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Me? That mom? Are you sure?

by Alexandra Kuykendall

honestly

May 22, 2014

Me? That mom? Are you sure?

“I just didn’t think I’d be that mom” I knew my friend would understand, “you know the one with all girls.” My husband Derek and I were still reeling from the ultrasound results that yes, we were going to have a third girl. I don’t know why it was so shocking to us, we went into the pregnancy and the appointment knowing there was a fifty percent chance that “It’s a girl!” would be the result. It was probably in part that we were facing the reality we’d never have a boy, at least not in the old fashioned way. We weren’t going to keep having babies just to get a boy in the mix.

But my shock at the all-girl news was also based on what I pictured when I thought of a mom of all girls. For some reason my brain went to a woman who made matching dresses, well smocks actually. I conjured up girls with big hair bows, and quiet manners, and a put togetherness that I’d never had as a mom, and knew myself well enough to be certain I never would. I looked at my bed headed, stained shirted, never kept a bow in their hair for more than five minutes older daughters and the bewilderment continued.

“Well, God knows me.” That was my resignation in it all. If God wanted these girls to have matching dresses he wouldn’t have made me their mother. In fact if he’d wanted them to live in a spotless house and drive around town in an immaculate car, they wouldn’t have gotten me either. Is this thinking simply a way for me to justify not doing the things I should? No. It’s a way for me to escape the guilt that builds up from all of the lies, you know the ones that start with “you should” and point out how I’m falling short, and pushes me toward my assets.

Parenting from my strengths rather than my deficits frees me up to focus on the “I wills”. Those burning passions in my heart that tell me THIS is why God made me a mother. They are centered on my interests, talents, experiences. Now of course there are things I should do (like make my kids brush their teeth on a more regimented schedule than they currently do) because I’m a mom and I need to be responsible for caring for these little people God did without a doubt entrust me to care for. But here’s the thing about most of us. We are thoughtful conscientious parents who all day long do good for our kids. We don’t need to focus on the shoulds because the REAL shoulds, the ones that have to do with general health and safety of our children, we’re already doing them on autopilot. The extra shoulds (like my child should start learning to read music by age 3) are the extras, unless of course music IS your family’s passion and one of the few ways you know God has uniquely wired you to mother.

Even as I write this I am already letting the “yeah, buts” creep into my brain. The ones that say, “yeah, but what about foreign languages and biblical literacy and athletic prowess…and…. that list could never stop. Of good things I think I should be doing. When put together as one long to-do list are simply impossible to actually get to. Do you hear that my friends? We can’t do it all.

When I say I resigned myself to believing God knows me, it really is my discipline toward trust. Trust that I’ve got this. That he thinks I can raise these people. And I’m going to give it my best effort because I AM THEIR MOM.

So here’s to the “I wills”. I will make cupcakes for birthday parties and sit with a girl doing fingerprint art from her Ed Emberly drawing book and blast Taylor Swift in the car. Because I AM that mom. That one my girls need. That one my girls got. 


 

As a mom to four girls, ages 11, 8, 4 and 2, Alexandra Kuykendall is offered daily doses of the ludicrous and sublime. She is the author of this year’s MOPS International theme book, The Artist’s Daughter, A Memoir and is the Mom and Leader Content Editor for the organization. This means she reads a lot and writes when she can. But don’t be fooled by long and fancy titles, most of Alex’s days are spent washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma. You can connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com. 


 

 

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When was the last time you thought you weren't cut out for this? 

Related topics: reality, news, life, kids, husband, girls, alexandra

Share your thoughts

Our mix is the same three girls in total...twins 18months old and a 10 year old. Our family especially my husband younger brother and wife like to point out that there is 9 years between our girls... My husband is the the middle child of three boys and his older brother revels in his family mix of two boys, but his younger brother and wife are jealous of our girls and no fun to b around. Like we had a hand in nature :(

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Two weeks ago at our 12 week ultrasound for #1...so excited, so terrified I'm going to screw it up!

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Jessica, Congratulations! You are entering a great adventure where you will no doubt have moments where you are not sure you are cut out for it. You are! You were made for this.

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Every time she wakes us up super early and I hope she just goes back to sleep.

