Monday, May 9, 2011

If I Were In Charge: Mothers' Day Edition

If I were in charge of Mothers' Day I would change it to a Saturday. That way Dad would be home instead of at work or at church meetings and he could take the kids all. day. long. One whole day away from my motherhood would make me appreciate my motherhood more. I could spend the day shopping and getting a pedicure or reading or whatever. Alone. Or with my sisters. And when I got home the children would be playing happily in the backyard and the kitchen would be clean.

If I were in charge of Mothers' Day and couldn't change it to Saturday, I would cancel all church meetings other than worship services. The token parting gift would either be chocolate, or in lieu of gifts the money for said gifts would be donated to a local women's shelter.

If I could speak in Sacrament Meeting on Mothers' Day, I would not speak about how to be a better mother.

I wouldn't talk about sacrificing all things for my family or being more present in mind rather than just present in body.

I wouldn't talk about paying more attention to my children or turning the audio/visual babysitters off or ensuring we have family dinners together or planning fun activities.

I wouldn't rub salt in the sounds of the unwillingly unmarried or infertile.

And I most definitely would NOT perpetuate the nonsense about how women are more righteous and celestial minded than men (hence why all those carnal and weak men need the priesthood to elevate themselves to female levels of perfection) and that's why women are more nurturing and called to be mothers.

I wouldn't reinforce stereotypical gender roles that alienate those who don't fit the mold.

Instead, I would talk about love. Love for ourselves. Mothers give and give and give and mostly it's hard and mostly it goes unnoticed and unappreciated. But the hardest part of motherhood is how hard we are on ourselves.

I would talk about being good enough. Being a perfect mother, always patient, always kind, is impossible. No person is perfect and therefore no parent is perfect. We're all going to screw up. It's expected. It's supposed to be hard. You're supposed to fail in little and maybe big ways every day. But that doesn't discount the many successes that are to be had each day.

I'd give credit to all the times I want to yell at my kids, and don't. I'd give credit for the three nights of the week that I prepared a decent dinner, and forget about the ones I didn't.

On Mothers' Day, of all days, mothers should be made to feel like they are okay just the way they are, instead of being lectured to about idealized mothers and instructed on how to be a better mother.

We know what we need to do to be better mothers. We're doing the best we can.

I may not be able to be a perfect mother. But I can be me. And that, I believe, is what my children need most. Just me.