Years ago my sister called from another state.
“How are you?” She asked.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m building a volcano with my kids!”
“Wow! You are such a great mom. I don’t think I’ve ever built a volcano with my kids.”
For awhile after that, it wasn’t uncommon for her to ask, “Are you building another volcano?”
I explained to her that that was just a once in awhile occurrence, a fluke that she called in just that one moment when I was being a “great mom.” She told me, “Yeah! It’s like the time a friend of mine came over and saw all of our crayons organized by color. She was so amazed at my organization skills when really it was just a once in awhile kind of thing.”
So for years it became a joke between us, “Just building those volcanoes!” and “Are you organizing your crayons again?”
All mothers have their Volcano Moments – – those times when they were being a “great mom” in the eyes of others; those experiences when we had the time and energy to go above and beyond our normal capacity. Oftentimes we look at other moms in their Volcano Moments and assume they are like that all of the time; or worse, that we are never like that ourselves. This then creates a vicious cycle of comparing, condemning and criticizing ourselves and those around us.
On comparing ourselves with and judging other mothers, Brene Brown wrote, “There are at least a million ways to be a great mother…Great mothers know that they are worthy of love and belonging, and as a result they raise children who know they are worthy of the same things (Rising Strong, p. 113, emphasis added).”
Do you know you’re worthy of love and belonging? Then you are a great mom! Want to be a great mom? Then start to recognize yourself as worthy of love and belonging! Though a beautiful sentiment, this is so much easier said than done! Every day it seems I’m in a different place on this “worthy of love” scale. Some days I feel like a rock star and other days…well, not so much. But I keep trying. I’m learning it’s important to recognize a moment for what it is…a moment.
Though Volcano Moments are fun and worth adding to our days, we don’t need to base our value as mothers on only those moments. Nor should we base the worth of other mothers on their moments. Each day is what it is, complete with accomplishments and failures. Our internal, overall feelings towards ourselves during each of those days is what truly declares us great.
“To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle—and all will—I say, “Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are.” – – Jeffrey R. Holland – –
Real Imprints Get Organized Tip: If your crayons are everywhere and are driving you crazy, here are a couple great ways to keep your crayons organized: a case and a tower. Warning the first is A LOT less expensive!
This article first seen on Real Imprints.
Julia also writes at Spiritually Minded Motherhood.