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Um, “Happy” Mother’s Day–Part II

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An Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) ...

An Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) joey feeds (suckles from inside its mother’s pouch) as the mother shows her affection. This family were located in Murramarang National Park on the southern coast of NSW (New South Wales), Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my previous post, I talked about why I struggled with Mother’s Day.  It was actually quite cathartic to write and helped me shift my attitude.  The struggle with not feeling good enough is not the only struggle that makes Mother’s Day painful.  There are other women out there who struggle with the celebration of mothers.  Knowing this information, even if you are a male, is helpful because it can help you develop an awareness and empathy for those who might be carrying a load of pain on this day.

Deutsch: Mutter Teresa (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); 1...

Deutsch: Mutter Teresa (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); 1986 bei einer Pro-life-Kundgebung auf dem Bonner Münsterplatz English: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); at a pro-life meeting in 1986 in Bonn, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1.  The woman who cannot have children.  Infertile couples struggle so hard because they want children, but are unable to conceive.  Many of them spend thousands of dollars, visit multiple doctors, do anything they can to become pregnant, often to no avail.  Even if they conceive, there is the danger of miscarriage.  Many women dream of the children they will have, and to be denied this dream is heartbreaking at the least.  These women may try surrogacy (more $$$) or adoption (more $$$).

2.  The woman without a mate.  In today’s society, this may be moot, but there are still women out there who do not have someone to have children with.  Some may opt to adopt or use donor sperm to have the children they want.  Many remain childless, however.  While not advocating the homosexual lifestyle in any way, I have to point out that they often have the same struggles.  Even if we don’t agree that their lifestyle choice is viable in God’s eyes, they are still people (sinners like the rest of us) who struggle with the same issues.

3.  The woman who has poured her mothering into other people’s children.  This woman may be “Mom” to many people.  She may provide foster care or just give herself to those in need of a little mothering.  She may or may not have acknowledgement of her gift on Mother’s Day.  Giving birth does not make one a good mother.  So remember those women who have mothered you in some way, be they aunts, grandmothers, family friends, or just a great person who took the time to invest in your life.

4.  The grieving mother.  Many mothers have lost children.  Whether it was through miscarriage of the child they never got to meet, or even the loss of an adult child, these mothers hurt deeply in a way others couldn’t begin to understand.  Mother’s Day for them is often bitter sweet as they remember the child(ren) and feel the emptiness of their arms.  Even women who have other, living children, will still grieve over the deceased one and feel the pain of remembering the loss.

5.  The grieving “child”.  Other people who may find Mother’s Day bittersweet are those who have lost their mother.  My Mom has been gone for 7 years, and Mother’s Day is a time to remember and honor her, tears a given.  Losing a mother to death grieves, but what about the child who loses a mother to drugs, incompetence, apathy, or any of the other reasons why a child would not have the mother in their life or not have a mother they can honor on this day.

Sculpture by Ursula Malbin in the Haifa Sculpt...

Sculpture by Ursula Malbin in the Haifa Sculpture Garden “Vista Of Peace” (“Mizpor Shalom”), depicting a boy in his mother’s arms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The point of all this?  Every holiday, celebration, day brings mixed feelings to those who have loss in their life.  We should not stop celebrating, but we should have an awareness of those who may hurt on this day.  I have to say that churches often rub it in the faces of those who struggle when they have celebrations that include contests like ‘oldest mom’, ‘mom with most children’, etc.  Someone in that congregation is going to be sitting in her pew, silently grieving, and possibly saying ‘why me’ or ‘when is it my turn?”  While this struggle is theirs, and we can’t spend all our time worrying about their issues, we can be sensitive, pray for them, and maybe give them a hug to let them know someone knows about their internal struggle.  In the end, the issue is between them and God, but God still expects us to comfort the hurting.

Don’t forget that men struggle with all these things too.  We and our churches need to acknowledge and be aware of the hurts people carry around and bring into the pews.  After all, the church family is there, in part at least, to comfort one another.

Are you hurting as this day approaches?  Do you know someone who is?  What can you do to help one person who hurts this Mother’s Day?  Who can you acknowledge that has contributed “mothering” to your life or the life of your children?  Can you think of others who might have issues with Mother’s Day?  Does your church acknowledge those non-traditional moms?  Do you recognize that your own mother may have insecurities only you can ease?

