I love my Mom, and I hate Mother’s Day. I love my Mom, because she is a wonderful, fun, intelligent, woman who has taught me many good things. I love her very much, and like most kids I try to come with the perfect gift to convey my love. Yet, I hate Mother’s Day. Before you start throwing guilt at me, let me explain. I’ve seen too many strong, amazing women, use Mother’s Day as a weapon instead of a way to honor the women in their life. I’m included in that list. I’ve spent too many Mother’s Day feeling depressed about my infertility and too many years comparing myself to ‘perfect’ people with their ‘perfect’ lives.
I started this bad habit after a memorable Sunday School lesson where a well-meaning teacher made a list of “Good Mother behavior” and “Bad Mother behavior”. I was not brave enough to say that the bad list wasn’t really that bad. Instead, I just sat there and felt bad as I mentally compared myself with the good list. There were so many things on that bad mother list that I did or I wanted in my life. I wish I could go back and put my arm around the 12 year old me. I’d tell her the truth. That most of us are doing the best we can. I’d tell the younger me that your ability to be a good mother has nothing to do with how you decorate your home, feed your baby, the way you provide for your family or what you study at school. It has to do with how you treat the folks you interact with every day.
So in honor of Mother’s Day and all the other days in the year, I’ve written a new list. Bad mothers lock their kids in basements for years without food and water. The rest of us are more good than bad. Here’s a little poem.
Good Mothers try
And sometimes they just survive
And that is okay too, because
We are all good mothers.