Skip to main content

Mother's Day is Coming Up: How Are We Doing?

As a child, the second Sunday in May meant it was officially Be Nice to Mom Day.  It wasn't until I was married that I began to understand just how difficult Mother's Day can be for women.  Single women.  Married women.  Women without children.  Women with children. 

What lies at the heart of our sorrow and discontent?  Judgment.  Comparison and contrast.  Mother's Day can stand, for women, not just as a day to honor the hard work and sacrifices of our own mothers, but also as a performance review check.  And let me tell you, I think we are often much too hard on ourselves. 

I attended a conference earlier this year, and one of the speakers really impressed me.  (The fact that I don't remember her name reflects more on the state of my memory than her ability as a speaker.) Anyway, she talked about how she doesn't consider herself a refined woman, but that she admires those women who always have their hair perfectly groomed, and who are poised in all situations.  Well, she decided that when she moved to a new neighborhood, she was going to be one of "those" women.  The unflappable ones.  The ones who exude grace and charm.  She then told about going to church in her new ward, standing up to introduce herself, and not being able to make it through an introduction before her real self came through.  Somehow, in the short span of an introduction, she managed to mention the challenges involved in living in a home that was under construction.  (Something about having to visit an outhouse?) She felt like she failed at grace and charm. 

I could relate.  For whatever reason (maybe I lack the Barbie gene), I've never considered myself a particularly poised person.  How does this relate to feelings of inadequacy on Mother's Day?  Well, in our annual performance review check, we tend to think of all the things a mother "should" be, never taking into account our own specialized subset of skills. 

Have you seen the movie, "My Best Friend's Wedding"?  Remember when Julia Roberts is talking to Cameron Diaz and compares her to creme brulee?  She suggests that Dermot Mulroney might prefer jello.  Cameron Diaz says that she could be jello, and Julia Roberts replies that "creme brulee can never be jello."  I prefer to think of myself as some sort of chocolate hazelnut raspberry concoction, but nevertheless, I am not creme brulee.  And that's OK!

My self-imposed performance review checklist should not include ratings for tasks that are not part of my job.  The problem is, the ideal mother is perfect at everything.  So, we take the ideal and realize we fall far short.  However, it is ridiculous to think that any one person will be expert at everything.  Instead of minimizing the importance of our own talents and coveting the talents of others, we should instead improve upon the skills and interests we already have.  That's not to say we shouldn't try new things, but we don't have to beat ourselves up if we aren't proficient in what appears to be a basic life skill of another person.  (I will spare you the details of how I spent an unsuccessful HOUR trying to apply fingernail polish.  On a related note, I wear my hair curly because that is what is easiest, not to mention it suits my unpolished self.)

So, my fellow women, this week let's be patient with ourselves.  Let's graciously allow our children, husbands, friends, and family to say "Happy Mother's Day" without us having to explain why we don't really deserve the greeting.  Let's celebrate the many and varied talents we have.  Just because something comes easy to us, doesn't mean it is unimportant.  Regardless of our situation, each of us possesses traits that benefits family and friends. 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said to women in Sept. 2009, "May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest."

Thankful thought:  Thanks to all women: single, married, childless or not. 

Comments

  1. I really liked this! Thanks for sharing it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally understand what you are saying, Kristi. Sometimes just a bit of Creme Brulee is good, but for the most part, jello is much more down-to-earth. I think I'm more of a jello woman, but with a bit of cool whip -- just a bit....lol!
    ~CAS~

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Dad's Influence Edition

Infant-me, sitting on the wood floor, looks up at my dad, who is sitting on a brown sofa and smiling down to me Here in the United States, it is Father's Day weekend. I did not realize until recently that Father's Day was not officially made a holiday until 1972. 1972! Now, while I realize that many people consider 1972 eons ago, I do not. I'm glad that fathers have a day of recognition now, because they surely deserve acknowledgement.  I thought for this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, I would list ten lessons I'm thankful my dad taught me. My dad is a teacher. Not only did he impart his knowledge to countless junior high aged kids throughout his career, he taught--and still teaches--my siblings and me. He is not a preachy teacher; he's a humble man whose lessons I feel like I learned through osmosis. When he would get home from work, we'd all sit down as a family for supper. Often, our phone would ring, and on the other end of the line would be a paren

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Strawberries and Procrastinated Projects

A brilliantly-colored dark pink and purple fuchsia blossom You would think that by the time a person reaches my age, she would not be surprised by the passing of time, yet I find myself nearly constantly amazed that a certain amount of time has passed--whether that be a week, month, year, or couple of decades. Earlier this year, I planted a garden. Yesterday I harvested my first strawberry. Earlier this year, I also planted fuchsia starts, and now the flowers are blooming. How is that possible? (And why am I surprised?) Sometime around the turn of the century (and it still seems strange to use that phrase about the year 2000), we bought a circa 1935 dresser. It needed some TLC, but had a cool curvy front. This past week, I finally got around to applying some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, and now the dresser still looks old, but not dilapidated. I still need to apply some hide glue to some loose pieces, but I'm counting progress as a win. For as long as I can remember, I've be

Ten Things of Thankful: August Arrives!

A wild sunflower shows its cheery yellow petals My teacher friends are preparing to return to the classroom, whatever that looks like in their district. In any other year, I would be getting excited about BYU's Education Week. 2020 isn't like any other year, though, is it? Ed Week has been postponed to a date TBA and changed to an online format. While I am happy that I am getting projects done around the house, and I'm generally content to live the life of a hermit, I'm literally dreaming of going to Disneyland, which makes me think I must be getting a little case of cabin fever. (I'm not usually a big dreamer, or if I am, I don't usually remember my dreams. This one was particularly funny, I thought: I was in line to get into Disneyland. In front of me in line were the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Cook was having trouble and his ticket wasn't scanning. I said to the cast member, "He's OK. I can vouch fo