excerpt from Momology :
I watched with interest as mothers stuffed their small children into coats and mittens in preparation for an icy-cold trek to the car. One particular mom-daughter-baby trio caught my attention. The daughter, somewhere between two and three, stood over a jacket with its arms stretched out on the floor in front of her, hood almost between her feet. Suddenly she swooped down, pushed her arms into the sleeves, and attempted to swing the jacket over her head and onto her body. Caught on her knit cap, the jacket failed to go on. After shrugging back out of the sleeves, the little girl looked to her mom. Bouncing the bundled baby, her mom simply said, “Try again” and the little girl did. No success, the jacket caught on the cap again. Her mom responded, “What else could you try?” The little girl thought for a moment before her eyes lit up and she yanked off the cap and threw it to the ground. Arranging the jacket once again, she swooped down for another try. The jacket sailed over her head and slid in place down her back, the hood gently framing her face. Her victorious grin mirrored her mom’s.
I admired the little girl’s patience and creativity, but I admired her mom even more. Instead of hurrying through the snow clothes routine, she encouraged her daughter to try a creative solution, even when it meant trying and failing and trying again.
For just about my entire life, I’ve been fascinated by how moms do this mom thing. As a girl, I remember watching new moms, wrinkled and bent moms, and moms surrounded with hordes of kids as they received prizes every Mother’s Day for having tiny babies, for being moms for a long, long time, and for getting the most kids to sit together in church at one time. I also watched my own pretty amazing mom juggle husband, kids, home, job, friendships, and volunteer work with ease (she’s since confessed it wasn’t as easy as she made it look).
Just before I had my first child, I smugly watched moms, quite certain I would manage with ease where they struggled to succeed. I had my list of “I will nevers,” “my children will nevers,” and “nevers in a million years.” During my first couple years as a mom, I didn’t do much watching, certain I had the mom thing down pretty well. At about the two-year point, I started watching again, my list of nevers quickly disintegrating (bet you can guess why!) to be replaced by a longer list of “another mom does this better,” “her kids do that better,” and “I better get better or my child is doomed.” For a while, mom watching became a distressing spectator sport in which my home team rarely came out on top.
Four children and two decades of mothering and mom watching later, I’m comfortable enough in my own momness to once again appreciate and learn from other moms. Working in an organization that provides opportunities for moms to connect with other moms, I’m convinced that moms are impressive. As I watch moms, I’m more certain than ever that as we fulfill the all-important role of shaping our children and the world in which they grow up, we are the most creative, resourceful people on the planet. We have to be — the future of the planet snuggles up at our sides, plays at our feet, looks to us for love and direction.
Moms are artists, combining ideas and resources in personalized, creative ways. We are also scientists, testing a hypothesis we think will work for us as mothers. We tweak it again and again until the creative and scientific processes merge into something that works for us and our kids–a way to mother that is uniquely our own.
Momology: A Mom’s Guide to Shaping Great Kids is based on research and mom-creativity. We learned from research done by organizations including Search Institute, the YMCA, and Barna as well as parenting experts, government agencies, and major universities. Just as important, we learned from surveys of moms like you. About 1,800 moms participated in surveys conducted for Momology; still others shared their stories and ideas during one-on-one interviews. Momology was shaped by a team of moms–veterans and rookies. What we learned together influenced the selection of four areas we believe contribute to shaping great kids.
- Knowing who we are: building a healthy, resilient mom CORE
- Knowing what we're capable of: developing FINESSE in the ways we daily interact with our kids
- Knowing who we can cound on: interacting within a CIRCLE of relationships that support us and our kids
- Knowign who God is: engaging with him in his GRANDSCAPE