Wednesday, February 1, 2012
"Motherhood is a choice you make everyday to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing - even when you're not sure what the right thing is... and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing everything wrong. -- Donna Bell
Wise woman. She did not specify, however, that she was talking about good moms. Not all moms make these choices. (I think of myself as a pretty good mom, and I don't make these choices everyday!!! Some days I am straight up selfish! I should be sent to bed without my supper and probably spanked with a newspaper on my way to my bedroom.)
I had a good "mom". What I mean is, the woman who raised me definitely put my happiness and well-being before hers. She taught me important lessons about working hard, going to church and being a kind, loving person; and her "mothering" is the standard I hold myself to today.
I fail. Miserably, most of the time, to live up to how well she mothered me.
Our circumstances are very different -- I was the only child she was caring for whereas I have four babies; she did not work outside the home and was not getting her masters degree at the same time... Even realizing those discrepencies between our lives, I still want to live up to the legacy of how she cared for me. She was an amazing housekeeper. And cook - although she hated every minute of cooking for us. :) Her house was immaculate - always! She was at every event I was involved in and, let me tell you, there were a lot of them. I did dance, piano lessons, honor classes, yearbook, cheerleading... She went on almost all the field trips and volunteered in my classrooms. She was constantly baking brownies or cookies for me to take to school and was always home when I got off the bus. On weekends, she would load up me and whatever friends I had invited (usually more than 2) and take us to the mall, to the roller rink (both an hour away), to the park...
Every year we went school clothes shopping and I remember coming home with bags and bags of clothes. I never went without... But, more impressively, I never saw her worried. She never showed me her stress over money or her worries about what she was spending to raise this child that wasn't hers. I know she had them, but she never showed me that she was concerned. I experienced the blessings, never the sacrifices.
I was spoiled. She went above and beyond. I got basically anything I wanted and I did not learn the value of money or how to help out around the house. Her rule was that I had to do well in school - that was my job. She took care of the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, everything. (I was clueless when I went to college but by then, I had Lowell to help me.)
So now I try to balance my desire to live up to her example while teaching my children about sharing, earning money and helping around the house. I wonder sometimes if I push them too much toward those things simply because I soo want them to get it. Actually, I'm pretty sure I do this. I want them to learn these lessons and so I'm pushing them harder than I should. I forget that parenting is a marathon - not a sprint. When I don't give them everything, I feel guilty, and when they act like selfish brats and don't want to help out, I panic.
I am very thankful I have such a great role model to fashion myself after. Mamie raised me with love and care. She was devoted and selfless. I hope that I am showing her that I appreciate her by doing my best to love my children the way she taught me to. And also because I'm learning to be the best mom I can be, in my circumstances, with my children and my life using the strength and intelligence she taught me.
I've also been blessed to have another surrogate mother. I have a step-grandmother who has never been "step" and was rarely a "grandma" - she's always been more like an aunt or a big sister. She has been an invaluable resource for cooking questions -- especially, the "I don't have any ..., what can I use instead" variety! :) But, more importantly, she's been my go-to when I have questions about how to be a Christian wife and mother. She has prayed for me and supported me and loved me. She's given me information about my real mom, taught me to scrapbook and spoken words of truth into my life. I feel blessed to have her in my life and thankful for all she's done.
at 6:58 PM