I’ve been tagged to take part in the Rocking Motherhood series by two bloggers who I really admire: Alex at That Butterfly Effect and Emma at Emmaology. The idea of Rocking Motherhood started with Patricia at White Camellias as a way for mothers to look at the job they are doing, raising the next generation, and celebrate all the ways they’re killing it!
Any mother will tell you that this is the hardest job in the world and generally it ends up being the Fails that stick in our minds. So it was nice to have the chance to sit back, be kind to myself and think about some of the things I think I’m doing right! Here are my 11 Wonderful Ways I am Rocking Motherhood:
1. I love her dad
Minnie-Sue’s first role model for men comes in the form of her dad. And I couldn’t dream of a better role model. I want her to understand why he is such a good man and why she is lucky that he is her dad. The best way I can think of to do this is to love him and to tell her about the reasons that I love him. In doing so, I hope that we are also modeling what a loving relationship looks like for her. That even though we both have the capability of annoying the hell out of each other, at the end of the day, that isn’t what counts.
It’s the small acts of kindness and appreciation of each other that makes our relationship work. That and equality in the relationship. I love this man for many reasons and it’s important that she knows why because this will strengthen her relationship with him as she gets older (and probably sulkier!).
2. I read to her
Of course we have read to Minnie-Sue from the very beginning. But now that she can read to herself, our special reading time together hasn’t stopped. I share my life with her through the books we read together. Together we have devoured the whole Little House on the Prairie series marveling at the human ingenuity and grit that allowed these early settlers to survive the American frontier. And I love that she has some small understanding of the history of where I come from.
Right now we are reading a classic in my family called Rascal by Sterling North. The story is set in the stomping grounds of my maternal grandparents and has so much family history in it. The book was a gift from my mom who included a letter describing the importance of those places in her memories. This summer, I am hoping that we will get the chance to visit the house where the book is set.
3. I make a big deal out of birthdays
The day that Minnie-Sue was born was one of the best days of my life. I want her to understand how loved she is and how important that special day is in our lives. To give you a little background on why birthdays are so important in my family you can read my post on it at OCTOBER GETS ME THINKING ABOUT BIRTHDAYS.
I hope that by making a big fuss, Minnie-Sue will understand that she is worth that fuss. To me, this is fundamental to a person’s self-worth and respect for themselves.
We don’t believe in throwing loads of money at birthdays. Rather it is about little things like our family tradition of Birthday Breakfast in Bed and choosing what kind of birthday cake you want. I will have a go at anything (results not guaranteed :-D) and have done everything from Mermaids to Numbers to a Giant Sweet-Filled Cupcake. On top of knowing how loved she is and that she is worth the effort we put into her birthday celebration, I hope that Minnie-Sue is storing away happy memories of her childhood and special moments with her family and friends.
4. i try to see the forest for the trees
Good grief there is a lot that we, as parents, can wring our hands about. All you have to do is turn on the news or read the papers to find the latest thing to worry about. On top of that, I’ve never been a big fan of the way that schooling is conducted in the UK for a number of different reasons. So it’s been a struggle for me to maintain a cool and calm demeanor in the face of institutions that I cannot change.
However… I Try Very Hard to take a look at the bigger picture with the ultimate question always at the heart of things. Is Minnie-Sue happy? Because this is fundamentally the most important thing to me. If I can be calm and balanced then our home and our life will be calm and balanced. Overall, I think that she thrives in this environment.
This is not to say that I don’t get incredibly worked up about some things and completely break my rule but life is a journey and this is something I’ve chosen to work on. I think I’m getting better at it. Maybe…
5. i try to model acceptance
Aren’t we just so hard on ourselves? And others?
As a mother, I am only too acutely aware that little eyes are watching my every move and little ears are listening to my every word. I want Minnie-Sue to have self-confidence including body-confidence. Therefore, it would be a really bad idea for me to rubbish my body because it would give her the permission to do that to herself. When I think about what our bodies do for us, the positives far out-weigh any dissatisfaction that we might feel. And I refuse to grant any head-space to negative body-image. I pray that this is making it’s way into her little head and isn’t being counter-acted by influences outside my control.
