Monday, May 12, 2014

Giving Up On Guilt


It's Monday, the day after Mother's Day. Did you all survive? I say survive, because for some reason, Mother's Day is harrowing for a lot of women. I hate that that is the case, but this weekend I heard three different women state that that they'd be happier without the holiday. These are not women who wanted to be mothers, but never got the chance. They are not divorced raising kids on there own. They are all very good mothers. There are many legitimate reasons to loathe Mother's day. But there are just as many reasons that are lame. And sad. And they stem from guilt.
I think we mom's feel that Mother's Day is about acknowledging what great mom's we are. Hence, cards and school projects (both tacky and useless and adorable) that proclaim to us "World's Best Mom." Which, lets be honest, makes us all feel like a fraud. Even the woman that actually is the world's best mom, wherever she is, feels a shame dump when she reads those words. Everyone is celebrating how amazing we are, but we don't feel amazing. We feel like if a camera were on us all the time, we'd be turned in to CPS.
Let's be HONEST. This is the hardest job on earth. Especially when you actually engage in it and try. We get it wrong again and again. Even when we know better, we do the wrong thing (for example, I know screaming like a lunatic will not make my kid suddenly responsible and respectful- still, I try this method that has failed me a thousand times before). We desperately want to get this one thing, the parenting of our children, right. And we keep getting it wrong.
Well, that, my dear friend is what we are celebrating. WE ARE CELEBRATING THAT WE KEEP TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT. We are not celebrating that we often get it wrong. We are not ignoring or hiding that we get it wrong. We are acknowledging that this impossibly difficult job is one that any reasonable person would look at and say, "forget it, who can be expected to do that?"And yet, we keep showing up. We keep trying.
That changes the world. Because life itself is just like parenting. Impossible to get right all the time. So we bring these precious souls into the world. And we love them. And some times fail them. And show up the next day to try again. They are watching. The message being imprinted on their souls is this: "Being my mom is no cake walk. But she loves me so much that she never gives up on me. Life is no walk in the park. But she keeps trying. When life seems to hard or relationships seem too demanding, I know that they are the most precious things ever, and I will forge on. Because that's what my mom does EVERY BLESSED DAY."
In that way, we get it right. Every day. And that is worth celebrating!!

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