Celebrating Mother’s Day
Today’s blog post is written to celebrate Motherhood and the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday. As I was thinking about the message I wanted to send through this post, it dawned on me that Mother’s Day is a holiday that is presented in a very cookie cutter way. In reality, the role of being a Mom is a very unique and personal experience.
What does it mean to be called “mom”?
Mother is defined as “a female parent” however, being a mother requires so much more than the ability to give birth to a child. Being a mother, a good mother, is in my opinion, the most challenging yet most rewarding role a woman can be given. Deciding to become a mother is THE most important decision of a woman’s life. It’s a decision, a life-long commitment to be selfless. A decision to put the needs of her children before hers at all times. Sadly, not every woman who gives birth is capable of fulfilling this most important role. Our ability and skill-set to be a good mother is greatly influenced by what was modeled to us by our own mothers when we were children.
As a mother with two children who are now 22 and 26 years of age, I realize that although I love my children more than life, there were certain areas of being a mom that I was not capable of fulfilling at the time I was given the opportunity to be an “active” mom. (As opposed to an empty nester) For example, my daughter and I joke about how I was a “Nazi” mom. I was always on patrol leaving Madison very little opportunity to be a normal teen doing some of the dumb things we do by rite of passage. The reality is that I didn’t know how to be balanced, have good boundaries with my children or anyone else. Because my childhood was unstable and filled with constant feelings of worry and fear, I never learned how to have fun, be silly and experience carefree living that is the very foundation of childhood.
My point is, my ability to be a great mom, the kind of mom I wanted to be, was hindered because I had no idea how to have fun, relax and just play with my kids. Being stern and authoritative were the only characteristics I knew about motherhood. I love my kids so much that it hurts my heart to think about the things I wish I had done differently, done better. I would like to believe that this is true for the majority of mom’s that fail to measure up the “June Cleaver-esque” portrayal of motherhood.
For many years I was angry with my own mother. I was mad at her because of things I experienced as a child because she was not always there. What I have come to terms with in recent years is that my mom did the best that she could with the skills that she had too. A runaway at 13, she was less equipped than I with the skills that are required to be a good mom. I have spent years, filled with resentment and anger, waiting for her to apologize for her mistakes. As a now older and wiser woman, I understand the meaning of grace, unmerited favor. How can I expect it from my own children if I do not extend it to my own mother?
So, this mother’s day, I want to encourage each of you who like me, may have had a less than perfect childhood. Those of you who, in your mind struggle with feelings of guilt and remorse for not being a better mom to your own children. It’s never too late to make things right. To prevent our own children from making the same mistakes, repeating patterns they have learned by watching us. If we want our kids to remain present and active in our lives long into adulthood, we better show them how to do it. Even when it’s painful, humility can be a beautiful thing, a healing experience for all of us…
Sending peace, love & happiness AND happy Mother’s Day wishes to all!!
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