Other than that, it was a usual day – involving messes (and cleaning up of messes), petty fights (and breaking up of petty fights), dishes, meals, laundry, and a lot more patience than I keep on hand.
At some point in the day, standing at the sink, my thoughts wandered, as they inevitably do, to my shortcomings as a mother. Most days, I really don’t feel like a very good mother. I mean, I’m a passable mother… but I always feel I could be a better mother, even a perfect mother.
I got to thinking about all the mothers I know, and how awesome they are in different ways. She is so great at discipline. I wish I could be like her. She is such a wonderful housekeeper. I’d be a better mother if I were more like her. She shows the love of nature to her little one. I would be better if I did that more.
As I held each mother up to the light, admiring her perfection, if dawned on me (in one of those crystal-clear AHA moments) that despite their collective virtues, not one of these mothers has the complete package a perfect mother should, in my mind. (And I’m sure each of them believes she isn’t a very good mother.)
But here’s the thing… there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ template for mothers is there? Just as there isn’t one for kids. Of course there are some constants; love is one of them. But my point is this: we are each trying to be perfect in our own way, because we are trying to meet the unique needs of our children.
But we are already built to do that.
When we become a child’s mother, we also get a package of instincts; unexplainable feelings in our hearts that tell us what that child needs.
And maybe, just maybe… it’s possible that right now, in this very flawed instant, I am everything my children need.
And you are too, to your children.
Think about that – you’re already their perfect mother, simply because you’re you.
Feeling shortcomings as a mother is simply an indicator of your desire to give your best to your children.
In this season of my life, I will try to celebrate the perfect package of mothering skills I already have. Because my little ones deserve my very best.
Happy Mother’s Day to you!