Mother.

That word used to have a simple definition. They’re the ladies who stay at home to cook, tend the garden, and take care of their kid/s. But times have changed and that definition seems too narrow and shallow to contain what 21st century mothers are or have to be.

This morning, our speaker played a video as a tribute to the mothers in attendance. I REALLY wanted to add a link here, but I can’t find it on Youtube.

(Shoutout to the kids who were there this morning: Maybe you can help me find it.)

Thanks to Stan, here it is!

The video showed sports moms waking their kids up, fixing them breakfast, and generally taking care of them the conventional way. It ends showing the kids succeeding in their careers and hugging/kissing their moms to thank them.

It was good. I have nothing bad to say about it. However, just a few seconds into the video, I started feeling uncomfortable. Why?

It’s because most of the moms in our church, mine included (or maybe I should say, as epitomized by mine), do not fit that mold. All those normal “mom tasks” shown in the video fell in the hands of other people because both of my parents had to work really hard to make sure that we can afford opportunities they didn’t have.

I rarely saw my mom when I was growing up. I don’t even have a vivid memory of her face, much less of her doing those things in the video. Did that affect me adversely? Yes, it definitely did. Does it still affect me now? I’d be lying if I say no, but that doesn’t mean that my mother was less of a mother than everyone else’s.

She still deserves much, MUCH, more than the lunch or little surprises that we prepared for her.

Mothers may or may not be physically there for their kids. They may or may not be able to cook for you, clean up after you, or cuddle you when you cry, but they’re still there to help you be the best that you can be. She may be entirely unaware or uninvolved in the process, but it’s true.

Since it’s Mother’s Day, let’s cut our moms some slack. Here are 3 things that you’ll never/rarely hear them say, but may help you love them better:

1. Moms don’t always know what they’re doing. (And all the firstborn kids around the world nod in agreement.) They can read all the parenting books and magazines in the world, but that doesn’t cover all the issues, problems, and quirks that we bring to their plate. Most of what they do are based on instinct, impulse, and (for the next kids) lessons learned from trial and error.

When kids are young, they look at their moms as the ultimate authority in their lives. There’s a sense of awe whenever a kid looks at his/her mom. After all, this bigger, better, version knows a LOT more than they do. I mean, they tie shoelaces in seconds! That’s enough to garner a good “Oooh…” But once these wide-eyed kids grow older, and (as in the song A Wonderful World) know so much more than the moms ever know, it’s easy to let that sense of awe fade away. Kids, don’t EVER let that happen.

Your mom may not know everything, she may make a few mistakes, but give her points for trying! That’s what she’s been doing for you all your life.

2. Moms can get a little a bit very too overly and unreasonably emotional. Blame it on menopause, the weather, the moon, or on those exaggeratedly dramatic telenovelas. Try (Disclaimer: you may not succeed most times, or at all) not to blame it on her. She can get unreasonably emotional. That’s different from saying that she is unreasonably emotional. Don’t let it get to the point when you believe that that’s all she is.

You may never hear her apologize for this, but believe me when I say that once the storm passes, she has that moment of clarity. It’s in that short pause that she realizes that she was wrong. She may never admit it, but if you didn’t fight back when she was being unreasonable, she probably will thank God that you’re her kid.

So, when she climbs down the stairs and pretends like nothing happened and you’re tempted to remind her that she was wrong, don’t. She already knows.

3. Moms are, for the most part, proud of their kids. I have to emphasize the underlined part of that sentence because I know that most kids don’t believe that their very critical and (sometimes) criticizing moms are proud of them. If you shook your head when you read that, I understand. You probably never heard your mom say a good thing about you. You probably even heard her criticize you to your face, in front of others, or when she thought you weren’t around. Does that automatically mean that she’s NOT proud of you?

No.

If you want proof, get someone to tell her that you’re ugly and stupid. You probably won’t see that person ever again.

When moms say that she only wants you to do better, she means it. She may not know the best way to motivate you to actually do better. She may hurt you in the process, but that isn’t enough reason to ignore what she’s trying to say.

Someone really wise once repeatedly told me, “Your mom may not be the best, but she’s the best for you.” I always used to shrug that off. It didn’t make sense at that time. But now that I’m older and (I think) I know better, I have to agree.

I will never be one of the children in the world who flood Facebook with posts saying that their mom’s the best. I don’t think my mom’s THE best, but she is the very best for me.

People tell us that we’re too much alike. I used to hate that. But now, all things considered, if I turn out exactly like her, that’s not bad at all.

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