It’s not uncommon for my daughter to be toting an art project she made in class when I pick her up from preschool. She puts her all into every little creation. When decorating cookies she’ll individually place pieces of sprinkles, and she finger paints with precision. She takes her time, and makes her work with pride.
“Mom, look what I made!” she said with a huge grin on her face as she showed me a little book she made in class.
Just as I focused in on what the title of her tale, another mother picking up her daughter read it out loud.
“Aww, she wants to be a mommy, that’s so sweet!”
In my daughter’s hands she held a book titled “What I want to be when I grow up is a Mommy.”
I put on a smile while I tried to sort out the emotions I was feeling. Was that disappointment? Pride? Fear? Confusion?
I glanced at a classmate’s book. Hers said “Doctor” in the place my daughter’s said Mommy.
Where did I go wrong? And where is this emotion coming from?
I noticed another little girl’s book said “Princess” and for a moment I felt a wave of relief. Of course these split-second thoughts that went through my mind were completely ridiculous, rude, judgemental, and everything else wrong.
“You want to be a mommy?” I asked my daughter.
“Yea!” She smiled back at me.
I looked to her teacher for reassurance.
I thought about this as we got in the car and drove home. I was curious what made my daughter come to the conclusion that she wanted to be a mommy. When we’ve talked about it in the past she’s spout different things: A police officer, an artist, a newscaster, a teacher.
“So tell me,” I started to ask. “How come you said you wanted to be a mommy when you grow up?”
“Because!” She said as if that answer was enough, but continued after a moment. “Because you’re a mommy and I want to be like you!”
Like a stab to my chest I felt bad for my knee-jerk reaction to her job choice. First of all, she’s four. She has some time to decide her future. Secondly, the fact that she looks at me and says I’m who she wants to be like is a pretty big compliment. Yet I pushed on.
“You can be a mommy. You can be a mommy and something else too,” I told her. “Some mommies are astronauts, or chefs–”
“Oh I want to be a mommy and do the news, so I can go to work with you!”
It was becoming apparent that I was looking at this differently than she was.
My mom always worked when I was growing up, I never knew any different. I thought I’d be a mom some day, but I also thought I’d have a career. A “mom” was never on my potential career list. I didn’t even see it as an option. It wasn’t until I had children of my own, and then scaled back on work to spend more time with them, that I realized how much work trying to be a good mom all the time could be, and how important it could feel.
I hoped to be an example to my children. To show them that they can grow up and become whatever they want to become. That they could achieve their dreams just as I felt I had. I didn’t plan to inspire them in a different way–To want to be parents.
Since then almost every time someone asks my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up she says with all seriousness “a mom.” Occasionally she’ll tack on another career or two to the list, but most consistently it’s a mother.
Being a mother has changed everything for me. I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone. I imagine some manage to fit motherhood into their lives, I feel like in many ways I’ve changed my life to revolve around being their mom.
I’ve partnered with Sears to write about Mother’s Day and as I thought about how I’d narrow down what I’d want for the holiday, or my favorite ideas to suggest to other moms I came up with core things I think we all need.
Here are a few things I think every mom could use.
1. Love: Lots of love, encouragement, hugs, help, and maybe a homemade fingerprint card.
2. Rest: Moms work SO FREAKING HARD. Whether you’re working outside the home, at home, or “just” with your kids, it’s a mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting job. As counterintuitive as it sounds, little time away from those we love can be a great gift. I’ll give my daughter a few more years before I let her know what she’s in for.
3. Uplifting: We do so much for everyone else in the family, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. I know I’ll get my daughter and son dressed up to go out but stay in my yoga pants and ponytail to save time. What uplifts you? Time to meditate? Getting ready for the day? A new haircut? A new outfit?
If you fall in the later category, you may want to check out two great clothing lines from Sears that can transform and uplift any mom to help her look and feel like the amazing mother she is.
Here are some deserving moms who got an uplifting makeover from Sears.
This weekend I hope to get lots of love, some rest, and maybe even a little uplifting or pampering. I hope you get the same!
As a thank you for the sweet mothers and moms to be and even the dads who love them who read my blog, we’re giving away a $50 gift card to Sears. Use it to get yourself something uplifting.
What do you hope for for Mother’s Day? Has your child ever said they wanted to be a mom or dad when they grow up?
Just leave a comment to enter, then follow the instructions on the Gleam contest form for extra entries. Good luck, and Happy Mother’s Day!
*Disclosure: I’m partnering with Sears as a Sears Bloggers Squad Ambassador to share my stories in motherhood, and helpful tips along the way. All opinions are my own.