Monday, May 10, 2010

L O V E / H A T E Relationship

Happy Mother's Day to all us mom's who should have been air traffic controllers for grounding so often!!!

I absolutely LOVE being a mother!!! It is my passion! It is what I am and how I define myself. It is what I have always wanted to be and what I have devoted my life to. I have tried to be an advocate for mother's everywhere with my deep involvement in American Mother's Inc. for the past 19 years because I know how hard this job is and I want to provide strength and support to help mothers everywhere, BUT...

I admit I have a love/hate relationship with Mother's Day.

I love it because I am pretty much given the day off as far as fixing meals and cleaning.

I also love the wonderful cards and written messages I receive from my boys and Dave. I am a sucker for a card or letter. Words of affirmation is my love language. Those mean more to me than all of the chocolate or flowers in the world. I will always treasure the ones my boys made with their little hands when they were young, but now that they are growing up, the things they write to me mean so much and usually start the waterworks.

I love they way my boys used to make me breakfast in bed when they were little all by themselves. I love the way they now help Dave prepare a nice meal for me (usually a full blown turkey feast because that's my fave!) and how they take care of all the dishes.

I love the purple rose corsage Dave gives me each year with five purple roses representing each one of my boys.

I love the church talks that inspire me want to be a better mother without producing guilt. Those are often very hard to find on Mother's Day.

I love the bouquet of some kind of purple flowers Dave gives me. And I love that the lilacs are usually out in full bloom.

But I mostly love the dandelion bouquets I received when my boys were little.

I love the Idle Isle nut balls and chocolate covered almonds I get every year.

I love the other surprises I get that are different each year.

I love getting phone calls from Skyler if he isn't able to be here on Mother's Day because he is off working in some distant state. This year he is working in Texas for the summer and called me on his way to Texas this afternoon to wish me a Happy Mother's Day. I remember when he called home while serving a two year mission for our church and those were the greatest Mother's Day eva!

I love that I still have my own mother with me when so many of my friends no longer do. I am so grateful to her for all she has done for me and my family. I don't know what I would do without her! I am also so grateful for Dave's mom. She has taught me so many wonderful and valuable things that I will be forever grateful for!

I love standing up in church to receive a flower or plant in honor of Mother's Day. Well, I love the idea. Kind of. I would love it more if they gave out chocolate or something other than a plant that will eventually die under my care. I only love this tradition when they announce for ALL women to stand because all women are mothers in some way.

Most of all I LOVE the fact that I am the mother of the four most incredible sons on the planet...and one in heaven. I would do anything for those boys. I love them dearly. They are the most important thing in my world and I feel so blessed and honored that they call me Mom.

I decided hate is really too strong a word here so I will use "don't love".

I don't love the high expectations I have of this day.

I don't love thinking that I should be treated like a Queen in EVERY way on this one day a year. Hasn't happened yet, and it probably never will. I am not a Queen...I am a MOTHER and mother's must still mother and take care of all the little things that only a mother really can do. Thankfully, my expectations have come way down now. I am speaking mainly here of the drudgery side of motherhood. I never want a day off of the nurturing part.

I don't love that my boys aren't actually perfect angels for the entire 24 hour period and STILL rough house and wrestle on this day. You can often hear me say, "Can't you NOT wrestle (or punch or hit) for just ONE day?" That is usually after something has been broken. I have finally learned to appreciate the fact that they are usually doing it in fun and playing, not in anger or fighting and for that I am very grateful.

I don't love the way some most of the Mother's Day talks in church make me feel like the worst mother on the planet. In his book "All Moms Go to Heaven," Dean Hughes declares that instead of giving mothers flowers in church, we should give out solid chocolate statues of the mythical Ideal Mother so we can all bite her head off.

I don't love hearing about how other mother's are perfect when I know I am so not.

I don't love the fact that I compare my greatest weaknesses with other mothers greatest strengths so much more so on this day.

I don't love feeling judgmental against other mothers on this day...especially myself.

I don't love the fact that many women are feeling heartbroken on this day because they were not able to be a mother or they are mourning the loss of a child due to death or to them taking another path, or they are missing their own mother.

I don't love how much this day makes me miss my dear sweet Tyson and that I can't hug him or hear him tell me Happy Mother's Day.

