My Grandma's 54th Mothers Day and 32nd as a Grandma...
That's a lot of homemade cards, traced handprints, and flowers in one form or another.
After 6 1/2 years not all, but the majority of my girlfriends are mothers. As mothers not all, but the majority of conversations we have are about our children, eachother's children, or children and parenting in general. I have grown and changed so much as a mother in just 6 years and know that so much is still to come. I watch the way my friends, family members and people I meet personally and professionally parent their children. I watch, listen to and learn from mothers every day and every day I think about my own tendancies and experiences that are shaping me as a mother.
I wish I could be more like the mom I know who never raises her voice. The one who is always able to kneel down and speak to her child(ren) at their level, with a calm voice, taking the time to explain why what they did was wrong or inappropriate, taking the time to wait for them to understand, taking the time to always ensure they feel as though they have a voice. That their feelings and opinions are valuable and matter, each and every time.
I wish I could be more like the mom I know who always looks "put together". Her hair is always done, she is always wearing makeup...good make up...and she dresses well. She is organized, moves from one activity or appointment to the next with apparent ease, juggles the schedules of herself, her husband and her many children with a smile on her face and always has time for unhurried conversation.
I wish I could be more like the Mom I know who is Involved. In her child's school, as a coach, as a Board Member, as an advocate, as a leader in the community. Well known and well respected by those who know her and even by those who don't. Who is always ready, willing and able to lend a hand to any cause in this community that needs her. Who works tirelessly to make her corner of the world a bit better for her children.
I wish I could be more like the Mom I know who is active with her kids. Takes them tobogganing, hiking, swimming, bikeriding. Who enjoys being outside in the snow all afternoon, who looks forward to weekends of snowmobiling with her kids in the wilderness, who is happy even when her fingers and feet are frozen.
Okay...maybe I should be more specific...I wish I could be more like the Mom who is active with her kids in the winter.
I wish I could be more like the Mom I know who runs. Or goes to the Gym every morning. Or learned to skate this past winter. Or takes Yoga classes. Or works out on her home Eliptical or Treadmill every day. I wish I was motivated like she is. I wish I took the time...made the time...like she does.
I wish I could be more like the Mom I know who is full of grace. Who at such a young age has been dealt one of life's harshest hands, who has buried her own child all the while inspiring others. Reminding the rest of us what is truly important in life, has inspired us all to live better, to be better. The mother who deserves nothing but happiness, and was dealt a blow so severe, many others would never recover. The mother who has chosen acceptance over bitterness. The mother who never has a negative thing to say about anyone, ever, who is able to "Let Go and Let God"...one of my role models in life in so many ways...I wish I could have that ever present grace, patience and perspective that she has.
I am the Mom who is short with my children at times. Who does send them to their rooms so that I can cool off. Who does speak harshly to them when I return to their bedroom for the fourth time after they have went to bed and refuse to settle down...who doesn't always wait to hear their side of the story...who sometimes thinks I have it all figured out and know it all...and realize later that I don't, and handled that situation poorly.
I am the mom who wears ponytails because it's easier. Who get s a really cute haircut knowing I will never go in every 6-8 weeks to maintain it. Who goes grocery shopping or to pick the kids up at school without any make up on. Who runs a full day of weekend errands before realizing my T shirt has a bleach stain on it. Or a juice stain. Or a Ketchup stain...I am the mom who has no idea about fashion and relies on my sister in law to teach me about cool clothes for adult women (Thanks Nicole!). I am the mom who wants to stop and talk but more often than not feels like I can't....that I don't have time.
I am the mom who would love to be a part of our school council, who would love to be a Baseball coach, who would love to sit on committees. I am just now, for the first time in 7 years feeling like I am in a position to start giving back. I have decided to become a Volunteer Crisis Responder with Huron County Victim Services and am in the midst of its training program. The first night we were told "this work will change who you are" and I believe that, knowing what I do now, halfway through the training. I do feel like I have skills, knowledge and passion to contribute to the community, I just wish I had more time. I want to be that mom, but I don't know how she does it.
I am the mom who hates winter. I'm not gonna lie. I want my children to play outside, to enjoy all that winter has to offer...I just don't want to be a part of it...I want Daddy to be in charge of that. I am the mom who much much MUCH prefers to hibernate in the Wintertime...with my jogging pants, warm sweater and fuzzy socks.
I am the mom who owns a home eliptical but hasn't used it in over 3 years. But I refuse to get rid of it. I am the woman that used to bicycle every day, who was on the highschool Track and Rugby teams. Who is ridiculously competitive on any playing field. Who used to have a Gym membership. Who played baseball for 18 years, until I became a Mother.
And then I became a Mother.
At 6am I don't want to run. I don't want to get out of bed. I want to sleep. I want to squeeze every minute of sleep out of a day that I can. At 9pm I don't want to go to the Gym. I want to collapse on the couch. I admit, I am not motivated. I wish I was...but I'm not. I want to weigh less than I do, and I know that exercise is the best and safest way to accomplish that. That it's good for you, that it breathes new life into your soul...I know that because I used to be very committed to it. But right now, I am lazy. I wish I wasn't, but I am.
I am a Mom who wishes I was better in some areas. A lot of areas.
I have met Moms who make me appreciate who I am and what I have and in my line of work I am constantly reminded how lucky I am, how lucky my kids are, and how good we have it.
But I still feel guilty. I still worry that I could be doing this job better...should be doing this job better.
The guilt, the worry, the second guessing, the regretting. It's just as much a part of motherhood as homemade cards, traced handprints and flowers in form or another.
I am not a perfect Mom. I am not even close. But I know that most days I am a "good enough" mom.
I hope that my daughter and son will years from now say that they felt loved, safe, secure and valued by me when they were kids growing up. That they could depend on me. That I was a good mom.
Because that, ultimately, is the best Mother's Day gift a mother can get.
Happy 32nd Mother's Day, Mom!