Tuesday, December 21, 2010

a good mother

Listening, watching, holding, laughing,crying, reading, singing, cooking, feeding, calling, cleaning, driving, organizing, talking, being are all action words. Words that express a way of being.
So much of mothering is hard work with very little reward on a daily basis.  You may get a smile or a kind word or a look may pass between you and a child these things mean 100 times more to a tired mother than the child giving them intends.  Basically you are there to provide all the creature comforts from the first minute of their lives til forever. It is no small feat. 
Being a mother is innate and learned. There are things that just come naturally to some that must be learned by others. It is a process. I didn't have a mother so I had no daily example as I grew of how to be a mother. I feel a bit handicapped in this arena sometimes. I work extra hard at mothering to be "a good mother ".  Of course there is no one way to be a good mother.  A friend of mine had me write a list of what being a good mother entailed. It was a long list. He read it. Then he said I had set my self up for failure because no one he knew could be that person I described in my list.  Not having a mother I didn't know that.  To my way of thinking that list was my check list.  If I worked through it I was pretty sure that my kids would have everything or close to it that I didn't have and they would not be as handicapped. HA!!
My view of course was skewed by the very fact that I didn't have a mother to emulate. There are things I didn't do basically because no one did them for me so I didn't know how to do them for my kids.  No amount of observation or being with other mothers with children or reading the books on parenting and mothering seemed to help. It was hard work. I found reading about something very different than bringing it into my daily experience.
I lacked the confidence that my love, the very thing that powered just about everything I did for my children was, in the end, enough. Because I never had a mothers' love I didn't understand that a lifetime of doing doesn't always translate into feelings.
No matter what your children say or do as they grow and learn how to be on this planet, loving them unconditionally is beyond important. In my opinion, it is the single most difficult task to master and the most rewarding. Given an unconditionally loving environment my experience finally and thankfully tells me they will come back time and again.
Precious moments were lost in my need to get so many things done in order to accomplish my check list of how to be a "good mother".