There are many times as a mother when I feel that I am not good enough. For example, I stand in awe of "crafty moms." They know how to do things with beads and buttons and glue guns that I can't even envision. Granted, having Burrito has made me a little more open to crafty things. We color and paint and I haven't really done that since I was a kid. But sometimes I look at other moms who can really come up with all kinds of creative, adorable projects and sew their kids' clothes and I just feel, well, inadequate.
But I'm coming to realize that there are strengths I have that other moms don't. For example, a lot of moms don't like to cook. They don't feel confident in it and haven't had their moms teach them to do it. They may be great at teaching their kid to horseback ride or dance, however. They may be fantastic at coming up with kid games. They just have other strengths.
Well, for me, cooking is one of my very favorite things to do with Burrito. She's getting to the stage where she loves to stand on a chair next to me while I cook and either help me or ask about every step of the process. I suppose this might annoy some moms. And the constant questions annoy me in other tasks. But not with cooking. I feel pretty confident with cooking. Most of the time, I know what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. And I think I'm pretty good at teaching cooking too. Burrito knows by now that we spoon out the flour and smooth it over with a knife. She knows why we put bay leaves in the flour container (to keep the weevils out!). She has been taught why we put the pie crust in the fridge before rolling it out. She knows that yeast and time make bread rise. It's so much fun for me to teach her, too. I love her eager, open mind and her enthusiasm for cooking. I like to think that she gains some of that enthusiasm from my delight in cooking. It brings me joy to share one of my favorite activities with her and to know that she is gaining a life skill that will serve her well down the road.
My second sweet spot as a mom is in taking Burrito to the library. She has already caught Mommy's attitude toward this most wonderful place on earth and always comes home with lots of books. No matter how many books either of us have, we always want more. She often spends lots of time in her room, before sleeping or when she wakes up, sitting and paging through books quietly. I love her enthusiasm for books. And she's already recognizing most of her letters (thank you, Super Why!) and even an occasional word. I love her love of words, stories and beautiful pictures.
My third sweet spot as a mom is taking Burrito to interesting cultural and artistic experiences. In our town, we have an art museum and every time there is a new exhibit, we stop by to look at it. Some of them interest her more than others, but sometimes she requests to stop by, rather than just me suggesting it. I think she is getting something out of it and I love the opportunity to expose her to the arts and beautiful things. We also have great theater in our area, including Children's Theater. I love taking her to see plays (which she, amazingly, mostly sits still for). And then there are fun experiences like food festivals, farmer's markets, museums, and live music. And soon, I hope to take her to her first ballet. I love being able to share a rich cultural experience with my daughter and I love seeing her enthusiasm for the arts. It's beautiful seeing it through her eyes and we almost always make a great memory together.
No, I can't do great arts and crafts. I can't sew. I'm not the best home decorator. But I'm pretty darn good at cooking with my kid, reading with her, and exposing her to great cultural experiences. I'm learning that every mom has strengths and weaknesses. Every kid will miss out on some stuff. Every kid will have some special experiences. And kids catch your enthusiasm for what you love.
So, I'm curious...what is your mommy "sweet spot"? Please share!