There are many different kinds of mothers. Ones that are fun and silly, some that are strict and rigid, those that are selfless and compassionate, others that are perfectionists and sticklers, and moms who are in the process of learning what defines their style of motherhood. For me, I fall into all of these categories, depending on the day. Am I feeling patient today? Am I upset about something unrelated to my children that is affecting my parenting style? Did my kids do something to make me so proud, I feel like I could have 10 more of them? Did my kids completely disrespect me and make me question all that motherhood has to offer?
It’s difficult to describe what type of parent we are because our children are always changing, and so are we. As we try to help our children figure out who they are and provide them with the tools to do so, we as adults, are evolving as well. It’s definitely true what they say about getting wiser with age. I am not the same person I was in my 20s and when I hit my 40s in a few short years, I hope to realize I have grown and changed since my 30s. At the end of the day, we as mothers need to reflect and think about what we succeeded at and what we could have handled better… and do it all again tomorrow.
Motherhood is about being flexible because as we all know, the day can change at a moment’s notice. Did I think I would be holding my seven year old’s hand at 10PM while he was getting stitches last week? (P.S. My five year old hit him on purpose with a bat, but that’s a whole other article). No, but I did, and that was how our day turned out. Did I know that a few days ago while dropping the kids off, I would listen as a teacher recognized something my son had accomplished as she called him up in front of the whole primary school? No, but let me tell you on my drive home, my heart was so full of love and pride, I could hardly hold back the tears. I remember thinking that there is nothing my child could do that would make me angry with him. Of course later that day, my feelings of utter admiration turned into frustration and loathing. It’s really funny how many emotions moms can go through in a day. Being a mother is very similar to riding a roller coaster. There are ups, downs and surprises around every corner. Some of which are exhilarating, some that are scary, and some that make you regret your decision. Sound familiar?
I definitely want to be a mom that my kids admire. Does that mean letting them stay up late or giving them an extra dessert in hopes of them thinking I am a cool mom? If you ask them, they would say yes. Could it mean showing them what hard work and determination can lead to? If you ask me, I would say yes. Perhaps it means being able to fix boo-boos with a simple kiss. I’ll take that! There are days that I want to rewind the clock and feel horrible about my lack of patience or raised voice. I am pretty sure there isn’t a mom out there who can say they haven’t felt that way. We are only human, which means we don’t always have a lot of tolerance for bad manners, disrespectfulness, whining, hitting, talking back and not listening, just to name a few hundred. Guess what? That’s okay!!!
In our house, I have discovered a way to remove myself from handling situations involving the above offenses. It helps to allow myself to discipline without the guilt, and avoid any grudges from my kids. Often on the way to school (we have a long drive), I come up with different ways to entertain the boys. Throughout the years, we have created different characters that I transform into. One is an old woman with a thick New York accent, another, a little girl, and their favorite, a green alien from a planet we call Zelnorm. There is one character in particular that only rears her ugly head when the kids misbehave and her name is Mimmy. She is my evil twin and has no problem letting the boys know when enough is enough! Whenever I do raise my voice, my five year old will ask, “Was that Mimmy?”. I respond with, “Yes. Yes it was and let’s hope she doesn’t have to come back. She is certainly not as nice as Mommy.”. They all agree with me on that one. Call it schizophrenic parenting but it works! If my kids tell me I am mean I tell them, “Don’t tell me, tell Mimmy”. This “character” if you will, also helps me as a parent calm down a bit when a situation causes me to want to pull my hair out. It adds a touch of comedy to an otherwise frustrating and infuriating circumstance. If you ever read the book, Ms. Nelson is Missing, by Harry G. Allard Jr. and James Marshall, you will understand my inspiration and goals in regard to “Mimmy”. If not, it’s an absolute must read classic, and teaches kids to appreciate what they have! My hope was that my boys would have more appreciation for “Mommy” when they met “Mimmy”. The jury is still out on that one but so far so good.
No matter what kind of mother you were yesterday, are today, and hope to be tomorrow, Sunday, May 11th is a celebration of YOU! No matter how crazy motherhood can get, we are all in it together!
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!™
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!