Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and all over our country, mothers are being celebrated. My mother gave me up when I was very small and then I had foster moms for several years. After that, I settled in with a full time mom until I grew up, married and became a mom, myself. Over the years, I’ve known lots of moms. Does that qualify me to write intelligently about them? I don’t know.
I think it’s fair to say, being a mother is a difficult task. Some of us do it well, some, not so well, but we never set out to be bad moms. We all try to do the best we can within the parameters of our circumstances. In other words, there’s no “owner’s manual.” I believe that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we have become. That holds truth for our kids, as well.
I was lucky. My first mom realized she was in over her head and she sought help. Even with that, she wasn’t able, for whatever reasons, to handle the job. She made the decision to give me the chance of a good life with another family. That couldn’t have been easy for her. I’ve tried for years to find her to tell her I don’t hold any animosity toward her for giving me up. Quite the opposite. I’m glad I had the chance for a better life and I salute her for her bravery.
My adopted mother had some hurdles to traverse since I had some emotional and physical issues to deal with, but patience, attentiveness and her version of love pulled us both through. Sure she made mistakes, as have I, but love was the basis for the effort to do a good job.
How do we know we’ve done a good job? Do we measure the level of success of our kids, their degree of happiness, whether or not we approve of the lives they have chosen? Again, I don’t know. We seem never to be sure. I do know most of us have said at some time or another, “I wish I had done so and so, or I wish I had said or not said so and so.”
Whatever the answer, I’ve created a mother’s commandment: “Thou shalt not SHOULD on thyself!” Relax and do the best you can…and have a Happy Mother’s Day!