I spoke in church on Mother's Day and I'm still rewriting the talk in my head, "Oh, I was going to say.." I hate that.
I was going to tell about a lady I see at the Community Center while both our little girls are in ballet class. She has older kids, one in his 20's and one in high school and she has little kids, I think they are five and three. She said the little ones' favorite word was 'underwear' and they would say it all the time and she was creating a scene constantly trying to get them to stop. Her husband said, "Why don't you just ignore them?" And so she ignored them for like 2 days and she hasn't heard the word since. My favorite part of this story is that she said, "You'd think I'd have this parenting thing down after 20+ years, but no."
In my research, I also came across a blog that pointed me to another blog, which belongs to the preacher in blue jeans. I think you can search for him on youtube, though I haven't. Anyway, I read a couple of his articles, a good one with marriage advice and another about homeschooling (I used one of his core principles in my talk - about when anger takes over, learning stops).
But, my favorite part was where he wrote something like, "What are my credentials? I have failed many many times and I have learned from my mistakes and now I'm successful beyond my wildest dreams!" I thought that was very clever and I was going to use that idea in my talk, but I forgot because I didn't write it down. I was wondering why the Bishop wanted me to speak on Mother's Day when there are so many other worthy mothers and grandmothers in the ward. I thought maybe it was because I currently have the most kids in the ward, though I know that there are grandmothers with more kids and grandkids than me. Or why not ask a man, so that the Mothers can take it easy and not stress about speaking on Mother's Day!!!
I asked Chris why he thought they asked me. He's the ward clerk, so occasionally I'll ask him if he knows stuff from sitting in Bishopric meeting. But, he said, "I have no idea."
I said, "This is when you're supposed to tell me what a good Mom I am."
I decided to open my talk with that little story.
Then, I was going to say, "I guess my credentials for speaking to you are that I've failed many, many times and I hope I've learned from my mistakes."
Next, I was going to say that the father is the Patriarch of the home, but I think it's really the Matriarch that keeps the family together and give the example of Chris' Grandma that just died and now all her kids (that are middle aged) have all gone their separate ways without plans to get together regularly, anymore.
I was also going to tell the story of how her mother made her kids call her "Aunt Mary" instead of Mom, so that out in public, she could say, "Oh I'm not old enough to have these kids, they are my sister's kids."
All but the youngest called her "Aunt Mary" because the older kids would all tell the littlest one that that wasn't her aunt, it was her Mom. Grandma kind of hated her mother for that.
I think it's o.k. to tell some imperfect Mom stories on Mother's Day, so that we can think, "Well, at least I'm not THAT bad." But, then, I was also trying to pass on the message of how we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, because we don't really know all that is going on in any situation except our own.
There is an excerpt from the book, "It takes a Mother to Raise a Village," by Colleen Down here:
http://www.meridianmagazine.com/books/010726mothers.html and in it she talks about the game Red Rover that she hated to play as a kid and how as adults we are playing it still, but with our thinking. We want people to come over to our way of thinking and we judge them if they don't. I'd like to read the rest of her book.
Like in the movie "Stranger Than Fiction," when he starts keeping a tally on whether he is in a comedy or a tragedy, I think I might keep score one day, on whether I am a fantastic Mom or a failure. Sometimes it's hard to recognize or give credit to ourselves as Moms when we handle something well or do something simple that will be meaningful to our litle ones. It's easy to beat myself up for the pile of Mount Washmore that is almost as tall as my head. And feel guilty that my #1 daughter's friends held an 'intervention' in the car on the way home from school on Monday. The driver (who also happens to be her seminary teacher and the school owner) said they were going to line up the boys and have them all kiss her if she didn't clean her room by Wednesday.
There is a little background to this story: they had a youth activity a couple of weeks ago where swing dancing was taught and there was one part in a dance where the girl is supposed to push the guy back and her main partner would just back up automatically. Well, his older brother would just wait for her to push him and once he said, "If you don't push me, I'll kiss you." So, she pushed him pretty quickly. Her teacher figured if that threat worked for dancing, it would work for cleaning her room.
I said, "Maybe you shouldn't clean it, and see if she really carries out her threat." After all, seminary teachers shouldn't be encouraging kissing among those too young to date! Haa, haa. (Love you, D.) But she said, "NO."
Anyway, another part of this story is that a while ago, the kids went on a field trip to Petco, and Ravenna called me to ask if she could have a Siberian hamster, because they are sooo cute. She called me while she was in the store! I said, "If you can keep your room clean for a month, then you can have one." So, then I was not motivated at all for her to clean her room. I should've just said, "No way, Jose," but I'm much too nice sometimes. I hope it's been long enough that she's forgotten about that, but I doubt it, her memory is really good. So, now I'm hoping againg that she will not keep her room clean for a month. This is not what Mother's are supposed to hope for. I'm supposed to teach her how to clean and organize and how to maintain cleanliness, so that it won't be such a huge production to clean her room.
At least I had spent a while cleaning my room recently, so that I didn't feel like a hypocrite.
We had also spent a day cleaning the boys' room that had gotten out of control, also.
But, back to my original topic...
I was going to quote my boys' tennis coach when he said, "Do you ever make mistakes, like in your schoolwork? I hope so, if not you would be perfect and that would be scary!"
I think that's a good thing to keep in mind as a Mom. If you were perfect, you would be scary!
I did say that my Mom wasn't perfect, but she was perfect enough for me.
I love you, Mom!