Everything I know about being a mom, I learned from my own mother. I know I'm biased when I say this but, she is amazing.
Every day I waffle between feelings of success and failure. When Timmy swam all on his own, (finally) learned to use the potty, rode his Strider bike without help, when Gemma took her first steps, and when she shrieks with delight as she climbs into my lap to read a book, you can't remove the smile from my face. But when Gemma refuses to try a new food, throws a temper tantrum inside the supermarket, when Timmy won't do one of the minor chores I ask of him, or any other thing on a laundry list of "stuff" that drives me crazy, I wonder what I'm doing wrong, instantly convinced I must be the worst parent on Earth. I try to remind myself daily that I'm doing the best job I can...and some days are going to be better than others.
At the end of the day, what I want for my kids is a happy childhood. One where they look back fondly at memories of family dinners, road trips to our family cabin, playing in the back yard, dancing to the Beatles, reading stories in bed, swimming, building forts in the family room, baking, and camping trips. I want them to know I always put them first and my love for them is unconditional. I'm not here to be their friend. But, I am here to give them as many hugs and kisses as they want. I will always congratulate them on their successes but hope even more that I have the strength to let them fail. I want them to make their own choices in life, guide them where I can, but step back when need be. I need to remember and appreciate that they are their own person. It's not my job to decide for them who that person is. They need to find that out for themselves.
My mom did all of those things for me. I hope my children one day will look up to me the way I look up to her.