Thursday, April 2, 2009

12 Simple Secrets REAL Moms Know - Intro Part 1

Let me begin with a quote that Dr. Borba uses to begin this book:
"What is real?" asked the Rabbit one day...
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse.
"It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you
for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLY
loves you, then you become Real...It doesn't happen all
at once...but once you are REAL you can't become unreal
again. It lasts for always."
--Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit (p.1)
Doesn't that just touch you? I loved that book as a child and reading this book I can completely understand why this particular quote was chosen. We must ask ourselves if what we are doing as a mother is going to "last for always." You know what??? The bottom line is that it is. No matter what we are doing it will last forever. It is just a matter of if that is going to be a positive or a negative forever.
I shared with you yesterday a passage from the introduction about all of the "stuff" that is being crammed into our heads about we are doing for our children. How we aren't doing this right and we must do this and here is the secret to happy kids...blah blah blah! It is so easy to be caught in the WORLD's trap as mothers, with so many options out there and so many choices to make we feel torn, never knowing if what we are doing will have a positive or negative impact on our children. Always wondering if we are as good or better of a mom than so and so. I know for me, I doubt my success as a parent often, and am always found with my nose in the latest and greatest Biblical parenting book ready and willing to pick up and implement the new perfect answer is to all of my child raising questions.
That is the REAL question!!
and the REAL answer is that REAL MOMS DO!!
So, lets begin by defining REAL:
  • 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.



  1. Oh Kellye, I so wish I had the book to read right now!!!!

    I really love the list of what real LOOKS like. For me it is having the maternal confidence and isn't pushed around by trends.... When I got pregnant, I felt like I needed to read all of the latest books on pregnancy, birthing, parenting, etc., etc.,. I don't want to live my life parenting based on what someone else told me is the "best" way, or the "most efficient" I want to parent based on what is TRUE and REAL!!!! For me and for our family.

    I love the word "authentic" that she uses too. It is so rare to find but I am reminded by her that I already have the skills!

  2. You are so right Sarah!

    God has equipped each of us with an abundance of "MOMNESS." We all have it within us...everything we need. But it is when we look to the world's example of what a GOOD MOM is that we become distracted, critical, and guilt stricken.

    It is time for us to GET REAL and be the mothers that God has called us to be and that Mom is found within each of us...we just have to dig her back out!!

    Im so glad you are following just wait unti tomorrow. It gets better and better!!

  3. The list of things that Real Moms do was so good to read. I can really appreciate some of those (leaving McDonalds when the meltdown comes, for example!). Thanks for a great post! :)

  4. I have been "stalking" your blog for several months as a new mom and am so happy that you have started this series! Thanks for your dedication to this topic.... BTW, have you read any books designed specifically for creating a good mother daughter relationship?

  5. Hi MLC!! Thank you for stalking!! I am a stalker myself so very much welcome any new stalkers to my little spot!

    I am so glad that you are following along with this study. I have read really almost every parenting book under the sun and must tell you that it is BY FAR the best. Now, there are some other good ones. Sally Clarkson is one of my favorite authors as is Jill Rigby who does a lot of good parenting books. This one though, I think is the one that you need to focus on and here is why...I see that you have a wittle bitty baby girl (who is beautiful by the way). This book is perfect because it really trains you on how to form those lasting connections that you are looking for. I am a mom of 2 little girlies myself and so a mother daughter relationship is obviously extremely important to me too. I would absolutely hands down start with 12 Simple Secrets because it is almost like the foundation. It will save you years of reading parenting books trust me. It is about being REAL and doing what is in your heart. That is how you form that mother daughter bond you want. I wish she wouldve written this book when my girls were infants!! After we complete this study I will be happy to recommend more goodies to you as well. While this book is not a Biblical parenting book, I am throwing my 2 cents in everywhere I can regarding my Biblical view of mothering...for what its worth!

    I really think you will enjoy it and will be going through my enormous collection of parenting books to see what I can find for you!!


  6. Wow, what a fabulous gut wrenching thought provoking study!!! For me, as a mom of an autistic child, I had to get "real" 11 years ago. I have read and still read (Kellye knows)every parenting book I can get my hands on. I can't wait to hear what the secrets are.


I love comments and read every thanks so much for leaving me a little note!!

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