I have decided that Mother's Day is like asparagus. You either love it or you hate it! There really is no in between. It's either delicious, satisfying and good for you, or slimy with a bad aftertaste. I am afraid I am in the latter category - about asparagus I mean. As for Mother's Day, it really depends on the year. Sometimes it depends on the kind of week I am having with my kids, and whether or not I am feeling like a "good" mother. (By the way, I asked my husband if I needed to capitalize "asparagus" and he said that I didn't need to capitalize vegetables, unless they were also the capital of a city or country as well. Funny huh.)
But seriously, I know that Mother's Day is hard for a lot of women. Sometimes I think it puts alot of pressure on us to be ideal mothers. We want to be like the women we see on the covers of books, or in the flower ads or on blog posts. We want to be worthy of the chocolates, or the poems, hand prints, or love notes our children bring home to us! There seems to be a disconnect, between all of the beautiful things we see in the stores and how we feel about ourselves as mothers. And while I think it is good for us to strive for the ideal, it's not good for us to beat ourselves up for not reaching the ideal - at least not by today.
I have a good friend who has been asked to speak in church on Mother's Day. She is dreading it! She has a couple of challenging kids who have chosen not to do everything "by the book." So she feels like she doesn't measure up in the mothering world, especially when compared to other mothers' whose children seem to do everything right. I know how she feels. I know how easy it is to look around and compare yourself to other mothers and feel like you aren't measuring up. But I have seen glimpses of my friend's mothering and I think she is terrific!
She said her Bishop asked her to speak on "Women, God's greatest creation." Wow. Now that's a heavy topic. I told her that maybe God's greatest creation is a woman who is imperfect but is doing her best in spite of it all and who is raising her children to the best of her ability. I mean God knew that we would stink some days right? And he gave us our children anyway right? I think that means that on some level, he trusts us. Or at least he trusts our potential, or perhaps the process.
One final thought. My Father-in-law was here the other day and he asked me if I knew how special women were? He said that "Men were created out of the dust of the earth, but women were created out of man - not from dust!" I liked that thought. And we are special. If for no other reason than we agreed to take on the challenge. Even if we are imperfect. Even if our children don't make all the right choices. Even if our households aren't perfect.
To all of you women who are God's greatest creation, mother's who are imperfect, but who are doing the best you can in spite of it all... Happy Mother's Day!