This weekend will mark seven years that I've been a momma, and amongst other feelings, it got me reflecting upon how I've mothered these past years since my first child was born. In most things, if one practices or performs something for a long while....say seven years, for example....they usually become experts at some point. If only that were the case with parenthood. The world would be a different place, huh?
Well, I know that's not the point of raising families. It's not a job that can be perfected....at least not by us here on Earth. I do believe, though, that my mission here is to be a good mother. I am capable of doing many other things with my life, but I know with a surety that I was born into the world with the role of mothering set before me. I can mother my children better than anyone else. Does that make my job less hard. Not a bit.
As I did the math, I realized that my eldest daughter has only 11 years left with us at home. One-third of her time at home has already passed. As the rest of those years dwindle, my time spent with her will dwindle as well....as activities and friends will become higher ranking in her priorities and time. My influence and teachings will, for the most part, have to have taken root in her heart and mind long before.
I'll then have to wonder....did I do my best? Did I do enough? Did I instill in her the values that we hold dear?
One-third. Can that possibly be? Where did the hours go?
When really putting into perspective the short time our children are at home with us, it becomes obvious how critical it is to be the absolute best mother I can possibly be during those first five years before schooling.
While I will continue to learn and evolve into the momma I want to be, I also feel that I don't have a lot of time to waste figuring out this thing called motherhood. The early years matter. A lot. I've got to bring my "A" game each and every day. Because not only do I want to give my children the best start to their lives, but possibly more significantly, I want to be able to live with myself in knowing that even through the mistakes I made (make), I tried my hardest to fulfill my job as Momma. I want to be able to say I did everything in my power to show and teach my children love, compassion, charity, confidence, and faith. After that, I'll just have to pray a lot.
So back to my oldest. I can't look back dwelling on how I could have done anything different with her the past seven years. I can only look forward and apply the lessons I've learned to raising my other children.
Am I the mother I want to be?
Not yet. But I think I'm getting there.
I'm the mother they need me to be.