Happy Mom’s Day

peaceloveMy kids always ask me what I want for ______ (fill in the blank with Mother’s Day, birthday, Christmas), and every time I tell them the same thing. Don’t get me anything. I don’t want stuff. Write me a letter and tell me what I’m doing right. Yet every time, I get a store-bought card with someone else’s words (and being boys, they are not so much into words as into the funny noises the body can make). So, either I’m not doing anything right or my kids are trying to tell me that they don’t like to write. Seeing that I used to make them write book reports over the summer and critiques of commercials they watched on public TV, I get that. When you’re a mom, you just never know if what you’re doing is right. Sometimes great ideas turn out to be mistakes. Sometimes mistakes turn out to be great ideas. I now know that forcing my kids to write did not foster a fondness of it.

A good friend of mine once said, it doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make with your kids, as long as there is love in the home and your kids feel it, that makes up for everything. That’s what I’m counting on to cancel out all the times I lost my temper or dropped the ball. That’s what I hope is true for all of us, stumbling through life, just trying to be the best mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and friends we can.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the great moms out there who are working hard to develop a product (kids) that will make a better future for everyone. And thanks to all the men who encourage us.

Peace, love, hope and hugs.

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28 responses to “Happy Mom’s Day

  1. FindItInNature

    So true! If I actually want something, I will go out and buy it. Which is rare. The biggest purchase I made this year was buying my first CSA share! What I want as a gift is something that I cannot buy. Like…. make your bed, change the laundry, clean a bathroom all without me telling you to do it. Show me that you recognize what I do and notice when it needs to be done. As a mother of two boys (7&13) that would be priceless!!!

  2. Happy Mother’s Day! I’m sure you do a wonderful job. Just the fact that you are teaching them to be free thinkers is a great thing. I went to my Kindergartener’s moms and me event at school yesterday and he had to answer questions about me, such as what I’m good at (sleeping apparently :-)), what he likes to do with me etc. My favorite answer was to the question, when does he know I love him? The answer was when mommy is mad. Seems odd, but I’ve told him that even if I’m mad at him and yelling (and I hate that I yell sometimes), I still love him. It made me happy to know he knows that.

  3. Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers!!

  4. So true and a great message! Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Great post, and happy Mom’s Day!
    But, I disagree about the “mistakes” comment. One big mistake can be catastrophic.

  6. Happy Mother’s Day to you! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us because we love to read them. :)

  7. Hi Deborah,

    Well said, I agree! Happy Mother’s Day!!

    Steven

  8. Deborah,
    It’s so nice to have a free thinking neighbor like you. Although we do not know each other in person, Nice to know your there. I do not feel quite so alone in this sea of religion. Happy Mother’s Day!
    Tracy

    • @Tracy Thanks. It’s so nice to know people like you are out there, too. We don’t know each other “in person,” yet sometimes the people we think we know in the flesh don’t really know us either. :)

  9. Like you, I don’t want gifts unless it’s something I can plant in the yard or a little labor helping me in the yard. Hope all you mom’s out there are enjoying “your” day! Happy Mother’s Day!!!

  10. LanceThruster

    Happy belated Mother’s Day all. As for your gift request Deborah, if a kid can tweet, they can do this. As far as trying to instill a competence and enjoyment of writing and reading, you might want to try something similar to this.

    Years ago when I was driver for a vanpool out of another location, I half-jokingly created a evaluation/complaint form. It had about 20-25 items such as “driver talks too much/talks too little,” “driver plays radio too loud/too soft,” “driver is consistently on time/is late,” etc.

    Since it seems your kids view this simple sincere request with much the same aversion one might have to a term paper, change the format from essay question to multiple choice.

    On a scale of 1 to 5 (your call on which number equals “best”) rate your mother on these following items and feel free to add your own at the end of the survey.

    examples –

    My mother shows love to me uncondionally.

    My mother treats me and my siblings fairly.

    My mother works hard to provide for us.

    My mother makes/feeds us tasty and wholesome food.

    My mother is not too strict or too permissive.

    My mother lets me have the type of fun I like to have.

    I trust my mother.

    My mom is “cool.”

    Etc., etc., etc.

    You could have fun coaxing out details from them on major and minor issues and you both could end up learning quite a bit from it. Have the “forms” ready for any holiday/anniversary of note to slip into the greeting cards and it could become kind of a playful family tradition along the lines of teacher/class evaluation forms or former NYC mayor Ed Koch’s trademark, “How’m I doin’?” he’d asked to passersby on the street.

    From my vantage point, it appears you’re doing a stellar job, particularly because you acknowledge that these children are and will be their own individuals and not some cookie cutter version of yourself. You can’t ask for much more than that.

    Warm best regards to you and yours,

    LT

    • @LT You’re always so nice.

      What a great idea–and I do plan to use that. I think it helps if kids feel they have a voice, especially since they are basically under our rule until they move out of the house. It’s funny, too, how parents perceptions are different than the children’s. My mom often says things that make me respond, “Really? You thought that?”

  11. LanceThruster

    I meant to add that it could take on the same element of ritual as “the airing of grievances” on Festivus. (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festivus#Airing_of_Grievances )

  12. LanceThruster

    @Deborah – I think Festivus was a response to waste and excess as much as anything else so I don’t think food throwing comes into play (OT – happened to watch an “Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown” CNN show on Quebec cuisine the other night, and my mouth was watering at all the regional dishes they were making – lots and lots of food cooked in remarkably creative ways).

