Yesterday Brandon Adams at https://brandonjadams.com, wrote a great post about mothers that prompted me to respond. My motherhood journey was much like the one he spoke about in “To The Mother Who Second Guesses Herself.”
It seems from the day I became pregnant with my first child, there was always a feeling of incompetency. I felt like a fish out of water, even though I’d done a lot of babysitting and watched and learned from my own parents, I never felt qualified for this most important job.
When we enter the realm of parenting, we pretty much fly by the seat of our pants. We’re inexperienced, unprepared and novices of the first degree. We don’t realize that our time is no longer our own. We’ll be making sacrifice after sacrifice for the benefit of this new human being. We will make mistakes up the kazoo, because we haven’t got a clue what we’re doing. Even those who seem to have it all together, have to face things that no CEO of a multi=million dollar company will ever encounter.
Every child is different. Every situation new and uncharted. Every blunder we make is going to have an affect on this child, so we have to be a little paranoid at times. Even though my children are grown and have children of their own, I still have dreams about not getting their lunches ready for them in time. In fact I had one last night.
It prompts me to believe that once a parent, always a parent. The job is ongoing and won’t end until we depart this veil of tears. We’re called to teach how to tie shoes, recognize letters and numbers, potty train, share, be kind, polite and respectful. If they fail in just one area, we take it personally. I do. Of course, I’m one of those moms that Brandon is talking about.
As they begin school, we participate in their learning by helping with homework – teaching social skills – personal hygiene – help them to learn to play and solve problems without tearing each other apart. We struggle if we can’t give them everything they want and feel guilty because we can’t. We forget that all they really want is us and our attention.
We strive to make them independent, but our hearts break when they don’t need us anymore. We glow with pride at their accomplishments, but blame ourselves if they fail. We try to help them financially, but want them to learn from their struggles. We encourage, instill moral behavior, push, lead, direct and pray that somehow we’re getting through to them.
Being a mom is one of the most wonderful experiences a woman can have, but at the same time one of the most difficult. If you ask your children if you’re doing a good job, at some point they will undoubtedly say you are, but the proof is in the pudding. This is a tremendous responsibility and that requires hard work.
I’m not Jewish, but I often feel I had a Jewish relative somewhere along the line. Feeling guilty about not doing enough has often been equated with Jewish mothers. Come to think of it the first parents were Jewish, weren’t they?