Mother’s Day musings

The reality is, as women we are naturally just too hard on ourselves

Some moms appear as though they were born to mother (you know the type, the ones who seem to have all the patience in the world and 99 per cent of the time their children seem perfectly behaved).

I always hoped I’d be one of those types, but that hasn’t exactly been the case.  When it comes to mothering – I sometimes wonder how I ever qualified for the job.

Apparently I’m not the only one: according to a recent Baby Center poll 85 per cent of the 25,780 moms asked worry that they’re not cut out to be a mom.

We look around at our friends, female co-workers, sisters, in-laws, and our own moms and can’t help but compare ourselves.

We watch mothers at the grocery store with their children sitting perfectly behaved in the shopping carts and wonder how they do it, as we wrestle our own from tearing apart the neatly stacked shelves.

We see them master tantrums with ease, or avoid potential explosions with some magical touch.

We wonder where these supermoms got their skills – was there some parenting school or class that I missed?

The reality is, as women we are naturally just too hard on ourselves. We strive for perfection in an imperfect world.

Yet we are all a work-in-progress. We all have our faults (yes, even those supermoms aren’t doing everything right, and perhaps behind closed doors their situation is much different than what we see).

Therefore as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday we should applaud all that we have accomplished.

Whether it’s simply getting out the door on time more often this week than last, or managing to sneak a vegetable into your picky toddler’s diet this month, or send her to bed without a fight. It’s all an accomplishment worthy of self-gratification.

Or for all us mothers who beat ourselves up for not spending enough time with our kids as we work full-time, applaud yourself when you put the chores aside and spend some quality playtime with your kids.

In the end, it is the quality of time spent that really matters. Cherish the time you have, because for some people, this Mother’s Day represents another special day that their mother is not around to spend it with.

I can’t even imagine how hard it is for all those (including my own mom) who will shed a tear Sunday as they wish for just one more day with their own moms.

And what about all the mothers out there who have lost a child and been robbed of the mothering experience?

Whether it’s a miscarriage, a health problem, a tragic accident or an inability to conceive, there are thousands, if not millions of women out there who will find Sunday to be one of the hardest days to get through.

These are the people who want nothing more in life but to hear the pitter-patter of little footsteps in their home.

While many of us loathe a trip to the store with screaming kids, there are people out there who would give anything for the experience.

It’s not that us moms don’t appreciate what we have (we are grateful to have been blessed with beautiful, healthy children), sometimes we just forget how precious our families are.

It is a gift that we sometimes take for granted.

While the job of mothering may be tough at times and we may not even feel cut out for it, we should cherish it. After all, moms are the best!

So this Sunday I wish all the women out there – both those who are moms and those who dream of it – a happy Mother’s Day.

– Jennifer Smith writes for The Morning Star