You know, sometimes parenting is all down to perspective, as shown by this little girl who sparked a brilliant mindset shift in her struggling mum.
My life story
Story of This Life blogger Esther Anderson shared this story on her Facebook page a few years back, as a reminder that while we’re often terribly busy being hard on ourselves, our kids are feeling cosily secure in our embrace. And you know what? It’s even more relevant now than ever.
Esther uploaded a photo of herself, taken by daughter Ellia. The image captures Esther feeding her baby amidst the familiar chaos of a family lounge room. While the room’s not really photo-shoot ready, it is a relatable, loved and lived-in slice of life. It’s life ready, if you will.
It took Esther a little while to realise the powerful message behind the shot, but with some help from her clever daughter, she flipped the script noting that memories very rarely focused on a neatly-lived childhood.
“The baby was fussy, the girls were fighting, and I had been trying to get the laundry done all morning and was getting nowhere,” Esther explained on Facebook. “So I gave my phone to the girls to play on and Ellia snapped this picture, looked at me and said matter of factly, ‘you’re a good mommy.’”
“I literally let out a laugh thinking about the chaos of the morning and my frustrated mom mood, how I had just finished yelling at them and was about to give up and just let them fight.”
The baby was fussy, the girls were fighting, and I had been trying to get the laundry done all morning and was getting…
“The moments we spend”
Esther said that when she had a little more time to reflect, she realised that Ellia had gifted her something special.
“I found this picture later on my phone and was reminded that the memories our kids are going to have one day are not going to be of how messy the house is and how little laundry actually made it back into drawers but of the moments we spend with them.”
“A great mommy”
Other parents weighed in on Esther’s post, relieved to be in the company of another imperfectly perfect parent.
“You know what? THANK YOU FOR THIS PIC,” one commented. “I feel sometimes upset when I see mom posting pics of beautiful babies with perfectly clean and tidy houses and … do we have to talk about their hairstyle and make up?”
“I bumped into an old friend recently,” another wrote, “and after hearing about her awesome career, my 4 year old daughter heard me explain that no, I was not working right now, I was lucky to be home with the kiddos. When we got back in the car, she said ‘Mommy, did you know that you do have a job right now? It’s to be a great mommy. And to give me lots of kisses.'”
Out of the mouths of babes, right?!
This story was originally published on May 11, 2018.