It was Mother’s Day 2003. I was sitting in church with my 3 year old, 1 year old, and I was pregnant with our third. The speaker got up and began to tell us all the reasons why his mother was “practically perfect in every way.” The list was quite comprehensive! She constantly baked bread, had warm home-baked goods ready for them every day after school, loved to talk with them, used every opportunity to teach them new things, was as patient as an angel, was PTA president, fed ALL of the widows and widowers AND in so doing, taught her kids to love all those around them. He related that in his entire life he could not remember one time that she had yelled at them.
As I listened to this incredible list I began sinking lower and lower in my seat. At this point in my young kids’ lives I couldn’t even count the number of times I had yelled at my kids…because there were so many. Just that morning I had been yelling as I ran through our apartment frantically looking for Sunday shoes… “HOW on earth do you lose 1 shoe!!??? Who walks around dropping shoes in different rooms!!?? WHY does this happen every DAY??”
As the guilt of my parental failures engulfed me I knew deeper and deeper in my weary soul that I was terrible. Inexcusable. I had no idea how That Mother could do all of those things, but I was sure that when my little kids grew up, people had better not ask them to speak in church about me. It would be ugly. Probably not appropriate for church.
By the time the talk ended I was crying. Was this extreme reaction due to the fact that I was pregnant? Of course it was…at least in part. However, it was also because I was deep in the trenches of mothering warfare. Having that many kids those ages would have brought General MacArthur to his knees in a puddle of sobbing self deprecation.
The Fictional Mom
The other reason …the biggest reason…why I was so affected, was because the mother being spoken of was FICTIONAL. I’m not saying that the speaker was lying. I’m sure she was amazing at all of the points he touched on, but it wasn’t a full picture. No one is all strength, all goodness, and all patience without any weaknesses at all! Often, as adults, when we look back at our mothers we see the rosy glow of perfection without the love handles, the anxiety, the lectures, or the yelling.
It took me some time* to see that and to understand that all moms struggle and that my struggles didn’t mean I was the epitome of failure!
Mom Fails Do Not Equal Failure
This Mothers Day we want to celebrate moms as they really are! We also want to LAUGH! Laughter is the greatest gift we could possibly give our Mom Squad on this special day. As we have lived the mom life we have found that all moms have FAILS every day, but having FAILS does not equal FAILURE.
In fact, any woman who is willing to live life and take on mothering (no matter how it comes to her) is a SUPERHERO!
The Real Mom
This job is not for the faint of heart. It is for those who are willing to lay their hearts on the altar. Those willing to try their patience WAY past breaking point (often several times a day). Those willing to “herd cats” everywhere they go, to look like an idiot in public on a VERY regular basis, and to try to teach the most ferocious creature on earth (the toddler) how to go wee wee in the potty. Those also willing to hug and kiss every owie, to listen, to love more than they thought humanly possible, to read, to sing, to encourage, to uplift, to cry when things go wrong, and to soar as they watch those little ones fly!
Here’s to MOTHERS with ALL gifts and ALL struggles.
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode where some of our Mom Squad called and emailed us to tell of their best and funniest Mom Fails! THIS is real momming, not the glossy June Cleaver version. The down and dirty, trying our hardest, messy, “How is there only one shoe??” , “I’m losing my mind but still here and still making dinner” – version. We hope it brings you laughter and perspective as you celebrate your best achievement: Being a mom.
Your friend in the mess,
Funny Pics and Videos We Discussed:
Here’s the “Silly String Birthday Horror”:
If you would like to watch the hilarious video of the BBC news reporter whose kids walked into his office during the interview, only to be frantically ushered out by their mom, click here.