One of the things I love most about being a mom, is that I do it my way. I always wanted children, and I remember saying I would raise them how I wanted. For the most part, I’ve stayed true to that.
In my version of motherhood, I prefer places over things. When I was growing up, I remember having lots of things: toys, video games, power-wheels, dolls, etc. I also had lots of clothes and shoes. My mother has always loved to shop, and she describes Andy and I as good kids, so she felt we were deserving of all that we had. In short, my parents never had a problem giving us the things we wanted. I am not saying they did anything wrong, but I am saying this is not something I have attempted to recreate.
A few months ago, a Facebook memory popped up on my husband’s timeline. I heard him laughing heartily from another room in our home and moments later, Christian was laughing too. I went in to see what was so funny and it was a video from Leela’s 4th Birthday. That year, instead of a party, (which my mother always strongly encourages), we took a trip to Lake Tahoe, so Leela could experience snow for the first time. The Facebook memory was a video of Christian falling off his sled into the snow. On the video, David is laughing hysterically, and years later, in our house, we were still laughing and talking about how much fun that trip had been.
In my version of motherhood, things just don’t matter as much. My kids only get toys and video games when my husband buys them. I am usually the one trying to get rid of them! Kids play with toys for a short while before they become bored and then, there’s just stuff everywhere. It’s the time spent that matters to me. Hikes, picnics, road trips and playing in snow are what I want my kids to remember when they look back on their childhood. I’m grateful for everything I had growing up, but I also don’t think it was necessary. So, every time I hear my kids talk about the places we’ve been and the things we’ve done, I am reminded that they are living the life I wanted for them. And I hope one day they will thank me for it.