I want to be that mama.
You know the one, right?
That mama you’ve built up in your mind that would be a better one than you currently are. Yeah, she’s the one.
I want to be that mama who spends more time outside with her kids than inside. The one whose kids carry the best art supplies and make the most artistic nature journals, all while munching on nuts and kale chips.
I want to be that mama whose house looks inspiringly beautiful, even when her kids are reading and lying around on the couch. The one who has consistent morning time with her kids and plans out breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
I want to be that mama who takes stunning pictures of her kids that look professional. The one who captures the picture with magical words about motherhood and faith.
I want to be that mama who takes time for herself. Who somehow finds time to write everyday, spends time with Jesus every morning, and maybe even gets to take a bath before bed once in a while. The one who runs a farm and writes cookbooks and owns several businesses and homeschools and somehow still has time to feed her children only the best of the best.
I could go on and on.
That mama who never lets her kids eat hot dogs.
That mama who actually does the activities she finds on Pinterest.
That mama who hasn’t left her Instantpot in the box out of pure intimidation.
That mama who actually finishes adult books she wants, rather than the piles of books her eleven-year old insists she read.
Instead, I find myself as that mama who goes to bed way too late and can’t get out of bed without her three-year old knowing it. That mama who really would like to drink coffee before much of anything. That mama who snuggles her kids as they wake up one by one and suddenly is rushing out the door because she “wasted” the morning on coffee and snuggles. That mama who knows she needs better self-care but can’t seem to do it. That mama who doesn’t sleep all that well because the littlest ones are all arms and legs over her while she attempts a few uninterrupted hours.
Truthfully, that mama I want to be? She only exists because I see her in pieces other places. She exists not because I really want to be her, but because I see other mamas somehow being her. And I’ve done this thing where I take all the pieces of all the mamas who inspire me with their posts about their families and themselves, and I’ve bundled them neatly together into the picture perfect package of how I could be a better mom.
Or maybe it’s just me.
The other truth? My kids don’t know that mama even exists.
What if that mama we think we need to be isn’t really the mama our kids need or even the one our kids want?
What if that mama we need to be, is just the one who’s doing exactly what she’s doing right now?
What if every day, instead of thinking of that mama we want to be or wish we were or hope to one day be, what if instead we try to be the mama our kids need today? Right now in this moment. Not the mama they needed yesterday or the one they need tomorrow, but the one they need today and today only.
Because that mama they want? Is the one who watches when they say, “Mom, watch.” That mama who still snuggles them before bedtime. That mama who listens intently when they’re telling a story. That mama who listens to them reading, who reads the stories they write, who plays their silly games. That mama who kisses the boo-boos, who holds them when their arms are raised, who cheers them on, who hold their hands when they reach out. That mama who says yes to the simple requests of childhood that only take a little bit of time and a little less distraction.
What if we were just okay with being that mama for our kids? That mama they need today. That mama who isn’t seen by others. That mama who recognizes that motherhood doesn’t define her identity. That mama who says being with her kids is enough and doesn’t need to document it all for the world to see.
What if we were that mama who lifted her hands in the morning and asked Holy Spirit to lead her? To give her the strength to see her kids and what they need today. To forget that mama she hasn’t been, to not think about that mama she needs to be tomorrow and the rest of the week, but to just be present with her kids today and today alone.
That mama? She’s the one I really want to be.