I thought I would be a better mother
- I thought my house would always be spic and span – everything in its place, everything with a space
- I thought my kids would be clean. Oh, maybe dirty on occasion from their hard play outside but that would be about it. Clean, they’d be clean, with clean garments
- I thought my kids would only play with wood toys, spartan, using their wild, creative imaginations to make all that wood sparkle – no plastic!
- I thought I would be cheerful, loving, laughing, patient – ever ready for an educational song, dance or game!
- I thought I would feed my kids pure, healthy, organic food – let no dyed, chemical-laden, enriched or whatever food enter their tender bodies!
- I thought I would exclusively breastfeed each child for two years. Just like the World Health Organization says we should. AND I WOULD LOVE IT.
- I thought I would have natural childbirths – c-sections weren’t for me!
- Post-partum depression? Huh? Wasn’t that the thing that Brooke Shields had?
- I thought I’d put Mary Poppins to shame with my singing and dancing to get kids to do stuff (see #1)
- I thought I’d make crafts with my kids, inspire them with great art, hiding the glitter from your kids? what kind of parent would do that????
- I thought I’d ban TV and cartoons – well, maybe an exception with an occasional episode of Sesame Street…
- I thought I would host and organize playdates, play groups; be the mom that was the hostess with the mostest. Or the moistest (handmade, healthful) cupcakes.
- I thought I’d be eager to read on demand all the time, any time – A Crack in the Track again, honey?! WHY, SURE!
- I thought I’d want to listen to every.single.tantalizing moment of my child’s loooooooooooooooooooooooong rambling descriptions of robots, thrilling to the evidence of his
intellectgenius and proudly encouraging him on….and on…and on…
- I thought I’d tingle with joy at answering ALL the ‘WHY’ questions. “but why?’ – ‘but why?”- “why, Mommy?”, ‘why?”, “whyyyyyyyyyy?’, “whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?’
As I look into the picture that I create with what my mothering actually is, rather than glory that I thought it would be, I can see the reflection of my own mother’s eyes looking back at me and realize a million slivers of truth in an instant.
I’ll bet she thought she’d always be loving and cheerful and kind and patient too.
With that realization comes compassion, forgiveness and understanding: for her, for my grandmothers, for the long line of women that I come from, each generation thinking they’d be better, thinking they would never hide the glitter.
And maybe, well maybe… maybe we are.
Maybe we all are.
Hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day – may your bathroom door stay shut, the legos off the floor and the kids not cry ALL DAY.