good life by els brigé
Part of cultivating a good life is … cherishing motherhood – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As a mother of two growing children, I often find myself struggling with motherhood.
Every parent has a certain vision in the back of her head of what kind of adult she wants her child to grow up to be, regardless of career, family life, financial situation, state of happiness, etc. There are certain personal characteristics that are important to you and that you want to stimulate in your child. For me, those are respect for others, confidence, and simplicity.
When my children were just babies, I found it a lot easier to mother them more intentionally. But now that they are growing up and are moving a lot faster than me in just about every way these days, I have to respond much quicker than ever to keep up with them. And at those exact moments, intentions are not always the first thing on my mind. I often find myself acting and reacting to their behavior – trying to keep everyone safe, happy, healthy – overthinking my thoughts and actions afterwards. And I’m not yet even talking about the influences from friends, friends’ parents, teachers, grandparents, or club leaders.
A while back, this often got me feeling frustrated about and struggling with motherhood. I wanted to get more intentional with my children again and not get sucked into the everyday rat race we were in. And what better way to do that than to document and write about it? So I started a motherhood journal. A very personal scrapbook that was initially meant to focus on my intentions in motherhood.
By writing out what is important to pass on to my kids, brainstorming about ways to be more intentional in mothering, and thinking about their individual needs in this, I thought I would find some intentionality towards my children again. And as time evolved, this notebook is slowly turning into a real motherhood journal/scrapbook. It’s one that isn’t only focusing on intentions and how to get better at it but a journal that also leaves room for the everyday stuff – the things that bother me, the reasons why I love each of my kids, my hopes, my dreams, my struggles, my frustrations … all of my thoughts.
And while I’m not going to state that this motherhood journal has made me a better mom and that I make less mistakes in life since I started it, it did help me to focus more on what’s important. It has also helped me realize that there are no perfect kids or perfect parents. It has even taught me to cherish every aspect of motherhood – the good but even the bad and also the ugly. Each of our experiences, every single one of my emotions about it, every thought was well worth having. And I wouldn’t want to have missed it for the world. They all define who we are.
While this is a very personal journal that I don’t want my children to read at this stage of their lives, I know this will be cherished in the future by me as well as by them because it’s a very honest look into our lives and the way I, as their mother, loved, struggled, and cherished.
Els Brigé is a member of our 2015 Creative Team. She lives with her husband and two children in Belgium – in the very same town she grew up.