Sunday, May 8, 2011

Momma mia!

When you have a baby, your mailbox (literal and electronic) seems to get flooded with offers and magazines from the get-go.  It's nice to have information about what's happening in your child's life to consult from time to time, but I do think there is a down side. Because magazine articles rely so heavily on statistics and short articles, it is easy to start clumping every mom together and expect that your life as a mother must fit a certain type or mold.  It's like you move from a glamour magazine that's deciding if you're  style is 'sporty' or 'fashionista' to a baby magazine that tries to categorize your parenting style.  It's fun, I guess, and sometimes informative, but I think it does just as much harm in my thinking as good.

With Mother's Day today, I've read a lot of mothering things lately and one thing is clear: Every mom is different and every child is different so therefore their relationship is different.  But its easy to overlook that.  Mom's compare their abilities to other moms.  Mom's compare their children to other children. Kids as they age compare their moms to other moms.  And I'm not going to say that just because every mom is different then every mom is a good mom. Its sadly not true.  There are heartbreaking stories everywhere about moms who never really mothered, but only neglected or abused. But what I am saying is that being a different kind of mom,  having a different kind of relationship than those you see around you doesn't make you a lacking mom.

It wasn't until I had Jude that I understood how powerful motherhood is.  The impact it has on your heart and the innumerable directions things can go because of it.  It seems foolish to expect that every mother should fit into one of a few molds.  It's just silly.  My mom didn't mother in the days of google and cable internet.  But she rubbed our feet and sang us songs.  My mom never rode a roller coaster in my lifetime (that I know of), but she always wore herself out to make us feel special on our birthdays.  Still does.  I was blessed with the opportunity to be a nanny for a couple of awesome little boys, Collin & Jared for about 3 years.  Because of that experience, I wasn't freaked out by motherhood like some have said they were. Yay for me, but then instead I've let my schedule and my perfectionist nature stress me out.

Some idolize their moms just because of the role they play. Others criticize every last thing about their mothers, somehow expecting them to be perfect.  And I think the truth is at the heart of both.  We love our mothers because of the role they play. They are our mothers - who get up in the middle of the night for you, who donate part of their body/life/identity to you, and sacrifice their heart for you.  But also, we learn to love them because they are imperfect, sometimes broken, sometimes clueless and yet they mother anyway.  Randy has often made the assumption that because I've taken care of children before that I should always know what to do with Jude.  And sometimes I'm just as clueless as he is, but I don't give up because it gets hard or I don't know the answer.  Motherhood isn't about perfection.  Motherhood is about love.

Whether you are a mom trying to be perfect or a child with perfect expectations for your mother, remember that perfect can not and does not exist.  But love abounds. Thanks mom for continuing to mother when I didn't think I needed one.  I definitely get it now.

Happy Mother's Day

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