Themed Weekend: The Mother I Want to Be

Themed Weekend: The Mother I Want to Be 1If you met me four years ago, you would have seen a curly-haired girl with green-ish eyes, a masters degree, and a mission to save the world.

I wore heels and matching business suits and red lipstick. I wrote proposals and spoke at trainings. I attended meetings with my Franklin Covey planner in-hand, jotting down notes and business ideas. I ate salads with coworkers...some quirky, some candid, some kind.

If you met me today, you would see a curly-haired girl with green-ish eyes, a masters degree, and a mission to save the world.

But now I wear blue jeans and t-shirts and...red lipstick. I write the ABCs and I speak at trainings ("Don't forget to say please. No screaming at the top of your lungs at the dinner table. Etc."). I attend VIP picnics and go on "pretend airplane rides" with my spiral-bound notebook in-hand, jotting down notes and business ideas. I eat noodles and mandarin oranges with two little girls who challenge me and make me laugh.

Themed Weekend: The Mother I Want to Be 2It's strange how motherhood changes you, brings out your worst and your best. I am so different now, yet also still the same.

This weekend, I'll be sharing some of the qualities that I am striving toward as a mother. I often fall short of who I want to be, but I stand right back up again...and keep moving toward those ideals - allowing grace to give me the strength to try again.

YOUR TURN: What were you like pre-kids? How have you changed/stayed the same?

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Stay tuned for musings, giveaways, and conversation.

As posts are published, I will add them to this post so that you can have a comprehensive spot to see my entire round-up.

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27 comments on “Themed Weekend: The Mother I Want to Be”

  1. "There is no higher calling in life than raising the children God has trusted to our care." -James
    Dobson
    Raising six chilren has brought joy and purpose to my life!! It is by God's grace and mercy that we have made it through!

  2. in my 20's, many years before we had kids, I couldn't understand how women could leave a career to stay home with kids. I'm 40 now and have 2 kids under 4 and I thank God every day that I am able to stay home with my kids. I am enjoying every minute (well almost every minute) of my new career.

  3. You sound like a great, beautiful mother, with red lipstick ( :

    I was very different also before kids, but yet the same in so many ways.
    I spent more time out with friends and parties and shopping and now I spend most of my time at home with family, which has made me so happy and feeling so lucky.

  4. Before my son joined our life, I was working with preschoolers, content just to go along with my life the way I've always lived it.

    Now, I find myself wanting to make changes, to be healthier, to leave a smaller footprint, to leave the world (or at least my little corner of it) in a better condition than how I found it. I want to be a better role model for him, because I know his eyes are taking in everything I do, and learning from me, whether I'm aware of it or not.

  5. I was finishing college (which I did manage despite wicked awful morning sickness the final 3 months). I was having art shows, and possibly maybe considering grad school. And, then came Levi. Now you couldn't pay me to go to grad school, and I don't regret it at all. And, making art doesn't happen nearly so often as it used to, but I'm much much happier than I ever was. So, I'm okay with that. I'm just glad to be able to raise my little one.

  6. I don't even recognize myself some days. Sure at the core I remain largely the same person but my life is so drastically different. I think I would have resented the difference, the "hijacking" of my former life/self if I had become a mom when I was younger but we were so deliberate in starting our family and older than many so I (usually) delight in the difference. I know it is a short season in my life (although it will never really be the same again) so I try to enjoy it...but I do miss my pretty red leather Franklin Covy and my fabulous shoes some days. On the rare occasion I think I miss working, I imagine coming home from a day of meetings and having someone else tell me how the girls days were - that would break my heart.

  7. Pre-kid I was independent, a teacher, out and about with the world. Now at times I feel stuck, I do the same thing every day. And I feel lazy because I always have a to-do list a million things long and yet it never feels like I do any of it.

  8. I am basically the same! I have a bachelor's degree in psychology, but have never had a great job.
    Mostly, I do volunteer work. I am a SAHM mom, exclusively and we live on my husband's salary.
    Cindi

  9. Interesting. Glad you didn't give up the lipstick. I just redid my "about" page on Momtrends and talk about a lot of this. How I left fashion and all the deadlines to be "on" with my girls. I still wear heels, but on dates with the hubby. As business grows with the blog, I keep reminding myself the girls come first.

  10. I don't have a masters degree (although I am a martial arts master).I guess that doesn't count :-)

    7 Years ago I was a genuine bad-ass. I owned my own martial arts studio and was a fight organizer in Texas. I haven't kicked anything in 6 1/2 years. Instead I play fight with my kids and teach them to practice calm and to be patient. Still, deep down, I'm the same guy I've always been. Except now, my fluffy side gets to reveal itself. It's rewarding and enlightening. Thanks for sharing yours too!

  11. pre-kids i was working with kids. nannying, babysitting, teaching.
    i've just grown period. i feel like i was groomed for parenthood in so many ways that it has just almost come naturally but also had to be worked at in so many ways.
    even though i got a degree and all that fun stuff it wasn't hard to shove that all aside to be at home with my kids.
    i love that i can be a mom and also, like you, manage my time so that i can do some side work to help out financially.

