My mother didn’t see herself as a good mother.
It always surprised me.
She would marvel at, what she perceived as, my endless patience with the children (wow, what a difference of opinion that was… I’ve always found my lack of patience my worst failing as a mother).
I have always counted myself lucky to have two such incredible parents. I always knew, no matter what, they loved and supported me. What more could a child ask for?
My mother wasn’t the type to sit down for hours and play dolls. What does that matter? She did spring for a hotel room so the birthday party that was ruined by cruel preteen girls could be salvaged at the only water slide in town. She sent me my childhood teddy bear in university when the boy I thought was the love of my life (what was his name again?) broke up with me. She dropped her suitcases after returning from a long trip to turn around a drive two and a half hours to rescue me when The Husband was away and I was so sick with pregnancy number two that I couldn’t stand up, never mind care for Big Dude. I call that good mothering.
In fact, I call any mother who can raise kids who are secure in the knowledge that they are loved, good mothers.
I read an article today about how people think mothering was easier in the 70s. Parents could do the laundry while their kids walked to ballet class or soccer. Parenting was letting kids discover themselves while Mom took care of the rest. It’s a pretty simplistic view. I am a parent and I’m not willing to claim any mother had it ‘easier’ than I do.
We all face challenges, whether it’s my mother’s lack of confidence or my friend’s challenges balancing motherhood and working full-time. We all have successes and we all have failures. I’m simply looking to tip the scales in my favour.
I thought today, my first Mother’s Day without one, would be really difficult. I had my sad moments and, when I dressed this morning, I consciously wore jewelry my mother had given me. What I realized as the day wore on was that I was carrying my mother with me, not in the jewellery that I wore, but in the woman that I am.
That is the success of my mother and that is the success of all mothers. Our children carry us with them, in their faults and in their shining moments. Lets cut ourselves some slack and take a moment today, when our family stop to celebrate us, to honour ourselves.
We are doing the best we can…. and that’s enough.