Saturday, May 13, 2017

     Motherhood. Now if that’s not a loaded label, I will throw out my apron. (If you know me, that’s a laugh line). Who prepares us for motherhood? Our mothers? Our grandmas? Dr. Spock? the Bible? Got me. Nothing and no one can prepare a young woman for the awesome responsibility of giving birth to a child. Actually giving birth is the easiest part. With the first howl that comes out of that baby’s mouth comes the realization that he or she is

now in charge of your life for at least the next 18 years, if you’re lucky.

     Motherhood is the most challenging, most grueling, most exhilarating, most rewarding, most frustrating, most heartwarming experience a woman will ever have. And we do it with no manual. Nope, no check list of what to do, when to do it, what to say, when to stop saying it or what to expect. And that was all before technology.

     As I look at my two beautiful daughters on this Mother’s Day, I am so thrilled that they turned out as successful and as happy as they are. They are not perfect, mainly because I didn’t set perfection as a standard. That was my standard, and I never mastered it. I wanted them to know boundaries, learn manners, have a conscience, treat people with respect and kindness, learn everything they could, take care of themselves and know they were and always will be loved unconditionally. 

     Cooking, sewing, crafting were not on my check list. It’s not that I didn’t think they were important, I did a tiny bit of each of them in my lifetime, but they were way down my list. My mom didn’t do any of them, so I guess that was inherited. I wanted my girls to take pride in their grades, their family and themselves. I wanted them to love themselves and be proud of their womanhood. I wanted them to know the joys of being a Mom. They both have realized that in the precious seven grandchildren I love. I wanted them to want to be with me on Mother’s Day because they enjoy my company. 

     In my tenure as a mother raising two daughters, I never gave myself credit for doing all the good things; I chided myself for not doing more. I never gave myself a pat on the back for a job well done; I was always thinking, “A good Mom would do . . . , would have said. . . “ I try to remind my daughters that they are doing a great job, and it’s “the best they can.” That’s all we can do, ladies, “the best we can.” Could I have done more? Of course. Would I have done some things differently? Yes. But I can’t go back, so I take pride in what I’ve been able to do with the skills, energy, talent, down-in-the-dirt hard work. 

     Don’f forget, Moms out there. You were/are more than a mom. You are a wife, a single-parent, a provider, a nurse, a psychologist, a businesswoman, a chef, a career gal, a role model, a housekeeper, an entertainer, a shopper and a human being. If you fall short on any one of these, please don’t let it be the last on the list. Sometimes we are our own worst critics. We must treat ourselves like we treat our kids—with compassion, understanding and kindness. We must forgive when we mess up, and we must keep thanking the Big Guy when things get tough and we go back for more.

     If I were to give advice to young moms, I would say, “Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Forgive yourself, Love yourself. Be selfish every so often so you can keep yourself intact and happy while you try to improve the world one child at a time.”