16 December, 2009


Of myself mostly, and others. It's a no-win trap, and destructive. And I'm making a commitment to myself and my family to let go of it.

I never fit in very easily with mainstream society. My family was "different" as a child, and I had a handful of issues that I struggled with that made thriving difficult for me. After lots of therapy and hard work I had found a pretty comfortable place as an adult. I was relatively confident, felt good about myself and my life. I let go of the drive for perfection and concern about what others thought of me. And then I became a Mom.

I've never wanted anything more than I want this. This time in my life. I never dreamed of a big fancy wedding or McHouse. But this, this...

My love for my kids is profound, and I have learned that it is important to me that other people understand this somehow. Too important. This is where the concern about what others think of me and the choices I make comes in, and I'm ready to let it go. So I'm going to put on my very big girl pants, and walk forward as the woman I want my boys to know. Proud, but not bogged down by pride. And capable of letting go of what I imagine a really good mother to look like in order to celebrate the mother I am, and therefore the family we are.

We're not all of anything, but we are everything. Don't try to classify us, it won't work. I like it better that way. We're 32 flavors, at least. Ya know? So in order to be happy, I will let go of my insistence that I be a "good" Mom, and instead choose to be a happy Mom. A happy Mom who does not need the approval of others to feel successful.

I have this funny scenario in my head where my very insightful son is watching me struggle to bake bread, knit a hat, and make a delicious home made dinner, all while feeling pretty stressed out and inadequate. He would suggest I make boxed mac and cheese and sit down and relax. We like boxed mac and cheese, Mom. "Enough about you and what you need, don't you know a really good Mom makes everything from scratch?!" Not anymore. This scenario is a metaphor, but you get my drift. Join me in letting go. I'll still bake and knit, but I'll do it with joy. On our terms, without concern. I might also invite you over to my house to eat boxed dinner off paper plates.

You'll see my new sign, reading "Welcome to our home. Unconditional love lives here, all others need not apply."


thepagefamily said...


I absolutely love this post. You are exactly the type of mother I aspire to be. :)
We are crazy busy with moving and I have not even glanced at myself in days, we do not even have a mirror in the house yet! I ran errands with the kids with my head held high, hey I look like poop but I am happy and with my kids. The house is completely ripped apart and today I decided to set up the first room, Ryans. No one will see it, it is not a priority in the big picture, but it made Ryans day and it was nice to just "be", together. I never knew a love like this existed.

the good life mama said...

Oh my gosh, I loved your note! I think you are such a wonderful Mom, and beautiful even without the mirror!

I hope you are settling in happily and easily. We look forward to having you over after the holidays. (I still have a box in my living room I have not yet unpacked from our move.) :)

Merry Christmas! H.

Hilaree said...

Heather, this is so beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes today. Thank you, thank you. Someone in my life is not happy with the way I'm doing things and I feel so sad about it...so I just needed to read your thoughts.

Way to go. I sure feel better. Big big hugs.

MainelyMama said...

SO well articulated Heather!!! I couldn't agree more! I'm just starting to come to this realization myself. My kids aren't going to remember how clean the house was or how perfect the food, they're going to remember their interactions w/ me and I want the majority of those to be positive. Thank you for this gentle and reaffirming reminder!

Crunchy Christian Mom said...

Oh, this is something I've been learning the last couple of years, too! Much better to be a happy mom than a "perfect"!! (And yes, we do the boxed mac and cheese around here sometimes -- organic, of course ;)