I always loved Mother’s Day when I was a child. I remember making little gifts for my mom at school–tokens of my love for her. A painting. A handprint. A poem. At that time I thought my mom had it all together. It seemed that she always knew what to do, what to say. I felt her love for me and I knew that she enjoyed being a mom.
What I didn’t know was how much she struggled with feelings of failure, doubt and inadequacy.
What I didn’t know was that on Mother’s Day she measured herself against an impossible ideal.
Now that I’m a mom, I can relate. We moms are hard on ourselves. And we often cannot see all the good we are doing. For this reason, Mother’s Day has not always been easy for me. But just last year I had a breakthrough, a paradigm shift. Because of a simple thought shared with me by a good friend, I now look forward to Mother’s Day.
She said, in essence: Mother’s Day is about gratitude for the gift of having a mother AND for the gift of being a mother.
We express appreciation to our mothers and all the women whose nurturing influence has graced our lives. But it seems every bit as fitting that we recognize and acknowledge the miracle of our own motherhood.
Last year, I stayed up late Saturday night writing letters to my children. I reflected on the reasons I was grateful to be a mother to each one of them. Because I gathered in my thoughts good memories from the previous year, I was overwhelmed by gratitude. I remembered moments of pure contentment and even some that took my breath away. The experience was indescribable!
My friend’s suggestion completely changed the eyes though which I view Mother’s Day. I won’t be getting out my subconscious measuring stick to evaluate myself this year. I will be too busy drinking deeply from a cup overflowing with blessings.
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