Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Code of Motherhood

I have always wished for some guidelines for motherhood, because really it seems like anything goes. This is one of the reasons being a mom is so powerful and so humbling. So, in honor of mother's day, I'm writing my own "code" (which is really more of just a guideline).

What being a mom (of young children) means to me:
1. I will read my children stories at bedtime and naptime always, and on other requested occasions. As long as they don't request those stupid Disney movie books that I hate. In fact, I'm throwing those books away.

2. I will feed my children three meals a day and provide snacks. These meals will include a vegetable or a fruit. These meals might not always be home made. They might be breakfast for dinner, or chicken nuggets, or cold cereal, but they will have something to eat.

3. I will provide my children with clothes. I will teach them to change their underwear daily. When they are young, I will dress them at least once a day. If their clothes get messy, I might change them, but only if it's yucky messy like poop or something. Otherwise I will be doing laundry all day every day. Once they are old enough to dress themselves, they probably won't match. Matching clothes is not a battle I am willing to fight, but they will be dressed every day. I will also make them wear a coat while in sight in the cold, and we will never leave the house without shoes. (I've already tried this and ended up taking a shoeless Mckenzie to use a public restroom. Yuck.)

4. I will brush my children's teeth and teach them to brush their teeth. This is a battle I will fight. Dentist bills are payable by me, therefore I will control the toothbrushing.
5. I will comb my children's hair at least once a day. I might even put cute ribbons or clips in it, but only if it requires minimum fussing. After that, I give up. I can only fight this battle once a day.

6. I will bathe my children often. Mike is in charge of bedtime baths, so I just make sure it happens regularly.
7. I will wash my children's hands and faces whenever they get messy, but sometimes this isn't the most important thing and I might not have a wipe, so they might look messy.

8. I will hold my children at least once a day, while they still let me.
9. I will play with my children, even if it is a stupid game that I have already played 6,000 times.

10. I will teach my children about Heavenly Father and Jesus and the goodness of the gospel through family home evening and church and every day teaching opportunities.
11. I will clean the house (at least once a week).
12. I will take care of myself. Right now this means I will shower and comb my hair and brush my teeth, and wear deodorant. I am on the verge of giving up make-up all together, but that is another subject for another time.
13. I will take time away from my children so that I appreciate them when I come back.
14. I will love Mike with all my heart and show him I love him.
15. I will pray like it all depends on the Lord and work like it all depends on me.

This code will probably change over the years, or in the course of a day, but for now it gives me a good definition of when I'm doing okay. So I'm totally curious. What's your definition of a good mother?


Em Russ said...

Well said Steph! (And I totally agree with you about those dumb Disney movie books!!)

Sherrie said...

I learned pretty early on that there is no use in being the perfect mother. What I aim for is being who my children need, when they need me. I'm a reader, snuggler, advocate, teacher, friend, baker, chef, teacher, launderer, enforcer, teacher, kisser, listener, teacher.

I too have had it with those Disney books. I HATE bad writing!

The King Family said...

That about covers it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my word, give up chocolate before you give up makeup. And, never give up chocolate!
Don't make me come down there.
Have a very happy Mother's Day. With those cute kids you will, I know.
Love you,
Grandma Bette

Czechers said...

Amen! Steph you're a great mom! And an amazing writer!