Mother’s day is rapidly approaching and the kids are preparing their handmade cards and a gift of some sort that will likely have a photo of their smiling faces. Each year they present me my gift with such delight in their eyes and an overwhelming amount of love. Each year I wonder, do I deserve it? Have I done enough to be the mommy they believe me to be?
Sure I try to build them up and let them know that they are enough. When I am in the mommy zone I shower them with love and let them know that they are capable of doing anything they put their minds to. However, on the days when I’m off my game and feeling tired and overwhelmed, I can be very unkind. There are times when I yell at my children and fall short of the loving mommy they know.
And still, in writing only legible to me, they scrawl on a card that I’m the best mom ever.
I try my best to create a stable, loving, home environment. I maintain as clean a home as you can when you live with three children and a husband. There are weeks when I’m Pinterest inspired and prepare gourmet meals I’ve pinned. But what about the weeks where McDonald’s and pizza are a staple in their diet? Or when they have to grab a pair of jeans from the dirty clothes pile because I forgot to dry their clothes and now they are moldy? A more together mommy would not let this happen.
And still, with all the creativity they can muster, they will draw a picture of a heart with me and them inside holding hands with a caption that reads I love you.
I am cautious about what I say around my children. However, on occasion my temper gets the best of me and I’ve been known to drop the F bomb here and there. I’ve also started an argument with my husband while my kids are home. My house isn’t that big, even when they are in their rooms they can hear. I know how anxious it made me to hear my parents argue. The thoughts of are they going to get a divorce? Will I have to choose who to go live with? This isn’t what I want for my children. I know better and therefore should do better. But I haven’t. Not always.
Surely someone who makes this error in judgment doesn’t deserve a World’s Greatest Mom mug.
I pride myself on putting my children first, but some days I find myself preoccupied with my own dreams and where I want to be five, ten, fifteen years from now. Instead of being present with my children when we play Barbie or Monopoly, my mind is on my vision board and what next steps I can take to reboot my career. With this level of selfishness, how can I truly be the mom they need me to be?
And still, come Mother’s Day the kids will pick me Dandelions and make me breakfast in bed.
Overall I consider myself an involved parent, but sometimes my battle with depression makes it difficult to show up for my children. I want to go to the soccer game and cheer my little guy on, but instead I lay in bed paralyzed by sadness. Sometimes I hear them playing outside, squealing with laughter and joy. I want to be a part of it, but I lack the energy or the motivation to leave my room.
And still, my children bring me trinkets of gratitude to express their unconditional love for me.
On Mother’s Day I feel like I should be celebrating my children. I used to see them as vessels I needed to instill knowledge in, and in some ways this is still true. However, my children have taught me some valuable life lessons. They have taught me the power of unconditional love. I know I will continue to fall short on this motherhood journey, but knowing that they love me in spite of my shortcomings inspires me to strive for better every day. We are most certainly better together.