And what about acceptance of others? Well who the hell am I to be judging other people? I have judged others in the past and regret words I have said out of ignorance and stupidity. Two people very close to me have taught me a lot about acceptance of differences. Knowing them has made me a better person: a person more respectful and accepting of others. I look at my girl and I can see that she is taking this on board and for that I am incredibly proud of her.
6. I keep the world open for her
Our family comes from two different places. We have strong roots in two different countries and have been able to offer this bigger world to Minnie-Sue. I insisted that she hold dual-nationality and she has experienced all the spice and variety that comes from intimately knowing two different places. Already I can see an awakening in her. She understands that her world is so much bigger than just the town in which she lives. I hope this understanding of the world and broader world view will smash any limitations she encounters and help her fly.
7. i encourage her to love the outdoors
Our mental well-being is linked to the natural world. I want Minnie-Sue to understand that when she is feeling low or in a bad mood, sometimes the best drug is nature. It has the capacity to revive us, heal us and nurture us if we are only open to it. We do a lot of hiking & walking as a family. Minnie-Sue and I had an allotment together for a couple of years and the time spent there was so therapeutic. She spends hours outside making dens and whittling. Being outside together is one of our happiest places.
8. I’m self employed
I’m the Boss but I’m also the cook, the chauffeur, and the bottle-washer-in-chief. I think it’s hugely important for my daughter to see what a work-life balance looks like. But also that women can run businesses and make a difference in their niches. I can already see sparks of entrepreneurship in my girl and it warms the cockles of my heart. Seeing my journey including all the highs, lows and hard work paints a realistic picture of a woman trying to build a business and nurture a family. But she sees that its possible which means that her own world of possibilities has already multiplied exponentially. I am incredibly proud to be modeling this for her.
9. i encourage her creativity
Minnie-Sue has an unfathomable capacity to create. She is just one big art project constantly in progress. I support this; applaud it; and encourage it. And I live with the associated mess. I impose no limits on her creativity because her ability to consistently come up with new ideas means that she just may hit up on an idea that benefits the whole world!
I expect The World to thank me for living inside the GlitterBomb when that happens!
10. i teach her to love people and use things
I love this saying. I was reacquainted with it recently over at The Minimalists, a podcast I listen to about minimalism. It sits alongside another favourite saying of mine which is
The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things
I am not a big ‘Thing’ person. I don’t measure success by how many ‘Things’ I have or how new my ‘Things’ are or where I bought my ‘Things’. What an awful waste of time. A long time ago, I thought maybe this was important. Then I woke up and realised how much headspace this was taking up and I was happy to clear my headspace for some more interesting and valuable pursuits. Mainly around people. And relationships.
It hasn’t taken much to convince Minnie-Sue that ‘Things’ are useful and handy and sometimes beautiful. But if you spend all your time loving things, you may find that later on down the line, you need to reassess your prioritities. Because ‘Things’ can’t love you back.
11. I try to be spontaneous and a little unpredictable from time to time.
When your head says no but your heart says yes, it’s time to be spontaneous because joy very often follows. And so do happy memories. I’ve written a little more about this on my post 5 SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE MEMORY MAKING IDEAS THAT YOU CAN START TODAY.
Now it’s my turn to nominate some fantastic ladies who are Rocking Motherhood. I am tagging the following fabulous ladies who I have had the pleasure to meet through their blogs and social media.
The Rules for participation
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
- List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10)
- Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
- Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.
If you’re a blogger then feel free to join in the #RockingMotherhood revolution! I would love to read about how you are Rocking Motherhood and so would Pat from White Camellias. If you tweet your post to @whitecamelias and @UKYankeeTweets then we will be very happy to retweet it for you.