|Rug rats Summer 2001, Utah|
WARNING: The following post is going to make me sound like some sort of mommy Grinch. (My heart could be three sizes too small but I've never had it tested ;) ...If you are that perfect mother I am refering to...please stop it you're making the rest of us look bad :)
Okay, I promise to keep the eye rolling to a minimum this Sunday...Confession. I find Mother's Day rather cheesy. Its something I'm still working on, my attitude regarding the honorary day has drastically improved as of late but there is a lot of room for improvement.
Okay a little background here. I was a young mom (5 kids by 25).While I very much wanted and loved my children. I found it way harder emotionally than I ever imagined. On the outside I was the budding "supermom" I thought I was supposed to be. Most people thought I totally had it together and for the most part I did. But on the inside, it was a completely different...I felt like a fraud and failure.
While I loved my children dearly...I really struggled with the monotony and exhaustion of it all. I found little happiness in changing diapers, cleaning up the avalanche of toys in the family room, or my 3 am alarm clock. The joys of motherhood were escaping me completely. Having my own less than conventional mother as an example, who also needed my mothering, gave my little to pull from. I was lost.
I would go to play group or to school and especially to Church and see "happy" mothers all around me and wonder how the heck I had missed the boat.
Mother's Day was torture. For some reason, at Church they would always have the woman who had like 13 kids, baked cookies everyday, and had an immaculate home (you know the kind) speak. She would share how happy and fulfilled she was. How her perfect children excelled in football, french, pottery, musical theater and ballet and never spoke back...I would sit there with my rowdy gaggle, who I barely had gotten out the door with their faces washed, and try to keep the big old chip on my shoulder and excessive eye rolling from being obvious.
A few dear friends, kindred spirits really saw through my facade. They were farther down the parenting road than I was and gave me a reason to hope. It was the understanding nod as I drug an unruly rug rat out of Sacrament Meeting for the third time in half an hour. The Visiting Teacher who would spend an entire morning with me just talking reminding me that I was still capable of adult conversation. The neighbour who helped scrub paint off my brand new floors after my kids had spilt it and tracked it through the entire house, sharing all the crazy things her kids had done, making me feel human and normal. These friends are now family..when I think of how a mother ought to be I think of them.
So I have survived. The kids have survived. I do find joy in motherhood, even if the definition of joy had to be my own. I wouldn't trade my experiences for anything. I just wish I hadn't been so hard on myself.
So "happy" Mother's Day!