BetsyLee

The parenting plunge

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to turn my column over to my kids. I asked them some questions about moms, and then I recorded their thoughts with as little prompting as possible.

It hurt a bit.

Because each mini interview revolved around the same simple message: I don’t spend enough time with them.

And, like so many moms out there, I struggle daily with balancing their needs and the countless other demands on my time and energy.

I wish I could tie this column up neatly with a bow and give some kind of wisdom as we approach Mother’s Day.

I wish I could tell you that these interviews inspired me to throw out my smartphone or reduce my workload.

But it’s just not that simple.

The reality is that mothering in 2017 is really, really hard.

And we’ll fail and succeed and fail again.

My only solace is this: My kids want to be with me.

And, for now, that will have to be enough.

Here’s what my 9-year-old had to say.

It looks like being a mom can be incredibly fun and incredibly hard sometimes.

My mom has a lot of people to take care of and sometimes I can’t believe she can carve out time to see us all. Some days, it works well and I feel like I connect with my mom. Other days, it’s hard to connect because so many other things get in the way.

I feel happy and warmed up and ready to take on any challenge in the world when I feel connected with my mom.

I think if moms and kids don’t connect they won’t have as close of a bond when they’re older. And it’s more important when you’re older because you get lonely. And if you’re lonely, you can call your mom.

My mom gives me freedom to mess up and she doesn’t boss me around or get mad. Moms should realize that there is no reason to be in a hurry. They can slow down and take their kid’s pace for just a little bit.

Moms can help you understand the world faster than you could without them. They give you perspective and advice – when moms share what they know, even when it’s uncomfortable – it helps you if you’re facing the same thing.

The best thing about moms is that they’re there for you if you need them. And they’ll always love you – even if you make a mistake.

Here’s what my 7-year-old had to say:

I think being a mom is probably pretty hard.

Because there are people to look after and food to make.

Two-, 3-, and 4-year-olds knock on the door when you’re trying to go to the bathroom!

You’ve got to clean up all the time and wash dishes when your dishwasher isn’t working.

The most important thing my mom does is work for our family. It gives us money to pay for our house, car, clothes and food. When she’s done, she gets to play with us.

It feels really good when she plays with me. But I’m stuck in the middle so I don’t get as much mom time.

My mom is patient and she tries to understand me – even if it doesn’t work most of the time. But I don’t understand me very well, so I don’t know if she can.

When I think about moms, I think about squishy tummies and soft cuddles. And that’s good!

Here’s what my 5-year-old had to say:

A good mom is kind to her kids. That means snuggling at night and giving hugs.

When I get hugs, I feel warm and cozy. Moms do great hugs.

I like spending time together mostly. I wish I could spend more time with just my mom and me.

Moms don’t have to sit down and do math or anything. They get to sit and type on the computer. And they have really long fingernails – so that’s good.

I love my mom because she gives me hugs and without my mom I wouldn’t be here.

Here’s what my 2-year-old had to say:

When you play with my hair, I feel so comfy.

I need you. You and daddy won’t ever leave me. We need to be together.