"A mother understands
what a child does not say."
When I first became a mother over 30 years ago (yikes!), I did not think I would be a good one. I had always heard that a mother would give up their life for that of their child. That seemed like asking a LOT from a pregnant 25 year old who didn't even want to change a diaper! After giving birth to my 10+ pound Thing #1...I was pretty sure God was testing out the theory on me. Considering the thoughts going thru my head at the time, I definitely flunked. Actually, the Better Half AND Thing #1 were lucky I even brought them both home from the hospital with me.
But a funny thing happened when I became a mom. Altho I still wasn't willing to give up my life, I became psychic...altho my Things and Better Half might call it "psychotic". I was able to tap into a power to understand, without being told. And let me tell ya...a mother's instinct is a force to be reckoned with! At times it is the bane of my Things existence. It's also the bane of my sanity. My Things should just give in and bend to my will when I ask "What's wrong?". Instead, they think they can out-maneuver me. Ignore me. Dodge me. That is...until I eventually wear them down and make them crack. And I WILL make them crack. Then, I will gloat because "I KNEW IT!". All of this is of course done "lovingly". So seriously, why put ME through the angst of proving myself right?!?!? I might not have been so sure I'd give up my life for my Things..but I knew very early on that my maternal instincts were spot on.
"Three Times Blessed"
1. I am not perfect (but then again...neither are you). I just try to LOOK like I am. The pretense of perfection is the main reason why I always made sure the windows of the house were closed before I screamed like a banshee. It's why I never served those pre-made supermarket meals in their plastic containers, and were in my own casserole dishes when I pulled them out of the oven. It's why no matter how tired, stressed, or frustrated I might have been at times...I always was dressed, had make up on, and my hair done (except when I had stomach virus...then all bets were off). It's why no matter how aggravated with you I might have been, as soon as the phone rang or someone was at the door...I was completely "sane". My motherhood mantra has always been "Fake it, till you make it". Well my Things, there was quite a bit of faking it going on. But I didn't raise no dummies...I'm pretty sure you had me figured out. And I appreciate you not pointing it out.
2. I always try my best. Life is inconsistent. There are good days. There are bad days. There might even be a couple of years I forcefully banished from my memory. I have not always been happy with the choices I've made as a mom. But the one thing that IS consistent is that I always try to do my best at any given time. Yep, my Things have heard "as long as you do your best" come from my lips a gazillion times. Usually it is when they are stressed, or are unhappy with the result of an endeavor. Well Motherhood is one big freakin' stressful endeavor. So I preach that of which I know. "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose".
3. I always have your back (whether you need it or not). I am your #1 fan. Your biggest supporter. The one who believes in you, even when you don't believe in yourself. You know, those times when you "tried your best" and it did not live up to your expectations. And yes, there might have been a few times I've stood above you, while you were sleeping in your bed, and whispered in your ear "You are stronger than you believe". Okay I admit, that MIGHT sound a bit stalker-ish, but believe me...that ain't the only time I've stalked you. But it's a fine balance between having your back, and solving your problems for you. And because I'm not perfect, I'm sure I've crossed the line once or twice...or more. But as much as I would like it to be true, the goal isn't for me to fix everything for you. Rather, it's to give you strength and to help YOU figure out how to handle situations yourself. Believe me, it would be much easier for me to just trounce on anyone who hurt you, or put you in a difficult situation. And altho that would make me feel better...it would do nothing to help you.
4. I find this whole "letting go" thing hard, except for all those childhood drawings and writings...those I threw out (this is where you should remember I admit I'm not perfect). Please re-read the last sentence from #3. Being a mother comes with a powerful tool. It's called "control". And while necessary at certain stages of childhood, it becomes a hard habit to break once you get older and need more freedom to make your own choices and decisions. And because I always have your back, and at times have had more faith in you than you did of yourself...the cold hard truth is, letting go is more about me than it is about you. Whether I have been in real control, OR "faking it til I make it" control...it's been in my job description for over 30 years now. It's part of my identity. It's boring being in control of just myself these days. And quite frankly, there are times I believe I need to let go a little of that control placed upon myself too. Because I'm not perfect, and I'm truly doing my best because I always want to have your back...I'd appreciate you cutting me some slack if you feel I'm still wielding my control powers over you on occasion. Just nod and say "yes mom"...then go and do your own thing. I mean, it's not like it would be the first time you ignored your mother, right??!?
5. I was honest when I told you "I might not like you at the moment, but I'll always love you". As cliche' as it sounds, all you need is love. Like? That comes and goes. Remember that time in your life you "liked" Pokemon Cards and Beanie Babies? But love always trumps like. Speaking of Trump "It's yuuuuuuuge!" It's stronger. Especially a mother's love. Yes, you have ticked me off. Yes, your actions have disappointed me at times. Yes, I'm sure those feelings are mutual. It is at those times we might not have liked each other. But I've always made a point to let you know that I will always love you despite momentary dislike. And those times you've told me "I hate you!"....that's okay, because I always knew you love me, even tho you didn't realize it at the time. I can easily deal with fleeting dislike as long as I have a lifetime of love. Remember...even tho I find that whole "letting go" thing hard, I will ever let go of my love for you.
Altho a Mother's Instinct is an invaluable tool, sometimes there are things that should just be said without prodding. So happy Mother's Day to all us psychic and psychotic moms. May the control be with us, as we try our best to be perfect.
6. Somewhere over the last 30 years I realized that yes, I WOULD indeed give up my life for my Things. My instincts haven't determined yet whether that makes me feel better about being a good mother or not.