Sunday, May 11, 2008

What is a Mother?

Today is the day that we celebrate mothers. Mothers who get too little sleep, too little privacy, too little quiet, too little appreciation, too little pay (yeah, like NONE!), too little praise, too little education, and too little societal support. Oh, and we get lots of crying, explosions of bodily fluids, tantrums, teething, whining, arguing, sibling rivalry, yelling, and messes.

We are an underpaid, under appreciated necessity, and we are too often overlooked as functional members of our society. Honestly, my husband does less at his job than I do at mine. That is obviously not the case in all households, but it is in ours. Working a full-time job was a breeze compared to what I do now!

It isn't easy to be a mother, but it is a lot harder to be a bad mother with rotten kids, so I will do what I can to keep my kids from being rotten. Sure, they'll need therapy for something horrible I have done or will do to them, but they will be the product of my constant, conscious efforts. It may not be everything, but it is all I have to give. And I know that one day, when my time on this earth is done, I will get to heaven and God will smile upon me and say, "well done, good and faithful servant" because I tried to do the best I could with what He gave me.

As women, we need to band together. We need to support each other's dreams and goals and efforts. We need to stop building ourselves up on the backs of those we have knocked down! This disturbs me tremendously, how vindictive and catty we can be as a gender. We are supposedly the gentle, quiet, supportive, emotional gender, but we are so horrible to one another! Suburban women are taking stimulants to keep all their balls in the air so they can lay in bed at night knowing their kids go to the best schools, wear the best clothes, take all the best lessons, and attend the best dance/karate classes. COME ON, LADIES! Motherhood is tough enough, let's not make it harder! There is no race, there is no competition, there is no everything! YOU CAN NOT HAVE IT ALL! It is a MYTH!!!

I worked as a childcare evaluator once upon a time, and we used a evaluation tool devised by a group of experts over a period of time. One of those experts was known for saying something like this: "for every good thing you do, you give up something good." In other words, you may have a benefit for something you are doing, but there will be something you have missed by doing it. I may spend a lot of time with my kids, but my house is neglected. Hmm, let me check my priorities....

Just think about what you are doing. That's all I am saying. Don't let the world tell you what your family should do; don't let the world or the media or your neighbors measure your success for you. (Can you tell peer pressure wasn't a big problem for me in my teens?)

God loves you for YOU. He didn't create you to be Wonder Woman or SuperMom, just the best YOU that you can be. And He also didn't create us to be judge and jury of every other woman's life choices (outside of dangerous or child-hazardous situations, butt out!)

Okay, exit soap box for today. Have a blessed Mother's Day. And don't forget to bless yours.

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