10 Ways I’m an Awesome Mom

Take a sample of parenting blogs out there and you’ll read a lot of bloopers.

We mothers, especially, are quick to point out our failings and our foibles. Perhaps it’s easier (or more cathartic) to confess the time you melted a Tupperware lid in the dishwasher, causing poisonous fumes to fill the apartment, than it is to reflect on the millions of other times you scrubbed plates clean without incident. After all, washing the dishes without a hitch—or, for that matter, the millions of unremarkable moments of motherhood—aren’t particularly newsy.

But in anticipation of Mother’s Day (coming up this Sunday for anyone who’s forgotten!), I’m stepping out of the self-deprecating, self-questioning rut I sometimes fall into.

I’m celebrating what a wonderful mother I am.

Here, then, are ten aspects of motherhood I totally have down.

mom helping toddler walk Mexico

  1. Making up songs. Peeper loves hearing me sing, and she requests musical accompaniment to just about everything we do. Sometimes—especially if I know she’ll ask for “Hush Little Baby” yet again if I ask what she wants to hear—I’ll wing it. I’ll create lyrics about something we’re doing (putting on a diaper or swinging at the park, it doesn’t matter) and pair them with a familiar or made-up tune.

Sometimes my ditties are duds and Peeper stops me mid-tune; other ones have become as familiar as “Old MacDonald” or “Twinkle Twinkle.” I may sound ridiculous, but I don’t care. Peeper loves it.

  1. Not laughing during wind-down. I have Peeper’s pre-bed routine down to a science. Milk, three books, two songs, crib. I rarely deviate from our pattern.

Peeper’s mood is a little less consistent. Sometimes she’s sleepy and just lies on me as I rock; rarely she drifts off to sleep in my arms. Other times, she is silly.

Lately, she holds her face an inch from mine and breathes onto my mouth. Is it practice for prank calls? Or something else? Regardless, she cracks herself up. But I don’t laugh.

I wasn’t always this restrained. When she was younger, she would act cuckoo and pull back to look at me, waiting for my reaction. The fits of laughter would tack a half-hour onto her wind-down time, and sometimes our giggle sessions would wake her up too much to nap at all. I count it a fairly major triumph that I can get her into bed, silliness or no.

Toddler hike Milo McIver State Park Oregon lovey

  1. Getting outside. If the weather’s decent—and pretty often if it’s not—you can find us outdoors. We hike every weekend and frequently during the week, too, exploring the many trails around our home.

Peeper loves the great outdoors already. She runs ahead on the path, points out the sights she sees (“Found some lichen!”) and asks to “fly” over patches of mud. It makes me so happy that we’re raising a little forest fairy—at least if fairies wear Boggs and bandanas and carry big sticks.

  1. Multitasking. Peeper still loves to be held, especially if she’s cranky or hungry, which means I do a lot with only one arm free. Pouring milk into a sippy while holding her? Piece of cake. Making a peanut butter sandwich with a monkey clinging to my side? A little tougher, but manageable. Feeding Peeper lunch while drawing pout pout fish and reading her a book and spooning the occasional bite of food into my own mouth? This is my life.
    toddler tractor Woodburn Tulip Festival
  2. Not caring about dirt. As a species, humans have a finite number of effs to give. (This, I’m pretty sure, is scientifically proven fact.) As a mother, many of my effs are taken up with really important stuff—making sure my kid doesn’t drown in the bath, say, or making sure she eats vegetables every day.

That leaves precisely zero effs for dirt.

I don’t care, then, when Peeper makes a game of throwing dirt when we’re out on a walk, even if half of it ends up in her hair. And all those stains from sitting down in a pile of rocks or biffing it on the trail? Oh well.

Those family mottoes you see framed on your friend’s walls? You know, things like “Love, life, live” or “Family is forever”? Well, mine is “Dirt won’t hurt.”

  1. The stand-up diaper change. These days we roll with a pared down diaper bag, and that sometimes means I forget the pad I’d lay on a changing table in a public restroom. Well, not to worry! Peeper and I have the stand-up diaper change nailed.
  2. Kissing it better. When you’re two feet tall, your feet gain about an inch of clearance and you think everything worth doing is worth doing at a run, you fall. A lot.

Peeper, then, ends up with her fair share of bumps and bruises. Thankfully, she comes to me to kiss them better.

Even when one kiss isn’t enough, a kiss plus snuggle plus song will usually calm her crying before too long.

I relish these chances to comfort my daughter. It won’t always be the case that I can make her feel better.

If only all her hurts could stay as simple as a scraped knee.

  1. Falling asleep early. Raising a toddler while a bun grows in my oven is exhausting. Thankfully, I have no qualms—and usually no problems—with turning in early.

I got a lot of practice with this when Peeper was little. I would go to sleep when she did, not minding that my new 8pm bedtime was a bit crazy.

These days I don’t hit the hay quite that early, but I don’t torture myself by staying up just a little later to finish those emails or wipe the counters or take a shower. I just make peace with a dirty kitchen and hairy legs and get the heck to sleep.

