I’m that kind of mom

As I pulled the peanut butter muffins from the oven the other night at 9 p.m., I thought, “Now, this is the kind of mom I am.”

Yes, I am that mom who bakes. I’m also the mom who cooks dinner every night. I “spoil” my family a bit by making them breakfast, too. Sometimes.

Yes, I bake. A lot. Muffins are a breakfast favorite.

But I don’t make breakfast every day, at least on school days. And I do NOT get up early so it can be fresh. No, if I feel like making breakfast on a school day for my husband and kids, I make it the night before so I can sleep in. Muffins will still be tasty but not hot from the oven, guys. Either you eat them cold, or you can have them warm if you give ’em 12 seconds in the microwave.

I’m the kind of mom who does things on my own schedule, at least when it’s possible.

I’m not the kind of mom who does everything I find on Pinterest. It’s fun to browse and get ideas for cool projects or decoration or holidays or … whatever. But I’m not fool enough to think I need to actually DO all that stuff. Honestly, I think Pinterest has just upped the ante yet another 10 notches on what seems to have become competitive parenting.

I am the kind of mom who reads to my kids, or has read to them for much of their young lives. I can’t help it; I love books. I have shelves and shelves of them. There are bookshelves in all the bedrooms, as well as the living room and office.

I’m not the kind who schleps my kids to all kinds of activities and lessons. Two of my girls take piano lessons. And that’s it on the scheduled stuff. My philosophy is the old-school one that holds that kids need plenty of free time to find their own way, be creative, play, figure things out on their own. Plus, I just don’t have the money to pay for gymnastics, dance, etc., and I don’t have time and energy to taxi them around nonstop after 3 p.m. They don’t play organized sports, either. I love to exercise, and I want them to be active, but I admit I’m personally not very good at sports. So, yeah, that’s kind of influenced my parenting. But my girls have plenty of opportunity to play and be active. We have a pool in the back yard, a swingset and slide, a basketball hoop, and other outdoor play stuff.

I’m a mama bear when I need to be. Some things that happen to my kids (at school, primarily) make me instantaneously morph into werebear. But the rest of the time, I try to let them figure things out themselves. I am not going to step in and take care of little details. I don’t have time and energy for that, and they need to learn. Simple as that.

I’m the kind of mom who still spends plenty of time reading. If dinner’s half an hour later than our “usual” time sometimes, so be it. If I’m sitting at the computer writing or doing my freelance editing, they know they will not get a welcoming response if they ask me something that isn’t truly urgent. And it almost never is, believe me.

It’s difficult to have a “life of my own” (which is still a fluid concept, open for definition and tricky to pin down) with four daughters, from a high school senior down to a first-grader. But I certainly do try. If I don’t get some free time, some quiet time, some space to myself to regenerate and let my mind wander and my body rest, I am a prickly, mean mom. So for the happiness of everyone, I need that time to myself. Balancing the right amounts of that is, again, tricky. But they know that I need it and I know they feel the difference in the atmosphere when I haven’t had “me” time.

I’m that kind of mom. I nearly wear myself out for my family much of the time. I’d do whatever is necessary to do what’s best for them. I absolutely ADORE my girls. I am in awe of them. They are beautiful inside and out and amazing and talented and funny and sweet.

But I’m the kind of mom who will never say “my children are my life.”

Right now, of necessity for their well being, their needs take up much of my time and energy, but I am still ME and have a SELF that’s not defined by being their mom. I have a life, and my children are a big part of it. I love that. I chose that. It’s seriously hard work. But I’m the kind of mom who values my individuality and still has goals that don’t directly involve my kids.

Yep, I’m all kinds of things. On some fronts, I’m the kind of mom who “does it all.” On others, I might seem to do too little. But I’m a great kind of mom.

Home life

Cathy Carmode Lim View All →

I’m a copy editor, writer, and book reviewer with three decades of experience. My book review website is RatedReads.com. I’m a mom of four and grandma of three.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Cheers!
    You are indeed the perfect Mom for your little’s and your family!
    I relate to most everything you stated and shared above, the exception being that all of our kids play soccer in the summer and some of the teens and little’s play school sports (volleyball, cross country etc)…and we do snowboard/ski in the winter but we try to keep an open schedule..
    I too make dinner EVERY night for my family (expect for date nights and I-don’t-want-to-cook nights aka take in) even though I dislike it and I dislike baking even more! But I love to see my family happy and connecting around the dinner table (even though some nights I wish I had ear plugs since there are five different conversations going on at one time!) as I’m sure you do as well so we put their happiness first most, not all, times.
    Take good care, I really enjoyed this post.

  2. I love that you know exactly who you are and that you embrace it! Your girls are blessed because you really are a great mom. I understand how challenging it is to balance our children’s needs and desires with our own and still remain true to ourselves. I’m finding that throughout my life, everything is basically a big balancing act. Trying to keep all the plates spinning is almost impossible, but there are moments that I have them all spinning and I feel really good about my life. When they don’t, I have to reflect and appreciate the moments when they did and exercise my faith that things will get better. (Unfortunately, the faith and appreciation doesn’t happen automatically.)
    Like you, I’m also the kind of mom that limits outside activities that take up too much time or money. I’m a taxi for school, church, and music lessons. That’s about it. I don’t need another thing to keep us busy.
    By the way, I love your peanut butter muffins. When I first saw the picture, I started salivating!

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