I don't love the way we mother's are so hard on ourselves 356 days of the year anyway, but on Mother's Day we beat ourselves up even more.

Bottom line is Mother's Day is a great day set aside to honor our mothers. It is even a greater day when I can keep it all in perspective and just let it be what it is meant to be: A day to honor, thank, and pay tribute to that woman who sacrificed even her very life to bring us into the world. Thanks Mom! It's also a day to evaluate in a good way how we are doing as mothers and where we could use some improvement. The older I get the less I "don't love" it. Motherhood is the greatest and most noble calling and profession in this world and it does deserve a day set aside so we can all stop and really think about our mothers and how much we appreciate and love them.

Wouldn't it be even better if we did that every single day instead of only just once a year?

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? ~Elder Neal A. Maxwell


I got a rather large surprise on Mother's Day this year. As I walked into church I learned my son Bryce was one of the main speakers for our sacrament meeting program. Him and his dad purposely kept it from me in order to surprise me I guess. I must say I was not prepared for what he said. He gave me the most amazing tribute a mother could ever ask for. He talked about so many of the things I did as a mom when he was much younger that I didn't even think he remembered, let alone had an impact on him. I was most amazed that he said that all the summer skill sessions I did in order to teach them life skills helped him so much. I was most grateful that our "kid dates" were as important to him as they were to me. Something I may have never known had he not given this talk. He also mentioned when him and his friends came over for lunch and how I made a big meal including side dishes and dessert. Isn't that what all mom's do? His whole talk was on how grateful he was for all I did for him as he gave example after example of things I had done. I have to admit it was rather embarrassing for me to be talked about like that in front of 300 other people! There was a time or two I wanted to crawl under the benches because he was going on and on about so many things that I felt like was attending my own funeral! It was one of those Mother's Day talks that I usually hate when it's anyone but my son giving it because those are the ones that always make me feel so inadequate. I have a whole new perspective on them now. If they are being given about you, it's extremely humbling and embarrassing! At least he teasingly said, "Okay, now I will read some quotes so all you other mothers out there will stop being jealous that you aren't as great as my Mom." He had me either laughing or crying. I was loving what he said because it meant so much to me that it meant so much to him. I just would have preferred the accolades in a more private setting. Especially when I had several people after tell me teasingly they wanted my autograph or felt like they should bow down to me. Ha ha. Hey, maybe I could make that Queen for a Day thing work after all. Most of the people told me how sweet and tender it was and what a wonderful talk he gave.

Motherhood is hard and he made me feel for a moment that what I tried so hard to do was maybe worth it after all and that maybe I wasn't the failure I sometimes thought I was. I think I needed that.
Thanks Bryce. You are an amazing son and I am honored to be your mother. Even if you did accidentally say in your talk, "My mother is extremely selfish", instead of "selfless". That's okay, maybe it was a Freudian slip. But it sure gave your brother McKay some serious comic relief for about 5 minutes. He could NOT stop laughing after you said that. He was laughing so hard he had tears streaming down his face.

My only wish now is that I can somehow live up to your tribute. I will try, I promise. Thank you for being my son and letting me be your mother. I am so grateful it was me who got to raise you, even if I did it imperfectly.


Photos from Mother's Day 2010
Me and my boys Taylor, Bryce, and McKay. Skyler was in Texas.

Me and my man

Boys playing football in Sunday clothes. Hmm....

At my Mom's house. The baby is Mya - my cousin Britt's cute baby!

Having fun with my Mom's funky dance costumes! My Mom is the coolest. She is taking tap dance lessons and is a group of women that go around and perform! I hope I am as spry as she is when I am her age! Go Mom!!!

Visit to Dave's parent's house

Happy Mother's Day to you all!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jodi! I can totally relate!!!!! Loved it!

deb said...

I think most of us moms can relate to this. It's good AND bad....
If I focus on MY Mom it is always much better. Thanks for the great post! I needed that!

deb said...

BTW - do you know who the artist is of the Mother in purple and baby by Neal Maxwell's quote?

Sissy said...

You are such an awesome mom Jodi. Your boys love you so much. I bet that talk was so touching! Thanks for sharing such a great way of remembering our moms!


Related Posts with Thumbnails