So. I have been momming for 6 years now, and mostly feeling like a complete failure, which is ridiculous. But emotions are powerful, and I must contend with them. In order to stop feeling like a failure, I am going to define, for myself, the “right” way to mom. I say “right,” because there is no such thing. But I am completely overwhelmed by the options out there and the infinite ways I could mom better, so this is necessary.

(Disclaimer: This is a definition for me only, based on things I value, and is in ZERO way a condemnation of any other parenting method. My stomach is in knots just thinking someone might be made to feel badly over what I write right now….)


Being a good mother is feeding the kids multi-colored food, letting them play freely, touching them lovingly at least once per day, and reading to them.


As I read the words I just wrote, everything in me is screaming that THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. I think I find it especially hard to accept because these are things I already do. Living in Spain right now, for just a month as an immersion vacation, I think I can distill it even more nicely in Spanish, because reading to them is a way to love and feed them at the same time, so it doesn’t need to be mentioned separately:


Alimentarlos, amarlos, liberarlos.


Upon looking back over my post about creating a family foundation, I see that my current priorities are the same as they were then: health, education, and Jesus in no ranked order. I also still work towards the mission, vision, and values statements I created.


My Mission Statement

To become a joyful family by loving others, serving others, and being thankful for what we have.


My Vision Statement

We encourage each other and help others to see the beauty in themselves, so they too might experience joy, peace, and fulfillment.


My Values

Love
Thankfulness
Kindness
Generosity
Effort


Reading these over, I know I need to finally do what I said I ought to do 3.5 years ago when I wrote it. I need to post this in my home somewhere visible. As my husband’s job keeps taking us all over the world, I feel less and less grounded, but the information above acts as a sort of anchor. Reading this more often could help me to keep in mind only the things that are most important to me, and let all the other stuff fall away.


Time will tell. This at least an attempt, yet another Try when I have just read that I ought to stop trying if I want to be happier.  SMH.  :)

Jennifer Jasensky is a Dubai resident, United States transplant, former mathematics teacher and dancer/choreographer. She is an outgoing homebody and perpetual idealist whose love of learning knows no bounds. She is most happy enjoying a good book with a plate of kaya toast, runny eggs, and kopi-c peng siew dai, but now that she has moved from
Singapore to Dubai, drinking an iced latte in the ocean is fast becoming her happy place.

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