Home > Uncategorized > A Mother’s Day Wish

A Mother’s Day Wish

Last night I dreamed that I had another baby.  In the dream, I held the new baby and looked at Hubs with joy, saying, “I got a do-over!”

Mother’s Day quickly approaches and, as always, it makes me deep and contemplative.  I don’t know a single mother who doesn’t beat herself up relentlessly for not being perfect.  I also know that there is no such thing as a perfect anything, let alone a perfect mother.  It’s a path fraught with obstacles, complexities, fears and a deep and abiding love and responsibility that threatens to swallow us whole every minute of every day.

I am flawed.  I am not a perfect mother.  I am impatient.  I get angry quickly.  I forget things.  I have impossibly high standards.  I do things wrong.  I make bad choices sometimes.  I get loud.  I hold grudges.

With all of that (and even more that I haven’t shared), I’ve not ruined my children.  They don’t cower in my presence.  They laugh with me, they bring me their problems, and they know, above all else, that I will always, always have their backs, even when they screw up.  That is what a mother does.  Let’s face it, they’re not perfect either, and even if I had never made a cringe-worthy mommy mistake, they still wouldn’t be perfect.  And if their imperfection sometimes makes me grind my teeth and/or want to throw them through a wall, well, then, at that moment my restraint goes down as good and loving mothering.

When I was a new mother, I often gazed upon my babies in wonder.  In those quiet moments, I was filled with awe at these marvelous little people who had been given to me and filled with a terrible fear that I would not be up to the challenge.  Now, as I gaze at my children, they stare back and make faces and I am filled with the knowledge that I don’t know anything about these strangers.  Sometimes I wish for the days before they were mobile and vocal because I would happily take a string of sleepless nights with a colicky baby when faced with the terror and uncertainty these adolescents strike in a mother’s heart.  And I am still pretty sure that I’m not up to the challenge.

via scienceofrelationships.com

via scienceofrelationships.com

But we grow with our children.  That’s what mothers do.  That’s why we worry and dream about do-overs.  We want to go back to the stuff we know because we make it up as we go along and we whisper fervent prayers that we’re not doing too much damage.  We cry when we can’t fix it.  Our entire day can be ruined by a kid who’s grumpy before school.  We define ourselves by these unpredictable, unbalanced little people who won’t  hesitate to tell us that we don’t understand and furthermore, we obviously don’t love them.  They cut us to the bone with the most passing, careless comment.  We are chronically insecure.  We hold ourselves to standards that no one could meet and we quietly, secretly hate ourselves just a little bit (or sometimes a lot) for not being better.  We see the so-called perfect moms and we’re tempted to believe that they are better than us, when really, they’re just better at hiding all the ugly parts.

And so, my wish for all mothers that are, that were and that will be, is that we love ourselves a little more.  That we celebrate our successes more loudly and forgive our mistakes more easily.  That we stop trying to be perfect and keep trying to do our best.  That we understand that our best isn’t perfect, but is enough for our children.  That we stop comparing ourselves to other people and understand that we all have private uncertainties.  That we will have the courage do what’s best for our children when we know that they will hate us for it.  That we will continue to walk this path of uncertainty and fear with confidence that we will find joy and happiness.

That we see our children smiling and know that we are, in fact, up to the challenge.

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  1. May 7, 2013 at 10:05 am

    This is like reading something my wife would post!! (If she blogged)

    This sums up her insecurities as a mother so well that I am printing it, laminating it and sticking a magnet to the back. (for the fridge.) Mother’s day gift done…Thank you.

    Ok fine, I’ll make coffee as well…

    • May 7, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      You might also consider some flowers 😉 Thank you for such kind words!

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