love them because they gave birth to them - but from all of the people who love them just because they deserve to be loved.
I don’t get everything right. I’ve slipped up. I’ve done things I swore I’d never do. I make mistakes constantly as a mother and then worry about the consequences.
But this love thing? I’ve got that down.
What do you do well?