May 12, 2016

A Good Mother

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all my mother friends and readers! I've been feeling bad that it's been so long since my last post. I'd intended to write a nice post prior to Mother's Day but my "mothering" duties prevented that from happening. There have been some challenges this year but we're doing okay. This year on Mother's Day I made my kids suffer through a photo shoot since I know it is something I won't otherwise take the time to do and they would complain loudly on any other day. I hope you enjoy the pictures and that you had a wonderful day spent just the way you like.

I was going to write about what it means to be a "good mother".  This is something moms care about even after Mother's Day so here goes. Better late than never I hope.

Every woman I know who is a mother or acts as a mother wants to do a good job. There are so many ways to parent and tasks to juggle that we can sometimes be left wondering how we are doing. I know I do. I'm going to share a little secret ritual I have. It might seem a bit silly but when I'm feeling a bit down about my mom job or off target (we all have those days or weeks don't we?) I sit down with breakfast on a special plate I have and reflect. Since I often forget to eat breakfast, or eat standing in the kitchen while doing chores which is hardly any better, this ritual is in part about taking care of myself too.  What makes the plate special is that it has a message on it that simplifies the mission of this difficult job of mothering into an ideal that is easy to understand, "A Good Mother Makes a Happy Home." That's it. Simple.

That's not to say that I believe it's the mom's job to make everyone else happy.  It is also true what they say "If Mamma 'aint happy, 'aint nobody happy." but taking a few minutes to recharge with food and think about my intentions while I manage the affairs of my home and children's lives, as increasingly busy and complex as things are in these times, helps me get back on track. This plate was made in 1979 when life was a whole lot simpler, but I find it's just as true today, a simple barometer so to speak. Is your home a happy one? Ours is sometimes and sometimes it isn't. I use this ritual is a reminder when I need it. You can find these plates from time to time at thrift stores.

Of course you don't need a plate to reflect about whether your home is a happy one. And how you go about making a happy home may be completely different from how other people do. It's about looking at the things in your life that you might want to change. Lately I am trying to listen to what my emotions are telling me. They too are a barometer, one that is with us every minute of every day. Often we ignore our emotions but they have important things to tell us about whether our spirit is satisfied with the way we are living our lives.

This year has been a hard one. My birth mother passed away too soon from kidney failure as a result of acute pancreatitis. Her birthday was also in May, right before Mother's Day.  I miss her. As an adopted child I also missed the chance to grow up with her. My childhood home wasn't exactly a happy one. For a long time I have been searching for the answers to what it means to be a good mom. When my time here on earth is over my greatest wish is that my children will remember me as a good mom. To me that means we had a happy home together, and also that they know in their heart of hearts that I loved them unconditionally.  I know they will also remember me as someone who tortured them with a camera. So be it. I can live with that.