Father, I lift up those who struggle with pain and grief during this time.  Send your comfort to them and help them recognize that you feel and understand their pain, grieving with them.  Wrap them in your compassion, and help them move through the grieving process to find healing in You.  Help the rest of us to step outside of ourselves and see the hurting around us.  Give us discernment so that we may not cause more pain through thoughtlessness.  Thank you for mothers and those who mother. In Jesus Name, Amen.

{Disclaimer:  I am not advocating a PC environment where no one is hurt.  I am advocating sensitivity to the needs of others.}

A beautiful power point on Mothers via Freedomborn…. http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/a-mothers-love/

Um, “Happy” Mother’s Day

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Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope (Photo credit: Paul Graham Raven)

As Mother’s Day approaches, I and I suspect most mothers, goes through the annual guilt-fest hearing about the perfect mom from every corner.  Then on the day, many preachers use the Proverbs 31 woman to (unintentionally) club already guilt-filled Moms to death as they seldom see themselves that way.  Today, I started down the slippery slope.  I am certainly not a traditional mom, although I did all the day to day cooking until my oldest graduated and I went back to school.  The list of my ‘failures’ is long.  I am a human after all.  However, after asking my friend to pray for me that I would not go down this path, God began to speak to me.

 

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

The dialogue went something like this:

guilt, google style

guilt, google style (Photo credit: debaird™)

Me:  “I can’t meet the standard of “the” mom I keep hearing about.  She does everything and everyone depends on her to keep their life going.”

God:  “What about all the reading you did to your children?”

Me:  “Well, yeah, I did that, but…”

God:  “What about all those trips where you tirelessly entertained and sang to fussy children?  What about all those questions you answered so patiently (well mostly)?”

Me:  “Well, yeah, I did that, but they don’t even remember it!”

God:  “Yes they do.  Somewhere inside them is that memory as an attachment to you.  What about how often you worked with them in their school work and tried to help them learn when it was difficult?”

Me:  “Well, um,….”

God:  “What about all that love you lavished on your children?  What about all the fun you brought to their daily life?  What about how you took care of their needs?  What about how you taught them about Me?”

Me:  “Oh, well, I guess when you look at it that way, I had more good than bad.”

God: “Exactly!  I gave you to your children as Mom.  I gave you the gifts you used to nurture them.  I did not make you like everyone else, and I really don’t like hearing you bash yourself like that.  Neither do your children.  It’s time to let it go and accept yourself as you are.  Satan magnifies your faults in order to keep you from being the Mom I called you to be. . . .  Remember, Princess, I created you, and I love everything I put into you.  Your kids appreciate you too.  Now it’s your turn.”

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pastor once preached the Proverbs 31 passage, but went beyond the traditional view.  He applied the principles so that people who didn’t fit the traditional pattern (and those who did) could see themselves in this woman.  In a discussion with my family after church, (I hadn’t really gotten it yet) my husband said, “I can’t believe you don’t see yourself in that!”  My husband and children proceeded to tell me how they saw that in me.  What a wonderful gift.

Then a few months ago, I was talking to my daughter, and she said, “You are a great mom!”   The lightbulb went off.   Oh!  Just because I have flaws and messed up some things doesn’t mean I’m not a good mom!  The flaws do not negate my parenting.  One or two points or events do not negate the good mom status.  Even those events are often viewed through my lens of “I wish I had done….”

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

So, I choose to look at my job as a whole and no longer pick it apart with enemy-enduced guilt.  If you struggle with this or have a mom that does, I hope you can stop guilting yourself and accept yourself as you are — your kids do! (Well most do.)

Fathers can fall victim to this ‘viewing life through guilt-colored glasses’ as well as Moms and those who are neither.  Why is it we tend to remember bad things more than the good?  Why do we drag ourselves down by looking at the negatives instead of rejoicing in the positives?

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

What about you?  Do you ever struggle with this issue?  How do you deal with it?  Do you think your kids would agree with you or would they tell you you’re a great mom/dad?  Can you forgive yourself for any mistakes and go forward accepting yourself as God created you?  What characteristics do you think a “great mom” has?  It’s about more than who cooks/cleans/works outside the home/etc.

