Momspiration

Since becoming a mother just over a year and a half ago, I feel like I have come into my own a bit.  I’ve figured out a motherhood style that works for my child and for me.  I’m sure it will evolve through the years.  However, I also realize that many other moms influence my mom style.  In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share a bit about them with you.

My own mother. She is the woman who has shown me what a mother is.  For sure, my own mom has been the biggest influence on

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my motherhood style.  My mom who is I think of as the definition of a mom.  She devoted her life completely to taking care of my brother and me as we were growing up.  Now that we’re both adults with kids of our own, she’s still devoted to taking care of us when we need it and most definitely to caring for her grandchildren.  My mom taught me to be selfless.  She taught me that doing what is best for my child is the most important and best thing I can do.  She was a great example of motherhood and one that I hope I can live up to for Lexiana.

My mother-in-law. I was blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law.  She is really a second mother to me, and someone I know I can call with questions or for anything and she’ll do whatever she can to help.  One of the biggest things that strikes me about my mother-in-law is her generosity.  She has a big heart and does as much as she can to care for others, including her grown sons, granddaughter and daughter-in-law.  I hope that generous spirit passes on to Lexiana.  My mother-in-law has also taught me that my child isn’t too young to start working in the kitchen.  She’s certainly not putting Lexiana to hard work, but she’s gotten her involved in baking and cooking and Lexiana loves it.  It’s inspired me to let my kiddo help me with some things like dumping eggs into a bread mixture or sifting flour.

My sister-in-law. She has to get her own category.  The woman has a 3-1/2-year-old girl and triplet boys who are 22 months old.  We were pregnant together — she with the triplets and I with Lexiana.  We had very different journeys, though.  She has given me great advice on many motherhood subjects.  From her I’ve learned to use a pizza cutter to make cutting up food easier for little mouths.  And in the early days of motherhood, she inspired me to keep pumping and feeding Lexiana my milk.  She did so for a year for her three boys.  Surely I could handle it for one.  I remember feeling like I couldn’t keep going with pumping and was so distraught at having to pump instead of breastfeed.  Though she could have been cocky about how she was doing it successfully for three, she was instead understanding.  She encouraged me and gave me tips to help me keep going.  She also makes me remember to not worry so much about every little thing and use moments to teach.  We went to an apple orchard together last fall with all the kids.  She pulled a piece of a cornstalk off and let each child feel of it to feel its texture.  Doing something like that had never even crossed my mind.  I was inspired.

My other female relatives. I have too many to mention by name.  But, I learned about motherhood from my grandmas.  My paternal grandmother loved children.  There is nothing that made her happier.  I wish she could have met Lexiana before going to heaven, but I know one day she will.  My maternal grandmother enjoys my little girl immensely.  I’m thankful for the time they get to spend together.  Of course, I have wonderful aunts in my life as well who have been there for me, continue to be there for me and enjoy Lexiana.  Their care inspires me.  I have cousins who I’ve seen grow up and become mothers.  And I’m thankful for those examples as well.

My friends. I have friends who inspire me as a mom who probably don’t even realize it.  There is a woman I go to church with who

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works, runs marathons and a few weeks ago took her two young children on a trip to Chicago alone without her husband.  I get nervous to go even an hour away on my own with Lexiana.  That’s inspiring to me.

Another friend I knew in graduate school.  She now has four children five and under.  Her testimony and witness as a Christian mother inspires me.  She views her children as her ministry and that inspires me the same way.  She gave me good advice in the early days of motherhood when I wrote about how I was struggling.  She told me during the times she got most frustrated as a mom, she realized that she was focusing on herself and her wants instead of her children’s.  Changing that perspective made it easier to be a mom.  It reminded me that motherhood is not about me.

The third is a whole gaggle of women.  We refer to ourselves as the Chatterbox Mamas.  I know them only online (except for one who lives nearby that I had the joy of meeting a couple months back).  All of us have kiddos who were due or born in October 2009.  We’re a relatively small group and we’ve grown close.  We all come from different walks of life and live all over the place (one lives in South Africa, in fact!), but we are bonded together.  These women inspire me as a mother.  They give me advice and encouragement.  They share in my joys and frustrations.  From them I’ve learned that Lexiana is old enough to start doing some crafts and activities.  I’ve been inspired to get her (and me!) out of our comfortable bubble at home and try some new things like story time at the library.  Heck, I’ve even garnered information from them on how to best handle things like giving baths in the big tub and teach my daughter to use a straw.

TV moms. A few famous moms have inspired me as well.  Michelle Duggar inspires me.  I’m not planning to have as many kids as she has, but I have garnered some nuggets of motherly wisdom from her.  For example, during a recent episode of her show she shared with a group of moms that children should always be praised in public and corrected in private.  That makes sense to me and I think is sound advice.  Other TV moms (I’m thinking Real Housewives, for example) inspire me to make sure that I’m making my child a priority when I see that they are not doing so.

My daughter. I saved the best for last.  Lexiana inspires me to be the best mom I can.  I wish I could be the perfect mother, but I can’t.  I hope I can at least be the perfect mother for her as my mom has been for me.  She deserves the very best and inspires me to try to be my very best for her each and every day.

I know I have other momspirations as well.  But, these are my main ones.  I’d love to hear from you mothers out there about who inspires you as a mom.

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