Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do we HAVE to celebrate Mother's Day?

I mean really, what mother on earth glories in this day? Can we just skip the festivities, the potted plant from church that dies a week later, and move on to Monday? Is it really the only day of the year that those we care for feel the need to celebrate who we are and what we do?  Don't worry, I don't really feel this way. I feel blessed that my family does not limit their gratitude towards me just on this day only, I've got loads of cards and pictures from all my children made on all the other days of the year, celebrating me, their mom, who, for some reason, they love. But maybe there are some out there who DO feel it's the only day, out of obligation, they are celebrated.  And what a shame it is if that is the case.

One of my favorite books is by Emily Watts, Being The Mom: 10 Things I Learned By Accident, Because I Had Children On Purpose.  Just the mere title of the book put my mothering days into perspective. I knew, as I read through those pages, that the things Mrs. Watts was going to divulge, would be just for me. I've read that book several times over the years, because I am always in need of constant reminding. It was refreshing to read about a mom who was just like me, who had gone through the same things that I was going through. I'm normal?  This isn't just me? It's a relief to know that I'm not the only mom on the planet who thinks those things.  Actually, I think it's about time I find that book again and dust the pages.

I've purchased many books over the years on raising children; how to be a better mom, and some of these books are by women who hold degrees in family relationships, psychology, or something grand like that. I have no degree in those fields, and am kind of glad I don't. I feel enough pressure already as it is without a degree hanging over my head, plastered on some wall.  For the most part, I come away feeling a little better about my current occupation as a domestic engineer and feel like I can take a deep breath, relax, and start fresh again in the morning.

Because I did have children on purpose, (and to anyone who did have children by accident) I owe it to them, and to myself, to do all I can for them, that will help each of my children to grow into loving, responsible people. But it is a constant battle, especially as the world becomes more and more vicious, and the temptations for our children become more prominent everywhere. Yet sometimes I look at other moms and wonder, 'Why can't I be more like her, what am I doing wrong?'.

It is a disservice to myself and my children, to compare my mothering skills with other moms.  Unfortunately, I have to remind myself of that.  It's certainly easy to do, I imagine I'm not the only one out there who has done it, but it's such a waste of energy and thought and very unproductive.   When it comes right down to it, we're all in the same boat, trying to maneuver the waves without getting tossed, and keep our sails high and on course.  But when those waves come crashing, I tend to forget that there are others on the boat with me, and that I don't have to steer it alone.  That is where the other moms come into play. That is where I look to them as examples for me, to help guide me in these treacherous waters.  

We all bring something unique to the table of motherhood.  But do we dare ask for a helping of this-or-that, a slice of advice.  I know I don't often enough.  Finding that "uniqueness" is tricky, and sometimes asking for help is hard to do.  As my children are growing, their needs are changing, and priorities change with it.  It's becoming a more "emotional" part of mothering now.  But I signed up for this, and it has proven to be very rewarding.  When I look at each of my children, and think that maybe another mom would have done things differently, that is not always so bad.  Because what I'm doing for my children is what is needed for them, and may not necessarily work for another child. 

I can look back on my years as a mother of infants and toddlers and wish over and over that I had done things differently.  The only good that comes from that moaning and groaning, is that it makes me focus on the here and now, and pray for no regrets later.  A wonderful example of a mother, to me, is Marjorie Pay Hinckley, who said she tried to say yes to her children more than no, whenever she could.  I think of that often, what a good reminder to not let the happy moments pass us by.  What would jumping in the mud puddles hurt every once in a while? Why CAN'T they stay up 'till 9, instead of going to bed at 8:30?  They beg to go to the store with you....... take 'em.  Is it gonna kill them to get that Happy Meal for them (sure they may not taste that great, but who cares?)  What I've found, more than anything, is that they are longing to just be with me.  Those are the regrets I don't want to have, of not spending enough time with them.

Is being a mom in 2011 hard?  Undoubtedly so.  I am a mother to my children every day, not just on Mother's Day.  If history has shown us anything, it has proven that it will only get tougher to raise our children in these days.  I am thankful to my own mom, and to my many friends, mom or not, that have been stalwart examples to me on raising children, and being fabulous women, examples for  me and our children to look up to.

So, in answer to the question from the title of this blog post, YES, we do have to celebrate Mother's day.  Let your children shower you with love, if they so choose.  Let it be a time to reflect on all the good you have done, and the good you have yet to fulfill.  Use this time to think of all the moms who have had an influence on you and have helped you become the mom you are today. And especially allow this time to be one in which you let God help you raise your children; after all they are His children that He has sent to our care; He knows them, and is trying to help US know them and understand them.

We're all in this together.  Deep down, we want to see each of us succeeding in this role of being mom.  I don't think any of us have it easier than anyone else.  You may be the answer to a mom in need, as we all have known another mom that has been an example to us.  Embrace the day as one to reflect on all your blessings that come with Motherhood. Happy Mother's Day!

1 comment:

  1. As always, I LOVE reading your stuff Shell. I always, at some point, get teary eyed. :) Just today I was really struggling with keeping my cool, staying patient and trying to say "yes" to Lexi's fifty million requests to do stuff while I was trying to clean house and I remember feeling soooooo frustrated and kept thinking, I'm a terrible mom! I've only been doing this for three years and I already feel like I've failed on some levels. Your reminders are always so wonderful so thank you for that!