Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Young Mother of the Year

So, there is this blog that I frequent, written by a woman I don't know personally, but who is an author and photographer who I think is really neat. Today she posted about how she was honored by the American Mother's Association as "Young Mother of the Year" for her state. How awesome is that! First of all, I think that having an award for motherhood is a big "FINALLY!" moment. Because motherhood truly is the hardest calling you'll ever have, and the toughest work you'll ever do.

I thought it was interesting that they had both "Mother of the year" and "Young mother of the year" awards. To me, it really denotes the very different stages of life we go through. Young mother, to me, says "this is my crazy life and I'm doing all that I can despite sleepless nights and endless diapers and hysterical tantrums (by toddlers and mothers alike!)" Mother, I guess, speaks more to an older, wiser woman whose children are ready to leave the nest, or perhaps already have, who are still mothering in their own way (for you never retire from being a mother. It is the stage when you can finally take a breather and gather in your years of experience to perhaps impart some wisdom to us young mothers who aren't sure we're going to make it.

As I read about the gala honoring this specific young mother, I of course began to reflect on my own role as a mother. Just how am I doing? What am I doing that I might be considered in such a light?

This line of thought immediately led to negativity. Well, I'm short-tempered when I'm tired, and I snap at my sensitive 5 year old, and I'm annoyed at having to carry around my one year old all day, and I never do crafts with my kids, and I rarely have anything long-termed planned, and I haven't been able to get on the chore bandwagon, and just this morning my oldest son looked up at me while we stood at the bus stop and sadly stated that he never gets to spend any time with me.

No doubt about it...I would never even be nominated.

Then I checked myself. I immediately banished all negative thoughts, and I reframed the question to myself like this:

What is something that I AM doing that would qualify me for young mother of the year?

This made me think of all the good, even great, things that I do. The purpose was just to come up with one, but once I started going, I realized I could come up with a good list of positives about myself as a mother.

Here are some of them:

1) I encourage questioning, curiosity, and inquisitiveness. I like my kids to ask questions, then we discuss the answers, then we ask more questions. I think this is one of the most important tools they can develop as children.

2) I love to read to my kids. We read 2 books at nap, 2 books at bedtime, a bible story, plus I tell one "made-up" story, every day. We read lots of other times as well, but the above is a daily minimum.

3) I fill our house with music. We sing just about all the time. I play the piano and guitar and sing children's songs. We make up songs about everything. Everyone in our home can be found humming a soundtrack to their life at least once a day.

4) During the good weather, we get outside all the time. Parks, beaches, hikes, backyard, soccer, baseball - we love it all.

5) We hug and kiss and cuddle constantly. My boys are very affectionate, which I think is awesome.

6) While I haven't been able to yet, I'm excited to volunteer in their classrooms at school. Once all my kids are in school, I intend to be in their classrooms constantly. I also hope to run a music class, since there isn't one at their school.

This was a really good exercise for me. I realized that while we might be hard on ourselves that we don't fit a specific mold that we think is "young mother of the year," there are definitely, positively, without a doubt, things that we are each AWESOME at. It's important to remember them now and then.

I think I'm going to organize a gala of my own, for all my friends who are young mothers, because I think we all deserve the award for "Young Mother of the Year."


Anonymous said...


I think it's interesting how we often tend to look at the negative. It's so easy to do. Even my students (so young) tend to look at their tests as 'I got 2 wrong'. I ask them to look at it like 'I got 8 right'. I, too, think it's very important for us to look at things in a positive light.

Love, Mom

S.C.M. said...


This post really hit home today as I am feeling a tad bit negative lately. And your 4th paragraph in really got to me, cause thats how I feel all the time.

Being a mother is a very hard job!

Your post made me step back and think that well it may be hard every single day I also cherish my children and every chance I have with them.

Terri-Ann said...

S.C.M. - lurkers are always welcome - and feel free to comment anytime. I'm glad these words were right for you today. They were thoughts I certainly needed to hear "out loud" for myself. Motherhood is a crazy journey - crazy good, but crazy nonetheless.