  1. Doing the voices in books. I’m not going to start a career in voice acting anytime soon, but when it comes to doing the different voices in Peeper’s books, I’m a pro.
  2. Loving my family. Ok, this one’s kind of a cheat because it’s so easy. But I’m really, really, really good at loving the kooky collection of characters I call my own.

family selfie beach Tell me, tell me—what makes you a wonderful mother? (Or, if you’re not a mom, what made your mother the best?)

0 thoughts on “10 Ways I’m an Awesome Mom

  • May 8, 2015 at 8:05 am
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    Number five made me giggle. Yes, yes, yes!

    I will be thinking on this today, with a strong chance of answering your question with a link-up.

    Reply
    • May 8, 2015 at 8:10 am
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      Haha, glad that one resonated with you! Occasionally I’m embarrassed if Peeper is walking around with dirt underneath her nails, but I figure it’s evidence of fun, so what the heck!

      Can’t wait to read how YOU’RE an awesome mom! (Though I could answer that question for you too. 😉 )

      Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 8:30 am
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    Happy mothers day! I love that my mom, when she speaks in her native language, uses a lot of fun alliteration and onomatopoeia, so your openness to sing and song is probably carving similar lasting auditory memories in Peeper now!

    Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 8:51 am
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    Not laughing during wind-down is HUGE! I still haven’t mastered that one when my children start being, um, creative about putting off bed time!

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    • May 11, 2015 at 9:50 am
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      I kind of blew the not laughing during wind down this weekend. She gave me this weird sideways glance out of the corner or her eye and I almost lost it!!

      Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 9:04 am
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    LOVE this post so much! Good job on nailing the stand up diaper change. That’s a good skill to have for sure. To answer your question, I think I’m awesome at listening to my kids. I love that they still, at my daughter’s age of 8 going on 18 and my son about to head to moody, withdrawn middle school age, are excited to run home and talk to me about their day. They still tell me everything, and I think that’s just because I stop whatever I am doing to sit and really listen. Aww man, writing this makes me really miss them right now when they’re at school. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

    Reply
    • May 11, 2015 at 9:49 am
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      Thank you Marlynn! The stand-up diaper change is one we came by necessity, haha! And listening—really listening—is an incredible skill. What a gift, and one that is strengthening your relationship with your kids!

      Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 10:14 am
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    this is awesome and i am so glad you’re writing a post on all your awesomeness and not shortcomings! 🙂 love the bedtime “not laughing” triumph!
    http://www.ladiesinnavy.com

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  • May 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm
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    I love this! I think you’re right that we need to celebrate what we do well more often, and it’s obvious that you’re an awesome mom. 🙂

    One thing I’m really proud of is that I’ve worked hard to instill manners into my son. He’s 3-and-a-half and saying “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome” just roll off his tongue now. When his sister (she’s 17 months) has something he wants, most of the time he’ll say, “Madelyn, can I please have that?” and offer her something else in exchange.

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    • May 11, 2015 at 9:47 am
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      Aw thanks Monica! We’re trying to do manners, too, though “please” more often comes in a sign. We do insist Peeper call people by Mr and Mrs though—I didn’t grow up that way, but I think it’s polite.

      Reply
  • May 8, 2015 at 6:11 pm
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    this is totally wonderful and I may steal the idea myself. As to your question – I think i am good at staying calm in tough situations – blood or tantrums or whatever. At making healthy meals most of the time but not being too rigid about it. And in letting my kids have space to roam and explore on their own terms. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
    • May 11, 2015 at 9:46 am
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      Thanks for your comment! I’d love to see your post if you write a similar one. And staying calm in every situation is such a talent! Sometimes I wish I had more patience, but there’s only so much you can do sometimes I guess.

      Reply
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  • May 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm
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    SO SWEET! Haha, I love the making up songs bit. I do that ALL the time and I don’t even have children yet. I consider it one of my best traits 🙂 My mom was the absolute best at being loving and accepting to everyone. She always inspired me to love and care for all people equally no matter what. I love that.

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    • May 11, 2015 at 9:45 am
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      What an incredible trait to have—loving and accepting is one of the traits I’d most like Peeper to adopt.

      Reply
  • May 11, 2015 at 7:15 am
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    Love this post! You are so right; we really don’t talk about what we are good at. I too sing most of the time and make up songs or add in lyrics pertaining to what we are doing 🙂

    Reply
    • May 11, 2015 at 9:51 am
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      I read somewhere that singing about what your doing helps kiddos learn even more. That makes sense, but it’s also pretty darn entertaining!

      Reply
  • May 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm
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    Great post – and a fun way to put a positive spin on things that we as moms don’t really talk about that much!! Those standing-up-diaper-changing-times a definitely a skill….and unfortunately go by too fast! <3

    Reply
  • May 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm
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    This is a sweet post. Here are my favorites – getting outside, not caring about dirt, and kissing it better. Keep up the good work mom!

    Reply
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