Saturday, March 1, 2008

Self-evaluation in Mothering

Today I dropped my three boys off at their uncles house for a couple of hours so I could get something done. That something was taking a trip to my storage unit where almost all of my earthly belongings sit in boxes waiting for me to come look at them. It's a 10x10 unit and I actually went through every single box there. The most needed items were shoes. Shoes that my oldest had grown out of and the other two needed badly. I'm sure glad I found them because those sales at Payless have been calling out to me. It is so hard to be patient these days. A quick swipe of the credit card and Voila! Three new pairs of shoes. Well, I didn't have to go through that. Now I have clothes, shoes, games, toys, a curling iron, canned pears, bottled grape juice, food storage, and finally my own winter coat. (A quick word of advice: Never move anywhere without your winter coat.)
The one item that actually prompted this post was a purple cassette tape in the wrong tape jacket. It's called Lullaby. Before I had my first child I would periodically stop at different stores and just walk through looking for good deals on things. I went to the Burlington Coat Factory in Provo and walked through their lamp/furniture/baby section. On top of a bookshelf was a small white wooden rocking horse that held four cassette tapes with assorted children's songs. It was cheap, so I bought it.
Jump ahead a few months and I remember sitting in the rocker with Atticus after his 5 o'clock feeding. I would put on that same lullaby tape to get him to go back to sleep for a few more hours. He was such a small bundle and so snuggly. I remember one morning I listened to the music and looked at him and thought about how he would have to grow up and experience hard times in life. I started to cry. Gosh, I was a baby! But hey, as I write about it I get teary eyed again. I suppose all mothers can always picture their children as they were when they were babies. They were so innocent. I was a baby too. I wonder what my mother thinks about me now. Does she still hurt for me? Will she forever? I suppose so, knowing her. My mom is the most feeling woman there ever was. (She cried while watching the Elf with Will Farrell. I guess the Christmas spirit really gets to her.) Anyway, all these mother-child strings form and won't ever go away no matter what happens. I just hope I can grow with my children instead of away from them. I hope I won't ever criticize them. My parents never criticized me, ever. Does anyone know of any self test you can take as you go along the pathway of motherhood to see if you're doing okay? There are so many mothers that I've observed that have no idea that they are over critical of their children, or clueless about what their children are up to, or much too involved in their own lives to notice their children enough. I'm sure they got that way somehow and I'm sure it started out very subtlely. How can you detect it early on?


Hillary said...

If you ever find that mom evaluation test, let me know. I'd like to know if I'm on the right track too. (Wouldn't we all?)

Sonja said...

Eek! I would like to answer your question, but I must now go do some soul searching.

Good thoughts though. I think you are a teriffic mom, by the way.

Sonja said...

Okay, I've thought about it. This is tough, Christine, because I feel this so acutely right now. I couldn't help but think, "She's talking about me!" I think it does happen subtly, for the most part. It's the adversary's greatest tactic.

I think the temple is our greatest defense against this. I need to go. You want to go with me sometime?

Layla said...

Christine! I'm so utterly, entirely jealous of you! You get to live in Turkey. I would love to be there. Can I visit? I miss seeing you at church. Your boys have gotten so big and they are so cute!