He Must See Something In Me That I Don’t.


**Please allow me to interrupt topical pandemic programming to bring you these unrelated musings on motherhood.**

Can we talk about little boys? I’m specifically referring to my three-year-old son, Beau.

He wears me down with his unbridled energy and catches me off guard with his sweetness.

I find myself simultaneously soaking him up and searching for patience, laughing out loud at the things he says and inwardly crying for a respite.

As much as I hate to admit it, his constant “ mommy mommy mommy” and need to be near me grates on my nerves more than it warms my heart.

In my quest to be the mother he deserves, I compare myself to the other adults in his life.

His daycare teacher, with her early childhood education and youthfulness. She understands him in a fundamental way that I never could. Milestones that I barely recognize, she sees and appreciates.

His “May May” (my husbands mom), with her eccentric personality and creative mind. Children are like moths to her flame, sensing a touch of magic in her ways. They do things together that would never even occur to me.

His daddy, with his many hobbies, love for the outdoors and overall tolerance for messes. The possibilities for the special times they’ll have together doing “guy things” increases with each birthday. He’s definitely the fun parent.

To name a few.

I’ve never seen myself as the maternal type but I do love being his mom.

On the weekends I’ll try to put some sort of structure into his day, to mimic daycare, because that is how I feel it “should” be. But it never really works out. Mealtimes, naps, activities – it’s all pretty haphazard.

Occasionally, I’ll try to be a crafty mom and think of projects for us to do together. Last month we did glitter pumpkins and it was a hit! It took everything in me to let glitter fall to the floor without immediately cleaning it up. But I haven’t come up with anything since…

Today I tried to playing “army men” with him. He seemed happy enough simply to have my attention but playing like that comes so unnaturally to me. I’m not good at pretend play. In fact, I sort of hate it.

And yet, when he spots me at daycare pick-up his entire face lights up as he drops whatever he’s doing and runs to me.

When all of his immediate and extended family members are under one roof, with their various enviable attributes, I’m the one he seeks out first. Always.

He must see something in me that I don’t. No matter how much I think I’m falling short as a mother, he can’t get enough of me.

And that’s what I’ve been reminding myself of lately.

Sure, I’m a little high strung. There are days when my fuse is short. I can be distracted and anxious. My brand of creativity benefits my employer more so than my child. I don’t really bake and I’m easily agitated by untidiness.

But I’m also loving and tender, literally a soft place for him to lay his head. I’m full of “I love you” ‘s and kisses for boo boo’s. I’m always up for singing a well animated “Old McDonald” in the car. I can really get into a game of hide-and-seek. I’m a huge fan of popsicle baths.

Again, as long as it’s not “pretend”, I can be a decently fun parent.

Whatever else it is that he sees in me, it must be enough. More than that, it’s exactly what he needs. I’ll never quite understand it, but I’ve decided to simply accept it and see myself through his eyes.

I’m an awesome mom.

Just as I am.

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Stephanie is a fitness professional on a mission to undo the damage done by much of her industry when it comes to body image, confidence and self-worth. She enjoys sharing her journey as she sheds the “fit chick” label and embraces authentic living from the inside out! A Mankato native, Stephanie is currently the Director of Healthy Living at the Mankato Family YMCA. She lives with her husband, Nick, and their 18-month old son, Beau. He is the light of their life! She enjoys finally sleeping through the night again, teaching and taking group fitness classes, and sharing her love for Restorative Yoga with all the other tired moms!