Thanks, Poppins Mom, for this lovely theme. I have to admit, I've struggled with it whenever I've thought about it, because it doesn't seem like I do anything out of the ordinary as a mom, but I had to give it a try, so here goes:
With your typical need to be objective and give yourself feedback about everything, I'm sure you can think of lots of things you're not doing for your kids - you don't always remember their medicines, you love it when they've gone to sleep and the house is quiet, you yell at them and lose your temper and sometimes you make them cry. You forget to make Chubbocks do his school assignments and sometimes you're not organised enough to produce on-demand whatever the school has asked for. You missed the admission deadlines to start with for Chubbocks' schooling. You not only go out to work but enjoy it and forget about C and P for hours every day when you're busy.
On the plus side, though, you do have a few things going for you. The first is that despite not being gaga about kids and frankly nervous and unwilling to start with when you heard you were pregnant, you not only went through with but enjoyed the process of transformation - the rush of hormones that made you feel like a mom, the operation, the turning-into-a-human-pincushion with all the bloodtests (well, ok, maybe you didn't enjoy the last two, but you did it. Not once but twice!). Not only that but you let that little drooling 7 pound bit of mush turn you from a gung-ho career woman into one who couldn't bear to let the baby out of her sight for the first six months and who actually down-shifted and worked parttime and took up an easier job so it would free up your mindspace for the baby.
You're not always up there with teaching the kids their alphabets and numbers and stuff ( thank God for your mum, else they'd be little illiterates). But you do like to teach them the art of whimsy - knowing the names of each flower in the garden and kissing them in the spring, dancing like loons to any and every song, giving answers like four hundred and eighty six when your son asks how old you are, not squashing ants but carefully observing how the mother ant is carrying food home for her babies and helping her by brushing obstacles away...You teach them to laugh and have fun, and everyone who's ever met your kids comments on what happy children they are.
You don't teach them about ambition and excelling and any of that, but you do teach them kindness and respect and how to laugh and enjoy the world around them every day. You let them fall down and bump themselves a few times and not get up to cry but turn to look at how badly they bruised the floor. You teach them to let go of dignity and 'face' and just be themselves. You encourage their creative and artistic sides, even as you don't focus too much on what they are 'supposed to be learning'.
You're determined to do the best you can for them. I remember...how you drove yourself mad with guilt when C didn't breastfeed. And how much effort you put in to ensure P did, from eating herbs to researching on the net to staying up late pumping to taking medicines and lugging the pump to the office which didn't even have a space to do it in. How many nights you cried about C's terrible Two Tantrums and how much research you did and all the books you read to figure out how to cope. How from someone who used to be so finicky, you're now even ok hanging out with babypuke on your clothes while they nod off to sleep. And how you fight even with their father or your parents or inlaws for the right to choose how they should be brought up.
Most of all, you've made the key transition that every parent needs to make to become the best parent possible - you've learned to put their needs ahead of yours, in big matters or small. You learn to wrestle with your own temper, with your emotional needs to hold your babies close, with your fears and demons, in their better interests. When you hurt them, you cry right along with them. And you know no one in the world could love your two more than you can. Most of all, I think the kids know it, judging by the way their faces light up when you walk into the house, and by the way they'll even miss going to Ajji's house if you happen to be home from work. I think that makes you a good mom.
PS. Do you think you could work on the temper a little?
Cross-posted on Rainbow Days