I see #MomGoals on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram constantly. This hashtag is usually accompanied by some Pinterest-inspired picture of a mom blogger’s children being spotless, in unwrinkled clothes, looking adoringly at the camera. This…is…not…everyday…life, this is a snapshot of a scripted moment. Once upon a time I envied my friends with their perfectly clean houses, their perfectly perfect kids, their ability to look stunning after a long day. I really felt so incompetent as a mother in contrast. We are a mess most of the time. We are running behind each morning. We forget the homework and have to go back. We eat Pop-Tarts in the car while trying to get across town to my oldest daughter’s school. I don’t have enough patience. I don’t have a spotless house. I don’t have my kids looking picture perfect…ever. It is completely suffocating constantly feeling like you are not a good enough mother.

Then I thought about something my youngest daughter had mentioned. She bought my husband’s grandmother a rose pin at their school Penguin Patch, which is a little holiday shop where the kids can purchase inexpensive gifts for their friends and family. My youngest proudly told me “Great Grandmomma wore the rose pin I bought her for Christmas when she went out today. It looked so pretty. She said she loved it.” And it hit me like a ton of bricks: had I even told my daughter how much I appreciated the little #1 Mom bear figurine she bought me? The answer was no. Was it tacky, yes, but was it sweet that my little 7-year-old daughter thought I would enjoy a #1 Mom figurine? Yes. Was it supremely wonderful that she thinks I am a #1 Mom? Yes!

So, my #MomGoals have changed. I watch how my youngest’s great grandmother treats her and my oldest daughter. I watch her genuine interest in their days. I watch how she lovingly makes them whatever they want to eat, even if they want something different. I watch how she treats me, a transplant in her family. I listen when she tells me I am the nicest person she knows for simply cooking dinner for her birthday. Every day, every minute, she is grateful for the people in her life. For every act of service or kindness, she responds with a heartfelt “thank you.” My #MomGoals are to be more like her. To let everyone around me know how much they mean to me. Will there be hard days? Yes. Will I lose my patience when, each morning, my girls act like their morning ritual is being done for the first time? Yes. But can I make a conscious effort to remember to treat my children with the same appreciation that the greatest woman I know shows? Yes, absolutely yes.