I often feel inadequate as a mum and think of her: the other mum, the mum I “planned to be,” the mum I think I “should be,” the mum I never will be.
I want to be a mum who wakes up and has time to shower and make herself look not just presentable, but pretty. But I will never be that mum. I will most likely never look pulled together, with blown-dry hair and accessorized outfits — because while I wish to look that way, I don’t have the time or energy. I will always have my hair in a braid, a hole in my jeans, a two-seasons-ago shirt and a belt that is… well, more than two seasons old. And that is OK. Because my kids think I am pretty just the way I am.
I want to be a mum who puts aside her to-do list to get down and play on the floor with her boys. But I will never be that mum. I will most likely never roughhouse with them or play freeze tag as much as they like because I much prefer, and take great joy in, watching them play and have fun with each other. And that is OK. Because I will still hug them, kiss them and tell them how proud and happy I am to see them playing together.
I want to be a mum who knows how to make crazy LEGO buildings, how to chase after dragons, how to play Star Wars. But I will never be that mum. I will most likely never build a LEGO creation the way my husband does. I will never spontaneously chase after dragons with a laser or think to build a fort. And that is OK. Because I will make ice cream cones out of Play-Doh with my boys and chase after falling leaves and snowflakes with them.
I want to be a mum who feels like she knows how to be a mum to boys — who doesn’t think that if she had girls, she would know how to be a better mother because she would know how to play tea and dolls and all things “girlie.” But I will never be that mum. I will most likely never be a mum who truly feels like she knows how to be a mum to boys. And, even if I had girls, I don’t think I would feel like I knew how to be a mum to them either, because knowing how to “be a mum” is not just about knowing what kind of activities my kids like to do, it is about knowing what makes my kids happy, what makes them sad, how I can help them, how I can protect them. Knowing how to be a mum is a daily learning process and I’ll never be fully caught up. And that is OK. Because I have already mastered the most important lesson: how to love my boys.