Mother’s Day is almost here and for the next few weeks, I want to talk about it. Let’s begin the conversation with me telling you that I used to HATE Mother’s Day. Really, I hated it. I would sit in church or with groups of other mothers and hear stories about mom’s who never yelled, always said the right things, attended every baseball game, loved camping, liked playing with their kids, were affectionate and nurturing, didn’t yell if someone threw up in the car…I was not that mom.
I wanted to be that mom but I wasn’t. I frequently said or did the wrong thing. I wasn’t always nurturing, comforting or there and I didn’t like to play. I had already yelled so I was out of that competition. And baseball, yuck, I hated baseball.
It took me many years to learn how to stop yelling; to learn to hug more often, to go to sporting events, and to just be quiet and listen. I had to learn a lot of skills that I didn’t have when I started out. Sometimes coming to a realization that there was a skill I lacked was the challenge.
As far as parenting goes, I thought it was as simple as picking a good man and having a passel of kids. It never occurred to me that it would be useful to have some type of plan, to learn new skills, to be clear that things don’t always work out the way you think they should and that people, even kids, get to decide how they want their lives to look and feel. It was sometimes a jolting and unnerving experience.
I have frequently joked with my family that NOTHING turned out how I thought it would. That happens to be more truth and less joke.
However, I do not hate Mother’s Day anymore. I embrace it! I love Mother’s Day. It’s a day on which I celebrate the fact that I am a mom. I have a family and we are OK. My children love me very much, despite all my mistakes and lack. My husband is happy with how things turned out and so am I.
I may not be the mom that gets talked about in church or at the ladies luncheon, but I am the mom who raised this family of seven happy, healthy, kind, and good people. I am the mom who learned a great deal and made some valuable changes. I am content with that.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all you mom’s who sit in church or at lunch with other mom’s and feel less than. NOW STOP IT. Stop comparing yourself to other mothers. Stop judging yourself harshly. Stop believing that somehow you are failing your family.
Take my word for it, that it is wasted energy. Instead, celebrate the fact that you are a mother, that you are doing the best you can, and that you do have good desires in your heart for your family. Then get more education. Learn something new. Practice a skill you need and don’t quit till you are reasonably good at it. Be proactive. Mentor with a mom who is where you want to be. Keep working on yourself. Keep loving your family. Keep going!
What you will learn is what I learned while actively parenting children in my home for 39 years – you will learn you can grow and change, your children will love you despite your weaknesses and lack and, yes, in the end, it will all be OK.
What thoughts can you adjust for a more satisfying Mother’s Day?
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY