The Best Mom in the World
According to my kids, I am the best mom in the world. I have three homemade cards to prove it.
This made me super weepy…these homemade cards. I don’t know what’s different this year. I have been a mom for 13 years. I got treated like a mom 14 years ago when I was 8 months pregnant with my first child…but I wasn’t a mom yet, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and so I don’t count that mother’s day. So 13 years of motherhood, 13 mother’s day celebrations. I have had all sorts of mother’s day celebrations from spending an entire day away at a spa to a day spent celebrating my own mom. Last year my middle child was at the state soccer finals and I remember yelling, “all I want for Mother’s day is a win, go Lone Star!”. There is a lot of pressure on my hubby to make mother’s day awesome for me and as my kids have gotten older…my expectations have gotten lower and lower. I don’t need a big fuss. I like a little down time. I like the home made cards. Otherwise, I don’t need much. I really don’t.
Motherhood isn’t quite what I expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. There is a lot of pressure on mom’s never to complain about motherhood. Motherhood is hard, much harder than I imagined and we mom’s should be able to say so. For me, I always thought there would be this perfect love between my child and I…it would be beautiful and magical and I would transform into this ultimate creature of giving maternal bliss. It didn’t happen quite like that. It turns out there is a LOT of work to being a mother. All those moments where my mom said, “just wait til you have kids of your own”…i get that now. That day has arrived where I really do understand where my mother was coming from. When my kids were small, I kind of understood it. But now that my kids are starting to grow up a little, I REALLY understand it. That comes from having teenagers who tend to believe that most of what comes out of my mouth is stupid. They love me, I know they do, but they think I am stupid and they aren’t afraid to say so. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood. NOTHING can prepare you for sleep deprivation in the early weeks, for staying up all night with sick kids, for watching your child go through major surgery for a ruptured appendix, and for the emotional intensity of living with almost adults who genuinely think you are stupid. And I won’t even go into the whole cleaning up vomit, or hours spent driving children to activities, the laundry and housework. Then there is the fear of failing your children that is almost debilitating sometimes. It is a VERY complex experience. The fear of screwing it all up, it can drive you to drink.
That happened to me. It wasn’t just motherhood that drove me to drink, obviously. It was genetics, weakness, life experience and modeling, and the overwhelming fear of failure that has ruled my life for the past…I don’t know…40ish years.
But this year, I am sober. I can see the world through the clearest eyes I ever remember having. I will be completely sober for four months in just over a week. I see my life, my children, my family, my entire existence in a way I never have before. I am battling, not just the demon of overindulgence, but the demon of fear….the demon that tells me I am not good enough to parent these wonderful children. I am determined to battle that demon and win, for my sake and my family’s sake.
I woke up today and went for a run. I sat in the park for 15 minutes afterwards and thought about my own mom. She has been gone for five years now. When she died at the young age of 58, we were incredibly close. But we earned that closeness through quite a bit of pain and suffering. She was a very young mom and she made some mistakes. I am NOT angry at her…but some of her bad choices did shape me in ways that have made my life harder. I forgive her, completely. So, I sat in the park and I thought about my mom and how much I miss her. How I miss the way she loved me, the way she smiled at me, her presence in my life. I even miss the way she annoyed the hell out of me sometimes…the way she hated sharing food in restaurants, or how she would freak out if she got even the smallest spot on her clothes. Oh, to have a few minutes with her today…I would love that so much. Just a few minutes to hug her and love her and just be in her presence. Ugh.
When I arrived home from the park my kids and husband had made a big breakfast. It was cold because the time I spent sitting in nature had made me a little later than they expected. But it was still beautiful and no one seemed to mind. I read through my cards. All of them declared me THE BEST MOM IN THE WORLD. My eyes filled with tears and a sense of acceptance came over me. I knew in that moment, that I am the best mom in the world. For these children, my children, I am the best mom in the world. I am imperfect. Yes, I am impatient. I am often selfish. I lose my temper too easily. I crave time alone too much. But for these three human beings, no other mother could possibly do. I am theirs. And they are mine. It sank in, the truth. It reached inside me, into the place where the fear and the insecurity lives, the truth penetrated. I am the best mother in the world. Just like my dear, sweet mom, with all the mistakes she made, really was the best mother in the world. Today I believe it.
I wish I could ask my mom if she ever felt that? If the truth of her imperfect perfectness ever penetrated her soul the way it did mine today? I wish I could give her that and I really hope that somewhere along the way, in our 36 years together, I managed to do that for her a few times.
And I wish that all of you, out there in blog world get to have a moment of clarity like that soon. It made every challenge of this sober journey worth it. It was, it is, the best mother’s day gift I have ever received.