By Heather O.
I was talking to an old friend last night, a woman I desperately needed to catch up with. She’s got 3 great kids, and we were laughing about all of the crazy stuff that goes on when you are a mom. She started to get serious, though, about how she hoped that her mistakes wouldn’t screw up her kids too much. I assured her that everybody makes mistakes, and that we all yell at our kids, spank them more than we should, lose it over insignificant things, etc. Then she said something that made me think. She said, “Just because we are all doing it doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s so much easier to whine and complain with each other about what bad mothers we are than try to actually be the mothers that we want to be.”
I thought about what she said all night, and thought about this blog. It’s true that I’m a lot better at complaining about being a mother and the hardships that come with it, than focusing on the positive and trying to realize what kind of mother I want to be. The problem, of course, is that once I start trying to figure out what kind of mother I want to be, Mormon Woman Stress Syndrom kicks in, and the stress of realizing exactly how big a failure I am becomes overwhelming, and something that started out as a positive exercise ends in tears about how I suck as a mother because I can’t scrapbook.
So I think I’m going to start out easy. I’m just going to focus on small things, one thing at a time, to become a better mother. I’m going to try to cut my kid some more slack when he’s tired and hungry. I’m going to try and keep things in better persepective, and know that Pringles ground up into a fine powder onto my newly clean floor is not the end of the world, and just hope that the child had a great time seeing exactly how small he could pound those potato chips. I will try to think of the positive things I remember about my own mother, the things I liked, the things I wished she had done, and try to duplicate those things for my own family. And I’ll be sure to take some time every day to appreciate the perfection that is my son, and to aim to just get to know him better while he still has patience for his mother.
I think we can do it. I really think we can be the kind of mothers we want to be without getting overwhelmed at our own mistakes. The Savior can help with that, too. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a beach date with my son.
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