i'm reading a book with a group of moms that have young kids called "desperate: hope for the mom who needs to breathe." we read a chapter recently that was about what kind of family you were and what kind you wanted to be.
truthfully, it's a lot easier for me, when I think about our family or just me as a mom, to think about what we're not and what I'm not. and while a good bit of that is wrapped up in comparison or being overly self critical, there can be a measure of good that comes from knowing what you're not.
like maybe if you aren't great at baking and it stresses you out, don't sign up to bring the baked goods to the school party (that would be me.) or if you're drained after spending time out or with people and need alone time to recharge, then its okay to not try and be friends with everyone, to really invest in the few people you can (that would be me, too.) and if your family isn't made up of "outdoor" people, it's okay to spend family time together watching movies (okay, okay, you get it..;)
i think its when you stay in that place of what you're not and use it to make excuses or comparisons or as way to beat yourself up, that it can be harmful. when you let what you aren't define you more than what you are. but if we can acknowledge and embrace what we aren't, we can use it to help point us to what we are.
i thought about this as i was pacing the aisles of target last week thinking about valentines for winnie's first school valentine exchange. because, being aware of the things that i am not, i do know that our family is big on holiday and traditions. and on top of that, as a family built by two art school graduates, we really love to create things ourselves when we can.
so, we gathered up the supplies to make some "wild about you" valentine's day cards last week. and as we stamped some cards and picked out some plastic animals, i thought about who we were as a family.
the things that we are and the things we are not.
homemade valentines and store bought cookies.