Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst. Mother. Ever.

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much."*Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

I believe that. If I mess up with my kids no amount of accomplishment in the “other" column will matter. That’s why I don’t like Mother’s Day. To me Mother’s Day is a full 24 hours to reflect on all of the ways I am bungling my children. It’s depressing.

We go to church and hear talks about great mothers and we are recognized for all of our accomplishments with a king sized Hershey bar and a carnation. The thing is I don’t ever feel like I have done anything worthy of recognition. I mess up everyday and the last thing I want is to have the spotlight on me. But maybe the melted candy bar and a flower with a broken stem are appropriate prizes for the kind of job I am doing.

I am trying. Hard. The thing I want most in the world is to be a good mother. For me that means that when everything is said and done, at the end of it all, my children will have felt my love. My hope is that someday they will recognize that I was trying to prepare them for life. But what if I don’t really know how to do that? Lord knows I wasn’t prepared. What if I don’t have the skills to give them the skills they need? What if I am doing to much or too little? Or if I am doing all of the wrong things? What if there is not any connection between cleaning under your bed and being a productive member of society?

I just want them to be able to say they KNEW I loved them and someday be able to really know that, even when I messed up, I was trying to do what I thought was best for them.

But some days I’m tired, and some days I have made commitments outside of our home that take me away from them, and sometimes I just forget things. There are days when I am irrational and hearing “My Life SUCKS!! I wish I were dead!!” just about sends me over the edge. I could laugh it off. If I were someone else. Maybe. I am not ALWAYS on the job, sometimes I have gone out for a break at the worst possible moment for them. Am I a bad mom? No, but I am not the BEST mom either.

I want to be. I’m trying to be. I hope it will be enough.

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