It is hard to toot one’s own horn, but in the case of motherhood every single accomplishment is worth recognizing. There are so many days that I am not getting any of it right, but there are quite a few moments where I tackle greatness. I am trying to embrace the good occasions and be less dumpy about the bad times. It is important that family achievements do not get overshadowed by spilled cereal milk, hidden treasures of dog poop in the house, or sibling bickering that sends me into a mommy tantrum. In parenthood, pessimism can take over more times than I would like, so here is where I feel I am killing it.
My kids kill at riding bikes. It is shameless boasting, but whatever my husband and I did to train them should earn us master degrees in recreational cycling. My oldest was riding without training wheels at age five, my younger daughter at age four, and my son accomplished this feat at three. I credit our love for being outdoors, and also our neighbor boys who are bike riding prodigies. Shout out to my fellow neighborhood mom who had all her boys riding bikes by the time they were three-years-old and also to the invention of the strider bike. It is a must-buy for kids as they near two-years of age as it can really peak the bike riding interest and also get children comfortable in bike balancing techniques.
Bike riding is a staple of childhood, and I love that I gave it to my kiddos so early. Especially during an era when screens and cell phones reign supreme. It can be hard to get little ones motivated to stay outside and play, but with bikes they feel more independent and love getting to pal around with their friends on wheels. Riding bikes quickly led my daughters into the era of rollerblading, while also giving our scooters a solid workout. We can take family walks and I actually converse with my husband because three older kiddos can ride ahead on their bikes while the baby rides in the stroller.
It is common knowledge that I love to read, and through some spectacular mommy maneuvering I have been able to pass that passion on to my kids. My children crave stories, with my older two really plunging into independent reading once school took hold. I credit great teachers and wonderful library staff for encouraging and showing my children the world of phonics and site words. My husband and I reinforced at home, but mostly we just read to them A LOT from the baby years and onward.
I would read fairy tales to get them to take a bite of food during the toddler years. A page could not get turned until some green beans got eaten. Audio books in the car were big when my daughters were younger, and are popular again now that my son has started preschool. I may hear a lot of Skippy Jon Jones and Lion Guard stories on repeat, but I don’t mind because the kids are quiet, content, and following along in a book.
The biggest mom success of getting my kids interested in reading is that my oldest and I read some of the same stuff thanks to incredible young adult literature. It gives us more conversation topics and builds an even stronger mother daughter bond. My children’s love for reading also seems to be paving a road for a better understanding in all things academics. Teachers want readers and readers want to learn. It is a beautiful thing.
Probably my proudest mom success is the network of mothers that I call friends. I am blessed to live on a street with a bunch of great moms, who have fun kiddos that seem to enjoy entertaining my tribe. This means while the kids are playing, we moms can collaborate and squeeze in some much needed adult time to stay sane. Even a five-minute conversation with my moms from the ‘hood, at the bus-stop, is enough to make me feel happy and ready to take on the day.
My networking skills have also gone well beyond our residential street. I have been fortunate to make great friends through my kids’ activities and school events. This is important because on the many days that include rough mornings with a side of too much laundry, I have friends I can text or call for a pep talk. It also feels good to be able to return the favor whenever a fellow mother is in need. Moms are meant to be more than just the holder of garbage and sticky hands, we can also be therapists and comedians. The days my friends help me or I help them are true successes.
I am not perfect, but I do know that I am a good mom. Acknowledging it may not come natural, but it is important to emphasize the good moments and pay less attention to the bad ones.