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Kim, I often get up early and PRAY my kids don't wake up so I can have two minutes of quiet and THINK. I often beg them to go back to bed. I totally get it.

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Every time I get impatient!

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Heidi - So been there and am there every day. Why can't I just be patient? I ask myself. From what I hear from other moms patience is the one thing we all wish we had more of. Hang in there.

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Today as both my kids were throwing tantrums because #1 let #2 have a flashlight but #2 wanted the other flashlight (which looked the exact same as the first) and kept trying to steal it from #1, and on and on went the fighting - even after time-outs were held by all... two toddlers is fun. :)

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Well of course everyone wants the same flashlight, especially if they both look the same, because it makes us crazy! Two toddlers is fun. I just had two argue over which episode of LazyTown to watch so I could have two minutes at the computer. I hope one of the timeouts was for you :)

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The twice already today that we've needed to leave somewhere and it took 10 minutes of reminding, begging, corraling, threatening, and tears!

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Emily, I have now planned in an extra 10 minutes before we leave the house. It's like their ears turn off when I say it's time to go.

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This afternoon as I laid my daughter down for nap...and she threw her bazillionth tantrum today.

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Bazillionth tantrum, that's mom lingo for "I need a vacation". I hope your day today has a bazillion minus a few and you can take a mini-vacay while she sleeps.

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How about everytime my three yr old says "no" to me or my one yr old refuses attention from anyone other than me?!

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Yes, both of those count as times when you ask yourself, Am I cut out for this? It's the repetition of it, isn't it? The "no" for the thousandth time has a different impact than that first "no". Nadine you were made to be their mom. I promise.

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When my daughter threw a temper tantrum this past weekend that never seemed to end.

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Megan - First, cute pic. And the vortex tantrum that sucks you both in, of course you question if you can survive it! Believe it or not you are divinely paired with your girl. I hope the tantrum is finally over (and maybe you can throw one of your own, we are all allowed them now and then).

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When I was diagnosed with anxiety after the birth of my triplets and just about every day before and after.

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Tawnda - Oh my word that sounds overwhelming. ANYONE would wonder if they were cut out for triplets. I trust you are doing it. Day by day. Do you have a support system of real live people who can come and help you?

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They are almost 4 now, so life is "easier." While I had good friends, my family was 5 hours of way. So I felt "alone" and was too proud to ask for help. My sister and her family moved to town when they were 1 and that has helped. I still tend to rely on my own strength more then anything. :(

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When my 3-yr-old asks "why" for the 1,000,000th time while walking through the store, and I've simply had too much to answer politely anymore. Each stage is fun, but oh so hard. And then I look at her baby brother and realize that we get to do all of them again. So hard, so blessed.

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"So hard, so blessed." LOVE IT. Last night my four-year old did the "then what" game. What are we doing now? Then what? Then what? Until I hit we'll wake up in the morning and I had to end it. I couldn't take it anymore! So hard. So blessed.

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Almost daily: we had 4 babies in 5 years and sometimes I wonder "what were we thinking?!" But they are such sweet (DIFFERENT) blessings. HE gave me the babies and each moment He gives me the grace to press on!

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True Courtney our kids are different. As a fellow mom of four I know how precious each one is and the feeling of "what were we thinking?" Thanks for the reminder God gives us our children and meets our needs as we parent them (though sometimes we are stretched for sure).

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I guess the last time was when my 18 month old son gave me and my husband a bad stomach bug and I was so sick and trying to take care of a sick toddler.

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Those are the moments when you can't do it on your own. Oh I hope you had backup. And if you didn't I know you made it work Amy because that's what we do as moms, press forward even when we think it's impossible.

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Almost every day! God's grace is what gets me through!

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Amen to that! On all fronts. Thanks for posting Leah. Simple truth right there.

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When 2 or all 3 of my kids are sick at the same time, or when we are on a road trip driving from TN to CA, that's when I feel that I'm not cut out for this!

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TN to CA?! No one is cut out for that. If you did it and survived Heather, you are my hero. Any tips you can offer for the road trip? (especially around siblings bothering each other?) We have a long one planned for this summer, from CO to ID, not as far as yours, but long enough to have some throw downs in the back seat!

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