May 13, 2023

On Mothering

Just enjoying a dad-and-kid-made pancake breakfast and hot coffee (not lukewarm!) with my boys, and thinking about this day of mothering.
Having endured a really rough week in parenting, I've been reflecting on motherhood and all its surfaces, both glossy and rough.  I get down a lot about my imperfections as a parent, and have realized that it's hard for me to accept and appreciate things that don't come easily to me.

As a child and subsequent adult, I've been blessed with the ability to learn easily and be good at a lot of things--arts and crafts, cooking, writing, following direction (oy!!).  I'm not bragging here, but am setting the background for what I want to say: that motherhood does not come easily to me, at least as the parent to a spirited child, aka Kid A.  And that's hard for me to accept day after day.

Feelings of tenderness, nurturing, and concern are certainly stirred in me when it comes to my children, but I find that my patience for Kid A is very thin.  Our personalities are like oil and water--his exuberance and overt need for attention creates friction with my sensitive and quiet-craving mind.

Over and over, I try to tell myself to accept him as who he is, and I do!  However, the difficulty lies when he is continually bouncing off the walls, hour upon hour, wearing down all of my resolve to accept him.  He does have quite a sensitive and caring side, which I admire, even if it doesn't come out as much as his energetic side.
This week at school, the teacher and class put on a lovely Mother's Day tea, where S sang with gusto and a smile the entire time.  I too was beaming, watching him perform.  He was great!

Afterwards, the teacher had the kids present "awards" to the moms, where the teacher dictated something that the child said they liked about their mothers.  When it came to Soren's, I cringed inside, wondering what he said about me (I'm so vain).

Here's what it said: I love you because "after my nap you let me play the monster truck game."
Not a terrible sentiment, but it implies that I just bribe him to do stuff, which I do, but not all the time!  Plus, he rarely naps anymore, so I'm wondering why he thought of this. I'll admit that I was a little envious of the other children who said how they love making chocolate chip cookies with mom or that she plays with them.  But my boy is anything but typical.
Despite this, I still try moment by moment to accept and relish who Soren is.  Chris and I often remark on how he is by far our greatest teacher, revealing our own imperfections and traits that we have to work on.

In the wake of that sensationalized Time Magazine article (Are You Mom Enough? Of course we are!), I'm trying to be more accepting of motherhood in all its glory, imperfections and different forms.

As mothers, we are all trying our best (or at least most of us are), so lets celebrate today by honoring the fact that we are the best mothers for our children.  And it helps that kids are pretty resilient beings, bending to changes in their environment the way a sapling bends to the winds, growing no matter what.  While I might not be raising a mighty oak, I certainly hope my children branch out to accept and embrace the world around them, even if my tending to them is not always in ideal conditions. 
Happy Mothers Day, friends!


  1. :) Happy Mothers Day to you, too. I wonder what Kidoodle would say he loved about me. He inherited a strong dose of stubborn and another of sensitivity from both his papa and me. I think he'd refuse to answer the question. I can guess at what he loves about me, but not at what he would say.
    BTW, sensationalized is the word for that TIME cover. All the messages about breastfeeding and women and parenting were either fine (extended breastfeeding) or typical (attractive spokeswoman), but the posing and the caption were designed to create a fuss. Bleh. And of course we are all mom enough. :P

  2. What an absolutely beautiful Mother's Day post Kathleen, and honestly, I'm sure a lot of woman couldn't have said it any better themselves!!

    Happy Mother's Day to you as well :)

  3. This is a fantastic perspective. I LOVE this!

  4. It's such a remarkable thing, watching your kids grow into their personalities. Even if it is often vexing!

  5. Thanks for writing so honestly about being a mom! Before Colter was born (or even imagined) my mom told me two things that help me keep it in perspective:
    1. You will always love your children, but you aren't always going to like them. And don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.
    2. You'll hear other moms say how they love every minute of being a mother and how it is the best thing they ever did but it's ok to not feel like that all the time, or even to feel like that hardly ever. And you don't have to feel guilty about it.
    So on the days where I feel like I am just holding my head above water until he takes a nap, those are the things I remember!


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