Anita posted this last Mother’s Day. We’ve had lots of people search for and read it this week so we thought we’d share it again. Enjoy!
I made some cookies for Mother’s Day. But that is kind of a side note to today’s post. It appears that I have something to say about Mother’s Day. Who knew?
I used to think Mother’s Day was just a nice Sunday when moms got
ugly adorable homemade earrings. But last year, I got the “coveted” opportunity to speak in church on Mother’s Day. I was specifically asked to say something inpirational without offending anybody or making them feel inadequate. Before this time, I had no idea that Mother’s Day came with such baggage!
While preparing that talk, I realized something I had never considered before. Moms are mom-haters.
Yes, that sounds really strange, but let me explain.
# 1. Moms sometimes hate being moms.
Don’t get me wrong. We like it, sometimes. But no mom can honestly say that she has never thought, “I didn’t sign up for this &#*$.” So many aspects of motherhood are pretty sucky. My mom would not approve of that phrase, but it is just true!
A while back I recorded this for posterity:
I went to a wonderful prayer meeting for a severely injured friend. I came home and made dinner, my husband was at parent-teacher conferences. I didn’t see that hunk of something on the bottom of the oven and only noticed when the house was filled, filled with smoke.
The smoke alarms started going off and Dr. Jones (5) was crawling around the floor and explaining to me that this is what the firemen told her to do, all the while chiding me for starting a fire.
After our dinner of “smoked” pork chops, Dr. Jones yelled down the hall that her brother had a problem with his diaper. Namely, that somehow it snuck out of his pants. I still can’t figure out how it happened. But he was dragging a poopy diaper around his one ankle, all over the house.
Then when I had him in the bathtub trying to clean up his situation, he reached forward and pulled up the shower lever. So, I took a shower myself, fully clothed, in a dress.
All moms can relate to this story. It happens to the best. And in the middle of it, we may not love playing for the mommy team.
#2. Moms sometimes hate themselves as mothers.
We look at what we are doing and we feel inadequate. None of us are sitting by the phone waiting for that call that we’ve received the coveted “Mother of the Year” award. If we were grading ourselves, most of us would give ourselves a barely passing grade. We remember our failures and critique ourselves constantly.
Here’s an example of what is on my report card:
About one year ago, I asked Dr. Jones to go put some outgoing mail in the mailbox and put up the flag. She said that she would take the mail out, but would not, could not put up the flag.
I was in a bad mood. So I snapped back at her that she was being lazy and if she didn’t put up the flag that there was no reason to take out the mail because the mailman wouldn’t pick it up.
She said she thought she could do it, but would need help. I elaborated upon her shortcomings more and I remember her little, sad and confused face so well.
She turned around and went out the door. Then she came back in and I heard her rummaging and banging around in the front closet. I went storming out there to give her some more of my mind when I saw her trying to pull out the rolled up American flag from the front closet where it lives. I realized the situation quickly. She didn’t know about the little flag on the mailbox, only the flag we put up on holidays.
Needless to say I felt and still feel really, really, really bad. Thinking of her face still makes me feel horrible.
I’d give myself a D- for that one.
#3. We resent other mothers because they seem to be doing it better than us.
We mistakenly think that there are some mothers that are perfect. There are certainly ones who have different strengths than us. But none of them are perfect. Everybody struggles. Period. I like to remember the saying:
Comparison is the thief of joy!
I know lots of people that seem to have it all together. I want to hate them! I like to imagine that there is a room in their house that is full of junk, that they have a terrible swearing habit in private and that they have gruesome stretch marks despite their visbly perfect figures.
It makes me feel better.
If you ever see me staring at you with my head cocked to one side, I’m imaging that you have a gross hairy mole on your upper arm.
Take it as a compliment. It means I think you are a good mom.
A great teacher once gave a great lesson that can be applied to mom-haters.
“In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.”
We would be wise to remember that “by small and simple means great things come to pass.” Each time we change a diaper, or prepare a meal for a family we are adding a brush stroke to our masterpiece. All those things add up over time to show our love for our families and in turn for our God.
Today I ask all moms to stop being mom-haters!
Try to remember the big pictures while you are engaged in the overwhelming task of motherhood. Stop hating your own mothering abilities and shortcomings and focus on the small successes. And realize that we’re all in this together, so we should stop hating the mothers we think are perfect!
Happy Mother’s Day!