But I’m not THAT mom! kept running through my head. I don’t do smocked dresses or big hair bows. I don’t sew. I barely brush my children’s hair. How can I be a “girl mom” when I’m not even that “girly?”
A picture of stair-step girls all in a row with matching dresses and me, the mother, in my own version of the coordinating floral pattern was all that came to mind. My vision had us standing on the steps of the church – a good Christian family and all – probably living in a well-decorated home with drapes where I would lead my daughters in the essentials of home economics. Suddenly I was feeling pressure to be much more domesticated than was possible, at least possible for me. It wasn’t that having daughters was a new concept, I had two already, it was that I was ONLY going to have girls. Which made it official, I was, and always would be – a “girl mom.”
We were driving home from the ultrasound for our third daughter with the news of It’s a girl! ringing in our ears, when this panic attack hit. And for some odd reason I had a surprising hurdle to overcome: It was the stereotype in my mind of what a mom of all girls looked like. I have no idea where this prim stereotype of the girl mom stemmed from; that girls are known for being sweet and pretty, so their mothers must be too. My daughters were pretty, in fact the prettiest on the block in this mother’s unbiased opinion; they just were a little rough and tumble too. Their outfits consisted of items scavenged from the mountain of clean clothes on the laundry room floor. There was nothing “matchy” about anything they wore, with each other or in their stand-alone outfits.
And as quickly as the But I’m not THAT mom phrase and the movie-like mental footage of the nowhere-close-to-who-we-are family came to mind, these two precious words followed: God knows.
I took a deep breath; as deep as my pregnant belly and the altitude in the Mile High City would allow, and felt myself relax as I exhaled. He knew I was a terrible housekeeper; that my kids’ clothes were notoriously stained with paint and smeared with food, that their bangs in their faces kept them from noticing the lack of home décor, and that my high school sewing class almost ruined my perfect GPA. He knew I was a mess of a woman that no one would hold as the model of organization or domesticity.
He also knew I could model strength, independence, creativity and emotion to my daughters in only the ways I could. That I would love them fiercely, find their jokes funny and cry when they cried. He knew I was the best mom for them not in spite of me, but because of me. And oh how glad I am that he knew and still knows.
This blog was originally posted on Grace for Moms.
As a mom to four girls, Alexandra Kuykendall’s days are spent washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma. She is the author of Loving My Actual Life, An Experiment In Relishing What’s Right In Front of Me and The Artist’s Daughter, A Memoir. A city girl at heart, she makes her home in the shadow of downtown Denver. You can read more of Alex’s everyday thoughts and connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com.