*Disclaimer* This post is about me as a mom. You may be totally different as a mother and I appreciate that. I am not judging anyone as I hope you are not judging me.
I read an article the other day that sparked me to write this post. I have been thinking about it over the past few days and just can't get it out of my head. It would have been put into words much sooner had a horrific stomach bug not hit my house this weekend leading to an ER visit for me and a husband at home also sharing the same virus. Needless to say we are seriously thankful for good friends who stepped in and helped out us in a time of need. Unfortunately the cows still need attention even when you are both sick to the point of not wanting to function. All of that excitement aside here it goes...
Many times my friends and even acquaintances that are around my age will be talking about all of the things they did over the weekend. A weekend where they just needed to "get away" and have some time to themselves or to be free of responsibilities (a.k.a. their children). I am very often faced with the question of "Why don't you just get a babysitter?" or "Why don't you guys ever go out?"
To me the answer is simple...because I value the time I get to spend with my family. I love spending time with Cole more than just about anything else in the world. I would rather stay home and watch endless episodes of Thomas (I feel cross about that show) and playing with every tractor and cow we own than get a babysitter. I can honestly count the times on one-hand that I have had to get a babysitter for something. Out of all of those times, I can honestly say that none of them have been just to go out and have fun. I am that mom.
It's all tractors and discs around here ;)
I do not apologize for being that mom and I do not judge other moms. Trust me, there have been times when I have been off during the summer that I have needed a little "me" time. Stay-at-home moms, I envy you, but I also know the struggle from your perspective as well. However, I am just not that person. I have never left my 2 year old over night and I have not left him for anything other than work related things for long periods more than a regular work day. Maybe I am being selfish, but I made the choice to be a mom and I embrace the blessing that God has bestowed upon me.
Aside from the fact that I just plain LOVE my kid to pieces, I do not trust just anyone with him. His aunts and uncles, grandparents, and 2 of our close friends who might as well be his aunts and uncles are the only babysitters that he has. (Well aside from my AMAZING daytime/work time sitter who I would be completely lost without) I know that they all love their time with Cole and cherish it, but I am that person who does not like to inconvenience anyone at any cost. Not to mention Cole is a pretty well behaved child and we take him just about anywhere we need to go. He knows how to act in public and does very well for a 2 year old. Melt downs do happen from time to time, but all things considered I am a lucky mom.
He BEGS to make cookies every night!
I am that mom who realizes that I want to raise a son who knows that family comes first. Even when he is older and has his own kids, I want him to know that I will be there any time he lets me to spend time with his kids or even with just him. I will not be that mom who puts my own selfish or unnecessary "needs" (more like wants) before my family. It is just not me. If there is one thing that breaks my heart it is to see parents who constantly pawn their kids of for unnecessary or selfish reasons. Trust me, the kids will eventually see it in life and know that they are not a priority. (Note that I am strictly referencing SELFISH reasons. Not those necessary times.)
My FAVORITE family picture!
Now that we all grasp the fact that I am selfish with my son, here is another "I am that mom" point. Very rarely will you see me post things on FB about what my kid is doing developmentally. I do not like to brag about things he does and does not do. I do not get jealous of things that other moms post either. I do know that it can be so easy to say "Look here at Johnny who can count to 100 before he is even 3." However, I also know that it can be daunting to be that mom whose child is 3 and doesn't even count to 10 or doesn't have very good social skills. While I am very well informed on my child's development and what is developmentally appropriate for his age (I am a teacher people), I also know that not all children are the same and not all parents have the same opportunities to teach their children.
I am not worried that my adorable and ornery little blonde boy refuses to count with me half of the time or that he sometimes won't tell me his name. I am his mother and I know what he is capable of and so do the people who make the choice to spend time with him. So I am not in to the "mom-shaming" that goes on even when people aren't aware they are doing it. What I am aware of is that my child is developing just fine and is probably one of the most polite little things you will ever meet. He says Thank You for EVERYTHING you do and knows to say please almost all of the time. He does not have to be prompted for these and even says the cutest "Your Welcome" you will hear. One thing I know more than anything is that he knows how loved he is. Trust me he hears it ALL the time.
Yes, that is right, I am that mom....
The mom who doesn't leave their kid...like hardly ever.
The mom who doesn't post a million "look at what my kid did" things on social media.
The mom who does post a million cute pictures of my kid on FB.
The mom who does love her son more than words can say.
The mom who values time spent as a family of three more than any night out on the town.
The mom who hopes I am raising my child to put his family first and his needs second when it is appropriate.
Most importantly, I am that mom who loves my child, and chooses not to judge other moms on their decisions. After all, I am not walking in their shoes. This is just a little glimpse in to why I am the way I am.