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One Dumb Thing at a Time! (My Life as a Mom)

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Post by Sonshine on Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:49 pm

What kind of mom are you?

A good mom? Loving? Attentive? Caring?

As mothers we aspire to goodness and (generally!) feel we pull it off.

Yet, nevertheless, each day we have edgy self-doubts about something that-has-to-do-with-being-a-mom, and also about being a mom who teaches. But what is it?

For me, all of my under-the-surface self-doubts came together into words after I had been a mom for 23 years, a 13-year homeschool veteran, and had just decorated a Christmas cookie (not cookies; just one).

This one cookie was my best attempt for that one year. Even it, this one, looked pretty lame. I'm not a good cookie-maker. But in all the years that had gone by, all 23 of them, I kept trying to make good cookies! I kept thinking things like: "If I try a new recipe, or go to a cookie-decorating party or class, then I'll make a bunch of great cookies."

That year I decided to stop with just one cookie, one droopy cookie. For fun when it was done, I took a picture and texted it to my grown-up daughter, who's a great cookie-maker.

Quickly she texted back: "What? How about the rest!"

I answered, also quickly and with confidence: "One dumb thing at a time!"

She called me on the spot. While laughing she asked: "What do you mean? It's not so dumb! And where are the rest?????"

"Yes, it is dumb. And so there's just one!"

"Just one cookie!" she teased.

"Just one today!" I answered.

A week later she came to visit and made us a ton of great cookies. They also tasted good.

We're both still laughing about "One Dumb Thing at a Time." Since then this little slogan has been sinking in to me and giving me happy freedom. After all, think of all the different kinds of things we do as moms and as teaching moms. What are the chances that we can do them all well? Pretty slim.

Cleaning and decorating are completely different. Reading aloud and record-keeping are completely different. First-aiding and encouraging -- completely different. Teaching how to tie shoes and how to ride a bike -- completely different. Birthday parties and sewing costumes -- completely different.

When we get to the things where we're inept, where we feel dumb, it's OK to slow down. It's OK to do as few of those floundery-kinds-of-things as we have to. Where we're inept it takes us longer than it takes the people who are good at them, who are naturals. That's OK. We can take longer when we need to, do less, and feel OK.

For us and for our kids let's find the comic-joy and the freedom to slow down or skip the things we don't do well, and live it up on all the others!
------
Virginia Vagt is a writer, speaker, editor and 13-year veteran homeschooling mom. Click here to read selections from Vagt's Be Encouraged column or, for additional resources, visit HomeFieldAdvantage.org.

_________________
Sonshine
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
Sonshine
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