Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I've been doing a lot of thinking about mothers and motherhood lately.

This is most probably because this Monday I began homeschooling my children, and it's got me looking at the world with pretty fresh eyes.  On top of that, last week I wrote this blog and I got a note from my mom about it.

First of all, I wasn't really sure if my mom read this blog.  I maintain a couple of others and I know she peruses those from time to time, but I wasn't sure about this one. 

Then, on the R.J. facebook page, I got this comment from her in response to my blog:  "Miss, this is excellent! I am proud of you. Did you actually send the letter? I hope you did!"

My heart was so warmed by this comment - I can't even begin to tell you.  

If it had not been my mom, you can bet the effect would have been significantly diminished.  First of all, the phrasing is decidedly intimate - but besides that, it's from MY MOM.

I doesn't matter how old I get - I still seek after my mom's approval.  

I still think about what my mom would think or what she would do.

Sometimes I know I'm doing something outside of her comfort zone, like shaving my head, for example...  but it is always one of THE BEST feelings to know that Mom is proud of me.  That she approves.  That she's there.

I know of folks whose mothers were not so good as mine.  Moms who hurt their kids or abused them or degraded them or what have you.  The thing about that is - I also know that those kids still long for that kind of approval.  Maternal pride.  And love.  Unconditional love.  

As a mom, it's been humbling to understand that I, as a thirty year old woman and mother of my own children still look to my mom for wisdom, for advice, for approval of my actions.  I still think about what she would think, what she must be thinking.  Humbling because I know that every thing I say to my kids will effect them so strongly.  That in twenty years or so it will be MY voice in their heads when they are faced with a tough decision.  That's a lot of responsibility.  

This particular post is for the moms out there who are thinking that maybe they aren't all that important.  Or that their job doesn't really matter.  Because those things are just insanity.  And I've been there before - I know.  I've felt isolated and lonely and tired and depressed about being a mom.  Felt like I was so insignificant.  But seeing my moms comment about her being proud of me - that's what it's all about, people!  It's a powerful position, and a humbling one all at once.  A paradox.  An important one.  Maybe the most important job in the world.  

This post is also for all the other women out there who might not have kids but who long to be moms.  Please know that there are a lot of hurting kids out there whose moms couldn't be there, couldn't face it, couldn't handle this responsibility.  Who turned to abuse, to drugs, who ran away.   Those hurting kids need mom figures in their lives.  Maybe you could find them, be one.  

To all you kids out there who have a mom who is trying her darndest to help you grow up in the best way possible (and you're still her kid til you're dead and she's still trying til she is), give her an extra hug today.  Think about that humble responsibility that she is face with.  Try to put yourself in her shoes sometimes.  

I know that especially when I was fourteen and fifteen my mom and I went through a really rough time.  I felt like she didn't understand me and she was trying to get through to me and I was scared and pubescent and angry and not telling her everything and just a general mess of a kid.  Maybe you're there right now and your mom is the last person on your "like" list.  If I could go back to my freshman year of high school I would tell myself to try hard to listen before speaking.  To talk calmly before freaking out.  To take time to get to KNOW my mom before jumping to conclusions about who she was.  

In the end, this post is about moms and for moms and about kids and for kids - kids who are now moms themselves and kids who are grown-ups and kids who are just starting to read this stuff.  Moms are a gift.  Some of us don't really have a mom, at least not one who is able to function right now.  Who is showing you maternal love?  What does that person mean to you?  What does Mom mean to you?


Summer said...

I am right there. I wonder about how I am doing and if Ia m a good mom. I am worried that I am not a good mom to her. Its strange that you would post this when I am thinking this.

Missy said...

The best we can do is the best we can do.

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