Mary on Motherhood
Growing up I knew that I wanted to be a mom. My own mother made motherhood look very simple and easy. I was prepared to go through the pregnancy, to take care of little ones, to live through sleepless nights, to watch Barney & Friends repeatedly; but I was not prepared for the battles with my kids as their personalities conflicted with mine!
I learned fairly quickly in my motherhood that molding my kids to be what I want them to be is not possible. Although I see my own reflection in my kids, they are not me, and the best I can do is to show them by example to live by their principles and values. Sometimes I am not happy with their decisions but then I must remind myself that they are their our persons and I am in their lives to gently guide them rather than to make them what I want them to be.”
Mother’s Day should be a simple celebration of the relationship between mother and child. A mother often doesn’t get to hear what her kid thinks of her or what he says about her to friends and other family members. I’m not sure I want to know everything my son says about me, but it would be nice to hear the good things he says – at least once a year!
All the gift giving on Mother’s Day makes for an easy substitute to the conversation that most of us should have with our mothers. I wish I had told my mom what I admired about her before she passed away. Yes, she frustrated the heck out of me and that made me snap at her lots. I look back at those times and wonder how she put up with me! It makes me think, “Am I still tough to live with? How do my husband and son put up with me? Has motherhood changed my edge even a bit?”
This whole motherhood thing is quite intriguing. Looking in from the outside, we think being a mother is easy. When we don’t have kids, we give advice to our friends with kids, pass judgment on how they raise their kids, avoid inviting friends with kids to our house, and don’t understand why their houses look like tornadoes. In the pre-kid world, we assume there is logic to life. As soon as we become mothers, everything becomes clear as mud! Life is not as planned and expected as you thought it could be! There is one more person in your life who learns on day one of his life how to manipulate your time and your feelings.
This job as mother, I say, is “tougher than working with a bunch of spoiled executives.” I could handle the egos in the boardroom, but what do I do with a child who comes home crying because at recess the other kids wouldn’t let him play soccer! I know what I’d like to do to those kids! But what’s the best thing to do for my child?
Every mother wrestles with these questions and more. How much should I hover, smother, protect, love my child? How will my actions help my child grow into a caring, responsible, successful adult? You won’t know until your child becomes an adult and even then you’ll have a biased opinion.
Over the years, I’ve had my share of homemade gifts – all very precious – and the best gift of all was a note that I got a few years ago that demonstrated my son knows me well – although told from his little warped perspective. We still laugh about what he said in it. Lately, he’s into asking everyone including me, “How’s your life?” This gives me a great opportunity to tell him what’s going on with me and to ask him about his life. These are the precious ‘mother-son’ moments of which I want more. Our car rides become a chance to catch up or just talk about something that’s on our minds.
Mother’s Day should be more than once a year! Any day you can share time, love, and conversation about what’s important to both mother and child is a great day for a mother, and we would bet also for a child! Aim to create more of those moments rather than banking on celebrating once a year.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day?