Happy Mothers’ Day!

family photo
Three generations of mothers. (I'm the one with bad bangs)
It is kind of nice to have a special day, isn’t it?

Do all of us moms deserve a special day? Who knows? Sometimes I wonder if my kids deserve a special reward for having to put up with me as their mom.

And yet, they still love me.

Because, when it comes down to it, Mom is always there. She may be late, or too early, or she may yell too loudly from the sidelines, or forget that you prefer no special sauces on your food. Sometimes she gives you a school shirt for your birthday, when a few more Legos would have been more fun.

I’ve been working this mom job for longer than I’ve held any other job outside the home. I’ve been working this job for 15 years! ¬†I have at least 17 more years of hands-on care! We know that motherhood does not end when the chicks leave the nest either, my mom has been on the job for almost 40 years now. (yes, I’m THAT old.)

With motherhood there are no raises, or promotions. There are no real vacations (and if you have ever taken a family vacation, you know what a misnomer that is). With motherhood the hours are really long. There is no union backing. A mother has only on the job training, and the training is inconsistent at best.

I’m blessed to have a willing co-worker, AKA the Rev. He has my back. He senses my fear. He does not hold my many failings as a wife and mother against me. He teaches our children to do the same.

I have a mother and mother-in-law and wonderful aunts and local mentors that I can turn to in times of confusion, or stress, or even just to share some joy, and I’m so thankful for those¬†connections.

Motherhood is something that bonds us as women. Even women who are not mothers themselves have had a mother. I think often on my dear Aunt Elizabeth. She was my grandma’s sister, and the woman that we named our Elizabeth after. She had no children of her own, but she loved my grandmother’s children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren as if we were hers. She passed on wisdom, and recipes, and laughter.

I often wonder if someday I will be that same sort of woman who is remembered for being such a special and dear mother. Do I want our children to remember that every night after dinner was a battle of the dishes, or do I want them to remember that they always got to pick the menus on their birthdays and special days. Do I want them to remember me yelling at them to tuck in their shirts on Sunday mornings, or do i want them to remember how nice it was to sit and worship together as a family every week?

So, I hug my children tighter. I try to fill their memory banks with good things. I pray that God would grant me the wisdom and strength to be a memorable mother.

Chime in! What has blessed you the most in your career as a mother? How do you try and support other mothers? You know I’d love to hear from you!

I’m Perfectly Imperfect

Lest anyone operate under the faulty notion that I am Supermom, I’ve been reminded of my failings a lot lately.

One of the boys has complained of a plugged up feeling ear lately. I forgot that he has a pain tolerance that makes him a prime candidate for male epidural free birth, if there is such a thing. Following a hunch almost a week later we spent an hour in the walk-in clinic last night and walked out with a prescription for antibiotics. Big kids get ear infections too. And I’m suspecting he’s had many more than we’ve actually caught. Way to go, Mom.

Another son has abandoned homework for a while. And I assumed that he really did not have any. Looking good, Mom.

I’m noticing that church behavior is slipping, and I’m not talking about the babies. Awesome.

As I was tucking kids in tonight, I noticed one of them was not sleeping on a sheet. Just the mattress. Where is my “mom of the year” trophy?

A big brother did better than I did at calming down Emily at bedtime tonight. Is she switching loyalties so soon?

I’ve been yelling. A lot. Too much.

On the other hand, the laundry has been chronically caught up lately. Dishes are all sparkly clean and in their places. The bathrooms are sanitary. The living room is neat and tidy (except for the pile of tissues the girls tore out of the box when they were practicing for “Minute To Win It” while I used the restroom alone this morning.)

Let’s get real. I can’t do it all. My best efforts turn up short. When my pride gets in the way I tend to end up on the wrong side of perfection. For example, this morning I was so proud of myself for getting out the door EARLY for my Moms Club meeting. Turns out I was a WEEK early. AND I had two little girls in the car who were thrilled to have gotten out of the house and were looking for adventure. Thankfully I had the double jogging stroller in the trunk, so I turned my mistake into a few miles at the mall.

And that my friends, is what I’m here to tell you.

We cannot be SUPERMOM!

(although, our husbands would not mind it!)

We can be the best that we can be, at any given moment.

Sometimes that means that the laundry is caught up and lined up neatly in dresser drawers.

Sometimes that means tasty, nutritious meals on the table by 5:30 on the dot.

Sometimes that means immaculately completed homework.

Sometimes it means mucous and germ free clean and pressed kids.

Rarely will we get all of these things at once.

The Rev. likes to refer to a truth learned in his engineering days. There is quick, cheap, and quality. Choose two. You can never get all three.

So, that is how it is with motherhood, we can’t do it all.

Should we stop trying?

Probably not.

Should we stop beating ourselves up?

Probably.

So, I’m like the anti-Mary Poppins. And that is OK.

I'm Perfectly Imperfect

Lest anyone operate under the faulty notion that I am Supermom, I’ve been reminded of my failings a lot lately.

One of the boys has complained of a plugged up feeling ear lately. I forgot that he has a pain tolerance that makes him a prime candidate for male epidural free birth, if there is such a thing. Following a hunch almost a week later we spent an hour in the walk-in clinic last night and walked out with a prescription for antibiotics. Big kids get ear infections too. And I’m suspecting he’s had many more than we’ve actually caught. Way to go, Mom.

Another son has abandoned homework for a while. And I assumed that he really did not have any. Looking good, Mom.

I’m noticing that church behavior is slipping, and I’m not talking about the babies. Awesome.

As I was tucking kids in tonight, I noticed one of them was not sleeping on a sheet. Just the mattress. Where is my “mom of the year” trophy?

A big brother did better than I did at calming down Emily at bedtime tonight. Is she switching loyalties so soon?

I’ve been yelling. A lot. Too much.

On the other hand, the laundry has been chronically caught up lately. Dishes are all sparkly clean and in their places. The bathrooms are sanitary. The living room is neat and tidy (except for the pile of tissues the girls tore out of the box when they were practicing for “Minute To Win It” while I used the restroom alone this morning.)

Let’s get real. I can’t do it all. My best efforts turn up short. When my pride gets in the way I tend to end up on the wrong side of perfection. For example, this morning I was so proud of myself for getting out the door EARLY for my Moms Club meeting. Turns out I was a WEEK early. AND I had two little girls in the car who were thrilled to have gotten out of the house and were looking for adventure. Thankfully I had the double jogging stroller in the trunk, so I turned my mistake into a few miles at the mall.

And that my friends, is what I’m here to tell you.

We cannot be SUPERMOM!

(although, our husbands would not mind it!)

We can be the best that we can be, at any given moment.

Sometimes that means that the laundry is caught up and lined up neatly in dresser drawers.

Sometimes that means tasty, nutritious meals on the table by 5:30 on the dot.

Sometimes that means immaculately completed homework.

Sometimes it means mucous and germ free clean and pressed kids.

Rarely will we get all of these things at once.

The Rev. likes to refer to a truth learned in his engineering days. There is quick, cheap, and quality. Choose two. You can never get all three.

So, that is how it is with motherhood, we can’t do it all.

Should we stop trying?

Probably not.

Should we stop beating ourselves up?

Probably.

So, I’m like the anti-Mary Poppins. And that is OK.