Well, it is that time of year again….. Happy Mothers’ Day! A day of sleeping in (i.e. listening as your husband and kids clank and bang EVERY pot you own.), pancake syrup spilled in your bed (because a 7 year old pouring syrup on your $50 sheets is a GREAT idea.), and LOTS of handmade cute art you really will cherish (until your 10 year old takes it out of the closet and loses it.)
Yes. That sounds fun!!! Not.
I have been really contemplating this lately… Even though there is a pretty box in my living room with a sweet bow waiting for me to open(pots and pans I asked for), I have decided that the most important gift I NEED is one I can only give myself. And if you are like any other mother, you need to receive it too.
I know I am not smart enough, strong enough, diligent enough, selfless enough to be the wife of the sweetest, funniest geek God could have blessed me with- let alone be the mother of his children….. Who are also sweet, funny geeks!
I also have some great friends. But as homeschool moms, we try to not let people see the cracks in our armor, or shortcomings. I, tend to let it all out because that is my personality but many of the beautiful women I am blessed to know don’t let their failures show. I look at the perfect image and compare it to my life. My messy house, my crazy schedule, my illness, my frustration, my search for perfection. It is always dangerous to compare your insides to someone else’s outer image. It isn’t real. Everyone has flaws, makes mistakes, and are NOT perfect.
A while back I went shopping with my mom. While driving to town we got on the topic of how much pride my parents had in me. My sister is a hard worker and does a lot to care for them. They are proud of that. My brother is incredibly smart. Duke university told us that in middle school. That makes a parent proud. He also happens to be a awesome drummer too. Then there’s me. I was a low paid pre-k teacher prior to my career change to stay at home mom and homeschool mom. So there isn’t a lot of room for pride there.
My mom. I love her. She worked hard to be treated equally as a woman in the seventies. What was the commercial? “I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan.” She did her best to work 50-60 hours a week, come home and cook meals, on Saturdays she cleaned,. Saturday nights she supported my dad by going to watch him play in a weekend band. She struggled to keep all the plates spinning. And she was disappointed that I decided not to take advantage of the strides the women before me made (including her.)
But someone forgot to tell her you can do everything mediocrely (not sure that is a word…), or you can put all your passion into that ONE thing that means the most.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think for a second she did it wrong. She did it her way. I, because of her generation, had the choice to be a mom full time. Being a wife and mother wasn’t the only road. It was my road.
Back to that conversation in the car with my mom. She told me that she had been retired for years and nobody saw her in her fancy office, wearing her heels, or her wall of achievements anymore. She said that her career wasn’t her legacy. I was. My brother was. She told me I couldn’t do anything else to make her prouder. I was a passionate and devoted mom. My babies will be my legacy. And hers too.
So, this Mothers’ Day I give myself forgiveness for not doing it all. I give myself forgiveness for not being “important” to the outside world. I forgive myself for not being perfect.
So, I hope that you will grant yourself that grace this Mothers’ Day. Stop trying to prove yourself worthy to the other moms, to your parents, to yourself. Because God doesn’t make mistakes. Forgiveness is a gift best given daily. The rewards are immense. Let the blessings God has given you be “enough”.