on being a better mom

Just this morning I sat in my son’s classroom, on one of those chairs so big for the kids yet so small for me, and listened as we discussed some learning struggles he deals with. I used to hate those meetings, honestly, because I would leave thinking if only I was a better mom than he wouldn’t struggle. But as time passed and the months ticked by I started to realize that often being a better mom doesn’t mean everything is perfect or things are fixed or he can spell or my kids don’t get in trouble.

Often being a better mom is simply about one thing.

Being there.

Being there in those moments of uncomfortable. Being there defending them or learning for them or letting the tears fall. All those other externals – eating organic, not getting fast food, kids being on the honor roll, education choices, color sorting toys, reading by this age, awesome instagram ready home – they miss one most important core truth. The power of you.

The power of you, being there, for them.

Because there are times where it’s not easy to be there. There are times of exhaustion or embarrassment or fatigue or are you kidding me? or whatever. But those moments matter just as much.

I know you know this, but let’s just set this truth again – your motherhood worth isn’t defined by where you shop for groceries, or what clothes your child wears, or when you send out those always late Christmas cards, or if you read the latest parenting books, or if you are wearing skinny jeans versus yoga pants, or if you eat only raw foods or if your minivan is the only one in the parking lot without a scratch or if your child can speak Italian by age three or if you only know the principal because your child is on the Honor Roll or is in trouble or any of those variables in life.

Being a better mom isn’t about doing — it’s really about being.

Being the cheerleader.

Being the fighter for them when no one seems to be listening.

Being the one who gives of herself even when she feels like there is not much left to give.

Being there in the middle of the night.

Being the one who listens.

Being the one who holds the standard.

Being the one who won’t quit on them.

Being the one waving from an auditorium.

Being there sitting in the car waiting for them to emerge from their class.

Being the one who helps them pick out the right shirt.

Being the rocker in the rocking chair when the pile of laundry is overflowing.

Being the one who is willing to forgive.

Being the one who’s mastered the art of counting to ten many times.

Being the one who cooks lunches that no one likes but still smiling.

Being the one waiting up for them to return home.

Being the one who wants to be a better mom who keeps trying every single day.

You know, when I was emotional and thinking I should be better it was because I LOVE. I care, I show up and I invested – so of course – in that moment I thought it was about being better but missed the power of being. I know it’s tough. Our world screams at you that you should be doing so many things in the middle of this seems like forever but really happens in the blink of an eye mothering journey.

But truthfully, your kids need you – more than the next program, the next class, the latest clothes, the coolest apps, the best of the world’s best. They need your stability, your love, your belief in them. They need you to be the one to brush away the tear from their eyes and to tell them how much they matter. They need you to help them stand again when they stumble.

They need you in those tiny chairs.

That’s what I remembered today as I sat there. Again. The struggles weren’t gone, but my heart no longer questioned my worth. I knew I was a better mom.

Because I was being there, in that moment, for him. Right where I belonged.

Your kids need you, too.

The better mom is the being there mom.

And that is always enough.

~Rachel

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