Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I'll be honest. I was not looking forward to Mother's Day. In fact, I was dreading it and pretty much just wanted to skip it. I was feeling so guilty about being such a lousy mother that I didn't want a holiday to be reminded of my lack of talent in mothering. I didn't want to hear the talks in church where people talked about their perfect mothers and how great they were while I was chasing my screaming child around the building. (Seriously, the week before last was pure torture. We had to take her out at least 6 times during sacrament meeting screaming and trying to wriggle away.) I was feeling guilty that I often dread going to church because I don't want to deal with that. I was feeling guilty that I was jealous of some of my friends who were doing things that I can't really do very easily anymore. I was feeling bad about not looking so pretty anymore with the extra weight and tired eyes and graham cracker goo clothes. All which comes with being a mother.

I always thought I would be a good mother. People always told me I would be a good mother. I always wanted to be a mother. I waited a long time to be a mother. And then when it finally happened, I was in for a giant surprise. I thought I had prepared. I thought it would just come naturally. Oh boy, was I ever wrong. Being a mother is THE hardest thing I have ever done. And I have done a lot of hard things.

I wasn't prepared for the loneliness and monotony that being a mother sometimes entails. I wasn't prepared for the cranky times outweighing the pleasant times. I wasn't prepared to spend most of my days making food that doesn't get eaten and then cleaning it up off the floor and going up and down the stairs five hundred times a day. I wasn't prepared to have absolutely NO CLUE what to do with her sometimes. And I feel guilty because this whiny, but still precious, little girl deserves better than that.

And that is why I wanted to skip Mother's Day. Of course, I wanted to feel special and honored and appreciated. But I wanted to feel deserving of it. And I did not want to feel guilty. Poor Matt didn't know what to do with me.

And then a miracle happened. First of all, in sacrament meeting, the talks were not about mothers. Thank you, bishop! They were about faith and courage. (Which can definitely be applied to motherhood, but also to other things.) Plus, Emily was actually GOOD in sacrament meeting. And then, in Relief Society, the RS president got up and the first words out of her mouth were, "I have a love-hate relationship with Mother's Day." She went on to say how guilty she felt about not being the perfect mother and how she just gritted her teeth through the talks about all the great mothers. What? I wasn't the only one who felt that way? Anyway, her lesson was about how no one is the perfect mother and our children won't be ruined by our lack of mothering skills or whatever. That, in fact, they can learn from us even when we get frustrated, make mistakes, etc. That it's ok that we  sometimes create (not on purpose) the opposition in their lives, which is essential to their learning. And it totally made me feel better.

I know that mothering is not one of my talents, but I learned yesterday that it's ok. Everyone will turn out ok. And I ended up having a wonderful Mother's Day. I'm glad I didn't skip it. Emily was really good for most of the day. She voluntarily gave me lots of kisses without even being told and was doing really cute things all day. I'm so thankful to have this precious little girl in my life, even if I suck at being a mom.

And Matt tried very hard to help me feel loved and appreciated by getting me some flowers and making me a Costa Rican breakfast and getting some paint for our kitchen, which I've been wanting to repaint.

Anyway, thank you to Matt and Emily and the Relief Society president for helping me to better appreciate motherhood and helping me to have a great Mother's Day.


Leslie@leserleeslovesandhobbies said...

I know how you feel. And my kids are pretty good. But I feel like a terrible mom so much of the time. I don't have much desire to play with them. And reading to them gets old pretty fast. But I do love them. I was wondering if there is a history of food allergies in either family. The reason I ask is because I have a friend who had a daughter that was pretty cranky most of the time, but when the family inadvertently cut gluten out of their diet the daughter's attitude dramatically improved. Just a thought. I hope things get better as Emily gets older, and that the next little one isn't as whiny.

Kristen Brady said...

Your post just made me cry. I'm so glad you ended up having a wonderful Mother's Day. Being a Mom is SOOO hard sometimes (almost all the time, really), and it's even harder in our facebook and blog world where we are constantly exposed to only the best things people are doing - thus making us feel inadequate. I grew up with a mom who hated (and still does) Mother's Day for the same reasons you listed in your post. As her daughter, it bothered me that she felt that way. I knew how imperfect she was, but I also knew how much she loved me and tried her best - I wanted to celebrate her. Allow those who love you to celebrate you too - in all your imperfect perfectness (and normalness!). Love you lots!

Krista said...

Thanks for posting about what your Relief Society president said. It's nice to hear that others feel that way sometimes too!