There’s just something about a mama. When other people tell me that it’s not so bad and I only have three weeks left before summer and everything’s going to be okay, I don’t really believe them. When my mom tells me it is, I believe a little bit more.
I guess it’s because I watched her work full-time with all seven of us. She would get up in the morning, get herself ready, load the dishwasher, wake us, usually have one, if not two, of my younger sisters she had to dress, prod my daddy to get ready, check us all for matching clothes, two shoes, library books, and lunch money, referee a fight over cereal, drive us down the long driveway to catch the bus, chase the bus if we missed it, and somehow she did all this before 7 a.m.
I can barely handle getting myself and Amelia together in the morning, much less Annabelle and Madelynne who are thankfully becoming a little more independent, though they still want me to brush their teeth, which I’ve learned to do one-handed while holding Amelia, thank you very much.
My mama has been there. She knows how hard it is to balance work and kids and laundry and dishes and dinner and guilt. So, this Mother’s Day I hope she knows how grateful I am that she helps me believe I can do it too. And since I think I turned out okay (most of the time), I can believe my girls will be okay.
The only problem is, she’s an impossible standard to reach. She’s not perfect but she’s way better at multi-tasking than I am. One night when she was here taking care of me after Amelia was born (and she truly was here for me), I watched her fry chicken, negotiate the Easter Egg Roll with the White House, check and respond to rapid-fire email about the situation with the Easter Egg Roll, answer her other phone when my across-the-country sister called, all while she was holding Amelia. I’m not sure what I was doing, but it definitely pales in comparison.
I’m not my mama, but I hope someday my girls look back at me and wonder how I did it all too. Because regardless of how the laundry is folded or what’s on the table for dinner, they are being just as cared for and just as loved as I always was. And even though she’s probably messed up some, I don’t remember loving her any less, and that is what I pray for these days, that despite the chaos of life, my girls will always know I love them more than a clean house or a full-night’s sleep.
I think that’s the secret to being a good mom: raising kids who know they are unconditionally cherished no matter how many mistakes you (or they) make along the way.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you!