In Breaking Busy, Alli Worthington tells a story about her childhood jar of marbles. Some were dusty and muddy colored, some were vibrant and glistening. When she removed the dingy ones, the whole effect became more beautiful.
She wraps this story up in a beautiful metaphor. Our shiny marbles represent our unique talents, gifts, and passions. The dirty marbles are the lame expectations and distractions muddying our brilliance.
Some potential dirty marbles dragging you down include:
- Outdated obligations
- Shoulds and oughts
- Needless guilt
- Fear of failure
Parenting without comparison
We have a family friend whom I respect immensely. She and her husband have 6 kids, whom she homeschools. Her children are a delight. They are respectful, engaging, unique works of art. Each of them has a special talent for ballet, drawing, robotics, poetry, or piano.
Mrs. T has given them all her love of art. She does beautiful projects with them. I don’t mean those cookie-cutter crafts, where the focus is on the product. Together they dig deep into rich, authentic art processes. Her children win contests, decorate the halls of her home, and have a creative outlet to carry the rest of their lives!
Yet when my parents complimented her artistic home, I didn’t hear her satisfaction. She expressed to my father that what she really wished for, was to cook like him. She wasn’t happy being the art mom if she couldn’t also be the homemade-gourmet mom!
What kind of mother are you?
I’m the book-reading mom.
Before he even turned two years old, our son would take books from dad and give them to me. I make signature voices for different characters. Big hand motions to act out the book. Crazy faces in reaction to the story. Most importantly, I can give the same performance whether it’s the third time or the 13th time we’re reading the same book in a day. Storytelling is a joy to me.
I’m the free-range mom.
Do you want to climb to the top of the jungle gym? Awesome, I’ll spot you.
Do you want to carry in the 5 lb sack of potatoes? Be my guest!
You want to run through the puddles, and make squishy-stompy sounds in the mud? No problem. That’s what the washing machine is for.
Anything you think you can do, I’ll support you. And be there to catch you if you fall.
I’m not the arts and crafts mom
I don’t paint, knit, hand-letter, or draw. The baby book is sporadically updated to around one year. My two-year-old is still impressed by my wobbly circles, but he’ll be better than me soon. And you know what? I could not care less. It’s ok to not rock everything out there.
You don’t have to be everyone, to be someone.
It is impossible to serve every function! In fact, you weren’t created to.
God has given you certain talents. He has made you to be the mother of your children. As they grow, they will learn from others’ talents as well. Your husband, family, friends, fellow parishioners, and countless other people will invest in your child’s life too. If your child needs the sports mentor, the touchy-feely emotions lady, or the amazing chef, God will bring them into your child’s life.
Who you are is sufficient. If you’re worried about being a good mother, then you already are. What kind of mother are you? A good one.