Last Valentine’s Day I was feeling blue.
I saw the fun things my friends were doing with their kids—throwing Valentine’s tea parties, making sugar cookies, and serving red-and-pink meals.
And I was wishing I was that kind of mom.
I don’t craft, I’m not a great baker, and I’ve never hosted a tea party. But I wanted to make this particular Valentine’s special, and I started to feel sad that my kids didn’t have a cutesy, crafty mom.
On Valentine’s night, after our plain, normal-colored dinner, we sat in the living room while my kids dug through their Valentine’s loot (pointing out that I was the only mom that didn’t attach candy to their valentines. See?).
But then something happened.
My husband spontaneously turned on some fun music. I jumped up and grabbed a kid off the couch, and we danced. Our living room quickly became a loud, crazy dance party. And everyone, from my husband down to the baby, was dancing. Suddenly, I realized what kind of mom I am.
I’m Crazy Dance Party Mom.
I can’t frost a cookie to save my life, but I can crank up some music and party like I just don’t care.
Because that’s who I am.
It was then, in my living room, watching my kids swirl and laugh and dance around me, that I realized it: I am the best mom for my kids.
God gave them to me. He didn’t give them to Crafty Mom. Or Tea Party Mom. Or Intricate-Hairstyle Mom. And He knows what He’s doing.
I can picture Him saying, “Hmmmm. These five kids need a mom who can dance and be silly with them. I’ll send them to Whitney. Wait . . . why is she trying to bake heart cookies and make homemade valentines? Oh, it’s because she’s trying to keep up with her neighbor. Ooooh. She just burned half the cookies and she’s going to have to run to the store and get the last three boxes of generic dog and cat valentines on the shelf because hers didn’t turn out. She’s close to hysterics. And now she’s yelling at her son because he dropped the milk jug while she was trying to update her Facebook status (‘V-day fun with the kiddos!’) I wish she would stick to what she does best. Which is dance parties.”
Do you see?
God made you the mother of your children because He needs you to do “you” things with them.
That doesn’t mean we can’t try new things, or do things with our children that they enjoy. It simply means we can stop worrying that we aren’t mothering our kids the way our friends are mothering theirs. There is a right way to mother your kids, and that’s by capitalizing on your own God-given strengths. They’re yours because they need what you have.
Do you love schedules? Your kids need a scheduler. Do you love sports? Your kids need an athlete. Do you love stories? Your kids need a storyteller.
They don’t need any other kind of mom.
It’s a truth I learned powerfully that Valentine’s night. Our best mothering happens when we mother authentically—not when we’re trying to do it like someone else.
So relax. Don’t force it. Put your mom blinders on and focus only on what matters: your kids. God has given you specific tools and talents to raise them. And although you aren’t perfect, you are their perfect mother.
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In this thoughtful collection, dozens of Latter-day Saint women across generations share their gospel insights and the occasional contradictions found in everyday motherhood. Perfect for all women in whatever role they occupy, All Kinds of Mothers examines motherhood from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, reminding us that there are countless ways to fulfill the divine calling of motherhood. Available now at DeseretBook.com.