    My main point (and one that I left out as the reason for the vanpool survey) was to let people know they didn’t have to “suffer in silence.”

    • @LT I was just kidding about the food throwing, but speaking of waste and excess, I do think we waste too much food, energy and other resources, but that’s for another time, another blog.

      I think your survey was a great idea, and it has many applications so that people can speak up in a respectful and non-confrontational way. Kids, too.

  13. Besides the store bought card, I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day!!

  14. LanceThruster

    @Deborah – It was mainly to remind people that as adults (or future adults), we should be able to voice differences or concerns in a manner that lends itself best towards solutions and compromise rather than animosity and recriminations.

    I liked the call for people not to ‘suffer in silence’ as when they do that, all sorts of anger and resentment comes out when they finally cut loose. I said once I’m aware of your concern, it might not guarantee the results they desire, but I’ll at least know of it where I may not have before. And secondly, quite often it will be something very simple that once brought to my attention, is quite easy to accomodate.

  15. LanceThruster

    Deborah – back to your humorous question…I think there is always room for food in any ritual, and if throwing food can be incorporated into it, then so be it.

    At Yom Kippur, food is thrown to ducks who act as ‘sin eaters,’ and Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 calls for “Cast your bread upon the waters” as a way to invest your resources in order that they multiply.

    It’s not exactly “throwing food” but I’m all for incorporating food sharing/food application such as putting salt or lemon juice on another person’s body and partaking of it before doing beer or tequila shots. Now there’s a tradition worth cultivating.

    Along those lines, I half seriously think atheists could really pump up their outreach with an event called “Naked Without Shame.” (see; Genesis 2:25).

    This might truly be a PR bonanza. I find it sad that so many people are traumatized by their own body image as not ‘perfect’ enough. It must be terrible to not be comfortable in your own skin. Appropriately, I would also include some sort bath house, hot tub, and/or massage ritual including a whisking of the skin afterward with a stiff brush or sponge. The reason for all this is along multiple lines. One is that the feeling is almost transcendent as afterward you are truly in the moment and experiencing the “eternal now’ of being you without a host of other distractions as far as the ‘chatter’ within your mind. Secondly, it removes the status indicators of clothing (generic clothing or robes could be provided as part of the event). Without the status transmitted by one’s attire, one is also ‘sized-up’ primarily by their words and actions.

    And as added benefit, it would make the heads of those fixated with covential propriety explode.

    xD

    • @LT Interesting. I like the idea of the “Naked Without Shame,” but it would probably be popular only in CA! ;)

      “Adam and his wife were naked and they felt no shame.” Adam and Eve didn’t feel shame because they were still children; they really wouldn’t have an idea of their nakedness as youth. They were referred to as husband and wife because, later, when a monk was transcribing the Bible, he accidentally combined two separate stories (being tired and having to work in such poor light). In the beginning, Adam and Eve were brother and sister. Later, when God got pissed at them, he said he would condemn them forever to the institution of marriage. There. Now we understand. Right?

  16. LanceThruster

    One day I predict that the whole country will follow the example of the jurisdictions that make no distinctions between men or women legally being able to not wear a shirt if they so choose (I believe NYC is one). Both bare nipples but it is only deemed objectionable/prosecutable for the female to do so.

    Homer (as Adam): [to Marge (as Eve)] You’re pretty uptight for a naked chick. ~ From Simpsons Bible Stories

  17. I have always hated the expectations around mothers day and vowed not to add to that with my own child if i ever had one. Well . . . my son has 3 moms and a dad (Same-sex female adopted parents, a birth mom and birth dad not living together). This has made the mothers day/ fathers day experience quite interesting. Initially Tre didn’t know what to do when the school told him to make a mothers day gift and a then a fathers day gift. This is the first year that he has chosen to double up his efforts and make two mothers day gifts at school and I predict will have one fathers day gift.

    Tam and I have told Tre from the beginning that all his moms and dad chose to have him and he owes us nothing and whatever he would like to do those days is up to him. We told him just like most holidays it’s a great way for a lot of people and companies to make a lot of money. Well for a couple years tam got the mom gift and i got the dad, then our adopted grandparent neighbor male got the dad and tam got the mom gift. this year was the first time he doubled up his efforts and made something for Tam and i as his moms. It was quite precious and memorable. I anticipate his birth dad will get his first fathers day gift from Tre (now nine) this year . . but then again who knows . . . it is always up to Tre to decide. When he wants to make his birth mom a mom’s card/gift it will warm our hearts yet like always we will smile and hug him and say “wonderful, what a great idea and she will love it” . . . with neutral emotion but caring. This is my reality now around mom’s day and feel it is so much more manageable when I take out my adult expectations, unlike the expectations I experienced as a child. I love my life and all the experiences . . . i never thought or felt that in a religion. I love freedom to be and do especially minus the expectations.

    fyi: the reason i am responding to this now is because i finally read it trying to find a quote in one of the comment threads . . . i often pass on the mother’s day material but had it in me to share something not too many people can relate to

    with love always
    dayna

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