Mother’s Day is coming up. Here’s my wish for my own Mom, and by proxy, all of you. Mom, if you’re reading this (which I’m sure you will be at some point), I love you. And I mean every word. And I’m crying already.
My mom has told me on a few different occasions (maybe more than a few) that she wants my life to be better than her own.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you ask my mom, she will probably tell you that she has a pretty darn awesome life. She’s got a loving, living marriage to my Dad; she’s active in her Church; she’s surrounded by friends and family; and she’s just a pretty successful human being overall. (She would probably not verbalize that last part, but it’s true).
And I do understand the sentiment behind her words. She wants me to have the opportunities that she didn’t have growing up, and she wants to shield me from any mistakes/pain that she saw as avoidable in her own life.
I don’t think she differs from most moms on those points—she wants the best for me. And as a mom now myself, I understand where she’s coming from and all the sacrifices she’s made to give me a pretty darn awesome life, too. (Thanks, Mom.)
But my wish for her is this. I hope that our lives do not end up measurable by the words “better” or “worse.” I want us both to live fully, and for her to make the same choices for herself that she’d make for me if she could.
In other words, I’d like her to live as though she’s just as deserving of a good life as I am.
Perhaps I can explain better with a simple example.
I was talking to a mom friend the other day about a decision she was feeling guilt over. I asked her a question—if your daughter was given the same choice in 30 years, what would you want her to do? And would you want her to feel guilty for it?
My friend’s answer was no. She would want her daughter to make the decision and feel absolutely no guilt over it.
So why was she holding herself to a different standard?
I think that’s what we tend to do as moms. They way we measure ourselves is much different than how we measure others. I wrote about a similar subject re: self-kindness in the face of mistakes earlier this year. http://glenellynwheaton.fit4mom.com/blog/kindess-do-unto-yourself-as-you-would-do-unto-others#/today
But the same type of idea is especially true when it comes to our children. If someone treats us poorly, we grin and bear it. But if they treat our children poorly, it’s another story. If we’re stuck in a situation that we know is unhealthy, we stick it out despite the consequences. If our children were in that same situation, we’d do whatever we could to help them out.
And it’s not only the deep stuff! We make sure to give our kids well-balanced nutrition, and then eat whatever’s leftover. We make sure that our kids run and play outside, but then feel guilty taking time to exercise. The list goes on.
So here’s my wish for my mom (and for all moms, myself included):
I hope that when you are faced with a choice, especially a difficult one, that you have the courage to make the same one you’d want for me.
I also hope that you’ll have peace in that choice; and that you’ll feel supported and strong and capable, just like you’d want me to feel.
And I hope that your life is full and satisfying, and when we’re old (you only slightly older than me, of course), we can both look back and say, “We did good.”
Happy Mother’s Day.