  12. My life before becoming a Mom is quite different from others that I have read here today. I was a mere 18 years old when I became a Mom, just a few months after I graduated from High School. So, my pre-child self consisted of homework, football games, a part time job at a local restaurant, friends, and obviously a boyfriend. I can look back and see that I have struggled in many ways because of choices that I made that weren't smart, and have had many moments where I've felt like I've missed out.

    I am now 31 years old, have four wonderful children ages 12, 9, 4, and 2, and have been married over 10 years to my husband who is a pastor. I completed my Bachelor's degree in 2007, (yes a little late) and feel extremely blessed with my lifesong!

  13. Pre-kid(s) -- I was more organized, a bit cleaner, more on top of the little things (like what's for dinner!), etc. But now -- I know a lot about baby poop, nursing, am opinionated about things I never thought I would be opinionated about, sorta versed in the ins and outs of vaccines, etc. I like this wide of things better :)

  14. Stephanie, well said. I can totally relate to that, even the timetable is in alignment. For me, having kids is just a trigger, but to response to the trigger of who I want to be, I really have to work on my courage to leave the old "glamorous" life behind, to step off the familiar rate wheel and experience the new for better or for worse. Life returns handsomely... Thanks for sharing...

  15. Your life definitely sounds like mine! Pre-kids, I was a business suit wearing attorney doing lots of networking, trying to figure out which area of law truly spoke to me and how to make time for all of my other passions. Now I'm a SAHM still trying to figure it all out (this mothering business, I mean) and trying to find time for all of my passions.

  16. Your life sounds like my life before kids. And it is true that deep down, our basic self doesn't change when we become a SAHM. In a way it has made me get to know myself better (the good and bad) as all that other "stuff" made me worry to much about everyone else. And because of that, I'm striving to be the best mom and person I can be. I also fall short and it's nice to know I'm not the only one...

  17. I like your line about Motherhood bringing out your worst and your best. It's true. I wish the worst part wasn't, but sometimes it is. Motherhood has opened my eyes to ALL of who I am. Parts of me I never know. Mostly good.

    Before Motherhood I worked a job I hated, had no idea where I was going to go with my life. I had a quiet home with a husband I adored and still do.

    Now, after Motherhood, I'm busy and fulfilled. Because of them I now own a business that I adore and have been fulfilled by it in a way a job never would do for me.

    I'm far more compassionate and interested in helping others.

    Motherhood changed me into a better person. I love and adore my children for that.

    Nell

  18. Pre-kids I wanted to storm the education system and save ALL the children with my superior teaching skills. ;) Now... I want my own children to grow up smart and healthy and happy and I want to be there for every minute of it.

  19. Wow, this post really makes me think. I am such a different person than before I had kids. I am not yet the "mother I want to be" though... I work to find balance between being a great mom and being a great educator. Sometimes I think I find it, but more often than not I feel like I'm slighting both my children and my career a little bit.
    I like what Shannon said, above, about caring for myself more now. That's one way I've changed. I definitely take better care of myself now, knowing that there are a couple of beautiful little beings who rely on me and I want to be around to watch them and their own children grow.

  20. Great post! I have definitely changed a lot, and in some ways not so good. Motherhood does bring out the best and worst. I used to think I was a really patient person (I was a teacher, so I had to be) but my toddler has really been testing my patience. Though I have such a deep love for him that almost hurts (I'm sure you know what I mean). Motherhood has also made me a much more compassionate person. When I see things like the suffering in Haiti, or an elderly person who is alone, or just see someone going through a rough time, I feel so much more deeply for them. I think about how those people are parents and are/were children at one time and it really makes me feel deep sympathy towards them.

  21. I love the way my children inspire me to be a better person, a mother whose love they see and feel each and every day. I want them to care about others so that desire drives me to care more intentionally to reach out with purpose. I want them to be neat and orderly so I'm better about being neat and orderly. I want them to make their world a better place so I look for ways to make my world a better place. And the list goes on... Having children, being a mother - it's the fulfillment of my dreams - even the dreams I thought were incompatible with motherhood, even the dreams I didn't know I had.

  22. I sound like a broken record - but I will keep saying it - you create such great posts! I loved this one. I love that you find such joy in being a parent! I completely agree with you that being a parent has changed me, and brought out my worst and my best. Pre-kids I wouldn't have thought I would be so driven and purposeful about wanting to raise my kids to love others and make a difference. I suppose I just didn't think about it much, but now that I have these two little people in my life, I want, no...feel compelled to teach them how to treat others well and like you, become world changers...one loving deed at a time.

  23. That's a very interesting recap and it's amazing to me that you are still able to be the same person and being with your children also. I can't really say the same.

    My children have changed my life drastically in very good ways. Prior to my children I was a very lost person without a real goal. I mean, I was a college student but I'd been so bored with life to be honest. My children gave me a purpose and helped me to see things that I never saw before. Now that I have them, I actually think about myself more often as opposed to before I had them, which was when I'd never really cared to do much for myself or make myself happy. They bring out the best in me everyday.

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