By Madison Frederick
Ah…..Mother’s Day is almost here (that sacred day that florists, card shops, and restaurants love!).
It is the day that the universe forces you to think about your mother and recall that emotionally-laden relationship you have, or had, with her. There is even a section in the card stores for the “You’ve Been LIKE a Mother to Me,” folks. Hmmm.
This observation just validates the thought that Mother’s Day is a big deal. And it certainly is!
Would you apply for a 24 hour/7day a week job with no guarantee of benefits? Of course, I am referring to “mothering” as a career. And it is a career from which you can NEVER retire. Motherhood is the most thankless, demanding, and rewarding job there is. On that, we can all agree. The expectations are sky high (“God could not be everywhere, so he created MOTHERS”). You know all the slogans and tee shirt sentiments.
Like many Boomer babies, I recall that my mother did not “work.” Right. I think a more accurate statement is that she did not work at just one job. She held many and was constantly on call.
So is Motherhood worth it? Unequivocally, yes! It is a relationship like no other.
I could fill this magazine with the heart-warming events of Motherhood. Sure, everyone remembers those behavioral markers of first step, first words, first prom, etc. But what about those tough times of mothering? Those times when you wanted to turn in your Motherhood badge?
“Mrs. Frederick, this is Mr. Jones from school. Could you come over for a conference after lunch today? We need to discuss Joey’s behavior.”
“Mrs. Frederick, we need you to pick up Junior as soon as possible. He has violated our No Biting policy.”
“ Mom, I didn’t make the team! It is so unfair.”
And in mothering, it is not just what you do that can be a problem; it is also what you don’t do. For example, you don’t ask too many questions when their friends are visiting. You don’t talk to the coach about the lack of his/her playing time. You don’t hover, but you are close enough to lend money when needed. You don’t act too young or too old. You must be discreet and parentally appropriate (whatever that is). And trust me, it is a moving target.
Yes, there are some tough mothering passages in life. I offer to you some mother-related lists that you won’t find in the Hallmark shops.
THE SCARIEST STATEMENTS FROM YOUR CHILDREN
“Mom, I know you told me not to, but….”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t think it would be this bad.”
“Now don’t get mad, Mom, but…”
THE MOST INFURIATING STATEMENTS FROM YOUR CHILDREN
“I forgot to tell you that I need…”
“I can’t wait until I am old enough to move out of here.”
“I KNOW, Mom, I know…”
THE MOST INSULTING STATEMENTS FROM YOUR CHILDREN
“Why can’t you be like _______’s mom?”
“You are just too old to understand this, Mom, but…”
“When I have kids, I’m never going to ……….like you do.”
Yet, somehow, if we can manage to get through all the tough times of mothering, we finally reach a refined relationship of love and respect deeper than any other. We can look back on those special moments – kindergarten orientation, Halloween, ballgames, dances, graduation – and cherish the memories. Some of the most significant memories are those unexpected ones, the unplanned times when you are in the moment with your child, like car conversations, late-night chats, and unexpected hugs.
Surely the best statements ever are:
“I want you to meet my mom.”
“That’s not how my mom did it.”
“Mom, I want to be just like you when I grow up.”
“Mom, I love you.”
Is Motherhood worth it? Without a doubt!
Enjoy this special day dedicated to you. You earned it!!