- Real comes from deep inside.
- Real is instinctive and intuitive.
- Real is authentic and genuine. There is just NO faking it.
- Real is never borrowed. It's staying true to YOU!
- Real has no pretense, fabrication, phoniness.
- Real is simple. Its not complicated or difficult.
- Real comes naturally. (p. 4)
These are the ways that Dr. Borba uses to describe REAL and I think that there is one or two of those for each of us that hits home. I think its very important to remember as we embark on this journey that we are learning how to be a REAL mother. Its about us individually and not everyone's struggles or strengths will be the same. I would recommend starting a journal as we go along and just jotting down these traits that you feel describe you or may be something you struggle with. Later on we will work more with journaling, but for now, just keep that in mind as we go along. Take notes so that you can reflect on these things during your quiet time. For me, the one that stands out is Real is simple. Its not complicated or difficult. My husband tells me all the time that if I would just do what it is that I spend an hour writing down on my to do list, I would be done before I even start. I have a problem with complicating things. How about you?? Which ones stand out to you??
Now, what does a REAL mom look like?? Here is what Dr. Borba says:
- A real mom doesn't worry what other moms are saying or doing.
- A real mom knows her children so well that she makes her parenting decisions based on their unique needs.
- A real mom is clear about her personal values and code of behavior and sticks to it.
- A real mom knows what's important for her family and keeps those priorities straight.
- A real mom has confidence in her maternal instinct and isn't pushed around by the latest pressures and trends.
- A real mom knows that what matters most is a close connection with her children so that her influence "lasts for always."(p. 4)
So, are you crying yet?? I was. I am. I want more than anything to have a connection and an influence on my kids...a realness that like the velveteen rabbit will "last for always." But I must confess, I am swayed and pushed around by trends, and I do worry about what other moms say and do. Uh Oh!!
And what does a REAL mom do?? Above all, she stays true to herself and connected to her kids, and she doesn't deviate from what she knows is best for her family...Here is some more:
- Real moms have a life of their own.
- Real moms break the rules for their family.
- Real moms let their kids wear the same clothes two days in a row.
- Real moms go on a date with their husbands and aren't afraid to miss the PTA meeting.
- Real moms give their kids pots and pans to play with.
- Real moms leave their food on the tray and head for the parking lot when their kid has a meltdown in McDonalds.
- Real moms make their kids do their homework.
- Real moms aren't afraid to say no.
- Real moms give themselves time outs.
- Real moms tell their kids they don't have to play Beethoven's Fur Elise at the family reunion.
- Real moms know its not personal when their kids say, "You're the meanest mother in the whole wide world."
- Real moms say "good job" when their kids get an A, but hold off on getting them the brand new Lexus.
- Real moms make their 16 year olds set their own alarm clocks.
- Real moms tell their kids to pay their own library fines.
- Real moms ask Uncle Harry to put on the lampshade and do his juggling act on the kitchen table as the birthday clown.
- Real moms let their kids be bored.
- Real moms say, "Not in our family" when their kids complain that "everybody else does."
- Real moms say, "Im not an ATM" and encourage their kids to save their money.
- Real moms admit they are wrong.
- Real moms know they are not perfect.
- Real moms leave the dust when the playgroup comes.
- Real moms admit and apologize when they are grouchy.
- Real moms send their kids to canoe paddling camp when everyone else is in intensive Chinese language immersion. (p.4-6)
Getting Back to Real Mothering
Does this sound like you? Do you identify with some of these traits listed?? Do you ever get that gut feeling that you really should say "no thank you" or maybe this new friendship that you have set up for your kids just isn't beneficial? Do you ever feel like you are only doing it because everyone else is or you have other motives? Do you decide to do things that are "GOOD" even when they are not RIGHT for your family? That is where I have my problem. Here is a perfect example. I came about an inch from leaving my own birthday party/crawfish boil Sunday with my entire family to bring my kids to a birthday party for a little girl in my daughter's class just because I am close to her mom. The guilt that I had and still have because my husband convinced me that I was being completely irrational is overwhelming and I feel terrible about it. I know that I made the right choice and that staying home and being with family on my birthday after they put so much effort into the day for me was the right choice, but the guilt...MAN THE GUILT!!!
Mothering is the most important job we'll ever have in our lives. Nothing, absolutely nothing, has as much influence and power over our families and future generations than a mother...besides the Lord himself. But as Dr. Borba tells us,
"There is the general agreement that something isn't working: our kids aren't thriving like we'd hoped, and we are too often suffering from guilt, anxiety, and exhaustion. That is why there is so much talk of this Motherhood Mania. Women across our country see mothering as a 24/7 sprint to the finish line. The only solution is to be real, to be simple, to get back to the natural and authentic kind of mothering that isn't based on the latest TV show, educational video game, or hot new parenting product. Remember: If its real, its simple. Its not complicated or difficult. It's easy and you already have the skills to do it. (p. 6)
Let's think on these things today and jot down the traits of real mothers that hit home with us as well as those that define what a real mom looks like and what she does. Tomorrow we will begin with the benefits of being a real mother, but yall can you believe we are still in the introduction?? Great stuff...Great stuff.
Post and let me know what you are thinking so far and remember to send a friend our way if you know someone who you think you benefit from our study. My goal is to change the way the 2009 mom sees herself and her family.
IT'S TIME TO GET REAL!!