My kids have a thing about asking “Who do you love more?” questions. These can range from “Who do you love more…Papa or me?” to “Mom, ask me who I love more…my pillow or you!” Of course the answers would always be safe and honest like “both of you, of course!” or “I super love you more than my pillow, mom!” (dapat lang, anak!)
Some nights ago, my 9-year old son and I were lying in bed having our usual pillow talk when he said “Do you know why I can never choose who I love more among you, papa, and Dawnie?” Then he goes on to give a special reason for each person like “I love Papa because he always plays with me and loves sleeping with me”….”I love Dawnie because she is so cute and I enjoy playing with her” and then he said “And I love you because I think you’re the kindest in our family” (whuuutt???) This caught me by surprise since I know I am not the kindest person especially when I am with my kids. I get angry at them, sometimes more than they deserve, when I get home tired and stressed from work. I sometimes get too lazy to play with them when all I want is to just lie down and read a book before bedtime.
But my son saw my character glass half full.
He talked about the many times I laughed with him even while we were reviewing a difficult lesson. He reminisced about the time we played Marco Polo inside our bedroom and I fell off the bed trying to chase them. He saw the kindness in between my outbursts and loves me for those and more.
Yesterday, I saw this Mothers’ Day video that was producedby Fern-C Kidz (which is an excellent non-acidic vitamin c for kids, by the way!). It interviewed some moms and asked them about how they view themselves as mothers. As a surprising contrast, the second half of the video was an interview of their children, showing the moms how their children see them.
I am not an ideal mother. I try my best to be, as most moms do. But I also know that most moms feel that we often fall short of what, to us, is ideal. I love how one of the moms in the video said that it was very relieving to know that to our children, we are enough. And I think that is indeed the reward of motherhood. When we become the mothers our children need in their lives, then we have done more than enough. We can read all the parenting books in the world, but I am realizing more and more that the ultimate driver of successful parenting is simply love. And if love is the only foundation that we need to be an ideal mom, now isn’t that an easy feat?