Let me introduce you to the woman who has set some pretty hard standards for me as a mom.
Now, don't get the wrong impression, because she was anything but strict, but not exactly "too-soft" either. Maybe it was her years as a child care professional or teaching, but I honestly feel like I have failed by comparison.
Shortly after I was born, my mother hated the idea of returning to work, so she decided to create her own home daycare so that she could be home for me and my two siblings that came along later down the road.
At anytime, she would care for and teach between 5-8 children, not including us. Looking back, I couldn't recall a time when she said that she regretted that decision, nor did she ever break down in tears or lash out in anger. She always had time to stop what she was doing to give us some undivided attention. She was calm and loving. The house always seemed to be in order, clothes were always clean, meals were always made on time, and we always had a ride to sports and music activities.
Now, lets compare her to me...
On most mornings, I groggly get at 7:30 am, assisted my 4 year to the bathroom, and change his brother's diaper. In a zombie-like trance, I lead them to the couch, and push aside last night's folded laundry. We cuddle and I doze off a bit while they watch Curious George.
I can't think of a time that I last woke up at 6:00 am, jumped in the shower, got dressed in something other than yoga pants and a tee, dried & styled my hair, put on make-up, and went straight to the kitchen to make breakfast and lunch at the same time, like my June Cleaver-like mom did.
Nope, I am often in tears because a mound of dishes is still residing in the sink, my toddler spilled his second cup of milk (and playing in it), while the other is screaming his head off because he did not get the breakfast that he wanted. To top it off, my coffee is now room temperature and being being licked up by the cat.
My patience is short.
I tend to yell a little louder than I would.
I often say things that I really mean to say.
Thank goodness my mom is only a phone call away, because I think that I would have to commit myself to a mental facility. I could talk forever about the things that I can't accomplish, the arguements my husband and I get into because the house is a disaster, "proper" meals are never made when they are asked for, the children are still in their pjs at 3pm, this list goes on, failure, failure, FAILURE...I just can't keep up.
One day, when I completely unloaded on her, I asked "how did you do this?"
Her response :
"You don't remember the laundry because it was always tucked away out of view, meals weren't always made "on time", and you must have not seen me escape to my room. Believe me, there were times when I wanted to scream."
As a child, I may not have remembered a hidden laundry basket or two or a cluttered closet, or my mom running off to her room to cry out of frustration. What I do remember is her welcoming me home every day with open arms and a kiss every day from school, our trips to the park, reading with me while the younger kids were napping (when she might have loved to watch her favorite soap opera), and our Friday night family nights with pizza and ice-cream. Maybe she dozed off while we watched our favorite shows too, regardless, I remembered what truly mattered.
Her love for me and her family.
Quite frankly, I dislike the idea that there is only one day designated to mothers (and fathers too). Nor do I like the idea that dads feel like they have to sneak the kids out of the house early on Mother's Day morning to browse through the remaining stash of cards and candy at the nearest convenience store. I don't mean to sound ungrateful when that happens, but I don't think an action of love and respect should be an obligation.
Mothers should be honored every day. For thirty whole years, my mom has put my interests above her own, and she deserves more than to be noticed one day per year. I hope that I do a good job of showing my appreciation to her.
If your a mom, be sure to remind yourself that what you do, even if no one seems to notice, means the world to your children. If you have made mistakes, there is always time to repair them. Life isn't always easy, and when you feel like you can't handle it, remember that tears are not signs of weakness. They are a sign that you really care.
There is no "perfect" mom, and striving for perfection will quite often end in ruin.
I am often amazed at how my children are so quick to forgive when I do wrong and I hope that they remember of their past are only joyful memories.
Sadly, I cannot be with my mom on Mother's Day since she lives on the other side of the country, so times like this are a little rough. That being said, I wanted to end this post with a little note to my mom. Unfortunately, I am too chicken to actually say it over the phone.
Keep in mind these words are coming from my mind and are being typed as I go. I am not a poet, nor am I an excellent writer.
I am sorry for all of the walls that I have made my canvas, for every head board or piece of furniture that I carved my girl-hood crush's name into.
Thank you for telling me "I love you" every single day, without fail and for forcing me to my hold my sisters hand in time-out after we argued with each other. We thought the punishment was unbearable, but it prevented us from fighting with each other again.
Never will I forget the numerous times that you have wiped every single tear, every hug, every kiss, and every time that I hoped into your lap to tell you about my day when you barely had an ounce of energy (or sanity) left.
I know that I will never say it enough, but I LOVE you.
No matter how far apart we are, I keep every single memory locked into my head and heart to treasure for the rest of my life.
You are my HERO
Happy Mother's Day
This non-sponsored post is written on behalf of the Project Purse blogging group which is aimed at supporting women bloggers.