My mother made mistakes.  Of course she did.  BUT to me, she was the best mom ever, and I wouldn’t change one thing about her.  She has been gone for 7 years now, and I can’t wait to celebrate her mothering again at the great reunion.  I love you Marilyn Koser Masters with all my heart.  You are sadly missed.  See you in the morning 🙂

♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥♥I♥mommy♥

Spring into tag

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Recently tagged in a fun little cyber game going around the blogosphere, I have decided to play in the interest of lightning things up a bit.  After all, Spring has arrived, and what better time to go out and blow the cobwebs out by having a little fun?

I was tagged by fiztrainer over at serendipity Plus. I hope you’ll hop over and take a look at her blog too.

The Rules:

  1. Tagged Bloggers should post the rules.
  2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
  3. Tag ten people and link to them on your post.
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

So, here’s my questions (and answers):

  • Would you rather vacation at the BEACH or somewhere COLD? Vacation, what’s a vacation?  Ok, I guess I would rather be wherever my family is, but it would be nice if we could all go to the beach 🙂
  • What was your most embarrassing moment?  There have been so many!  Hmmmmm.  Once upon a time, at my old house, long, long ago, we were redoing our back porch.  The porch was missing (except for posts and sundry items like concrete steps from a previous owner).  The story finds me in the back yard, standing where the porch would be if it existed.  My son was standing at the back door (up quite a few feet) talking to me.   The neighbors’ son pulled into our shared driveway and parked in the back.  Did I mention I had a bit of a crush on said son many moons before?  Anyway, as they were getting out of the car, I went to step backward.  Behind me was a large trashcan.  Yup, I landed on my behind, spread eagle, legs sticking up in the air, trashcan crushed beneath me.  The neighbor’s son and his wife came running over trying to help me get up.  Did I mention that I am a large woman and that both my sons were now standing by splitting a gut?  I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but I still have nightmares flashes of embarrassment from this episode.
  • Have you ever traveled outside the country? If so, where? I have been to Canada twice, but otherwise have stayed on the east side of the Mississippi.
  • Do you prefer DOGS or CATS?  I prefer neither, but if I have to choose, I will pick a cat.  Dogs tend toward over friendliness, messes and foul odors.
  • What is at the top of your BUCKET LIST to do?  Write a book.  Hmmm, did that surprise anyone?
  • Are you an EARLY BIRD or NIGHT OWL?  I am definitely a night owl!  At my worst, my husband and I will pass each other as I head to bed and he heads to work (oops!).
  • What was your PROUDEST moment?  I would like to say the day I graduated with my Master’s Degree, but I would have to say my proudest moments happened at the birth of each of my three children.  I’m not sure why exactly, even though it was hard work.  I guess I was just proud to be Mommy to three such blessings.  {Yes, that’s what I’m calling them, and I’m sticking to it!}
  • Do you prefer COMEDIES or SUSPENSE?  I prefer, oh poo, I can’t pick one.  It really depends on my mood.  I love a good comedy, but I also love suspense.  I am more likely to read suspense, however.
  • Who was the most INFLUENTIAL person in your life?  Such hard questions!  I would have to say the most influential person in my life award goes to my Mother.  She was a good woman with a big heart, and I miss her dearly.  Both my parents had a good influence on me for different reasons, but she wins by a hair or two (sorry Dad).  My grandmother was also highly influential in my life.
  • How do you spell R-E-L-I-E-F (in other words, what do you do to relax)? I find writing relaxing, especially blog writing.  It releases endorphins and gives me a mode of expression I seldom get in “real life”.

10 New Questions (or statements) for the Tagees

  • Describe a turning point moment in your life.  Why was it a turning point?
  • Is your favorite blog to read funny, serious, a mixture of both, or something else?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?
  • Are you a thinker or a doer?
  • Name someone who have influenced your life.
  • Do you have a charity that is near and dear to your heart?
  • Have you ever played hookey from your responsibilities?  What happened?  Did you get caught?
  • What is one piece of wisdom you’d like to pass on to the next generation?
  • What’s your favorite stupid joke?
  • Why do you write?  (Think purpose, feelings or whatever)

Now comes the hard part – picking 10 people.  Girding up loins, getting out my super picker (no not nose picker)… [feel free to decline 🙂 ]

Tag!  You’re it!

::Running gleefully away, leaving behind a trail of giggles floating through the air::  😀

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