It appears that the number 7 seems to be her lucky number. It’s only fitting that Marcie Atkinson unravel 7 misconceptions of motherhood.
I sat down with her on a cold Saturday afternoon in January (with the high pitched sound of children in the background) to pick her brain about some illusions of being a mother hoping she could give some insight now that she’s 3 years and 3 more kids in!
In 3 short years, her life changed drastically from 2 children to 5! My life changed too. It became more full. I still recall the morning she called to inform me she was pregnant. That was one day I was thankful for the hour and 1/2 drive to work. I cried the entire way, for selfish reasons. It was no longer going to be just us. It did change the dynamic of our relationship, but in a good way. She’s matured, not because she wanted to, but because she had to and she continues to energize my soul inspiring me to be a better person. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Good mothers are stay at home mothers.
You don’t have to stay at home to be a good mother. Good mothers never give up. They keep doing what they have to do in order to provide a good home, values, tutus, gymnastics, diapers, and groceries. I also work to show my children what it takes to survive on their own, if needed. A man’s financial support is great, but sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, you may be the one that needs to provide. Strength and independence are qualities that I would like to instill in my children.
2. Good mothers bake for their children.
If baking is putting frozen cookies on the baking sheet then I should be mother of the year! Don’t get me wrong, my children would eat more than cookies, but there is a misconception that everything you cook should be home-made. I say quit putting unreasonable expectations on yourself. The norm 30 years ago is not the norm today!
3. Good mothers don’t have children who bite.
Toddlers are so wild. One of the most put together mothers I know had to take her child out of daycare for biting. With toddlers/children it’s hit or miss with tantrums and biting. With my twin girls, biting is the least of my worries! I worry about them hauling off and hitting someone if a toy gets taken from them. Just because my child might bite doesn’t make me feel like I’m a bad mother. I don’t need validation that I’m not mothering properly if my child does or doesn’t do something. At some point our children are all going to make improper decisions.
4. Good mothers like their children all of the time.
This might sound harsh, but honestly, sometimes I can’t wait until bedtime. Everyone is screaming for me, crying, wanting money, needing a ride, or hungry and I just want to lay in bed with no interruptions and watch reruns of The Walking Dead! At the end of the day, even with all the craziness, I LOVE them so much.
5. Motherhood will make me happy.
My relationship with Jesus makes me a happy person. Some days life sucks, but with God on my side, my light will shine and then it will shine into the light of my children.
6. Good mothers and their children always look immaculate.
I’m the worst then. That is too hard to keep up. I can barely keep them off the counters in the kitchen. None of us would have time to make memories if they were immaculate. I love our big mess. That’s half the fun. Someone once said to me that my looks have changed since motherhood, that I look “motherly”, I didn’t know how to respond, but thank the Lord my glass is always half full. Some things have changed. I shower at night now instead of the mornings and dry shampoo has become my new best friend!
7. I will be the “perfect” mother.
I strive to be the perfect mother, but the more time that passes, I’m realizing there is no perfect. They don’t need perfection. They need you! Stay at home moms and working moms are both amazing. It’s the time, love, kissing boo-boos, carrying their uniform they forgot to school, getting things wrong, screaming, crying, disagreeing, and many other imperfect things that are covered by love. You love them and try your best every day. I’m currently potty training the twins and I walk in after they have used the bathroom and both girls have the dog drinking from their toilet! Do I feel less than perfect because of this? No way! I’m certainly not a perfect mother. It’s never perfect, but all the imperfections come together to create a great big messy, loving home and family.
I want them to grow up respecting authority, saying “yes sir,” “no sir,” “yes mam,” and “no mam.” Don’t put perfection on yourself as a mother or you will constantly be disappointed. If you are having children to fill holes in your life, look to the one who can make you whole!
What’s your favorite quote?
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa
So there you go. I’d say she’s definitely surviving motherhood! She’s one of the most inspirational persons I know and will be the very one who will tell you that she is the complete opposite of that.
You are, without a doubt, surviving seven! You’ve been “hit hard” and always “move forward” with amazing grace. I love you my inspirational, beautiful, sweet sister and the other 6 too!