Mama Mia! Happy Mother’s Day!
jMama Mia! I feel like I spend a lot of time questioning myself and asking: Am I a good mother? Should I have handled that situation differently? Am I teaching them the right values and ethics? Am I too tough or not strict enough? Will they be kind, empathetic, conscientious adults? Am I fun, easy-going, spontaneous? Are my kids happy? Do they like me?
Rest assured and I say this with confidence: Your kids love you! Every child loves their mom ” boys, girls, young or old. A child’s love for their mother is unconditional and will never extinguish; despite what your rebellious teenage daughter screams at you as she slams the door in your face. Wait 20+ years and if they are fully functioning adults who have managed to stay out of countless hours of therapy, then you can give yourself an extra special mother’s day gift knowing you did a fine job raising them.
I say that in jest and I certainly don’t want to trivialize your concern because I know it is a very real and common concern for you and almost all moms. Of course the work you do for your children is invaluable and the gratitude they should, but rarely exhibit is immeasurable. The work of a mother is simply mindboggling when you consider the diversity of the role, amount of time and energy spent organizing, planning, problem solving, etc. coupled with the lifelong commitment and level of responsibility that is required every hour of every day for each individual child. In fact, trying to quantify a mother’s value or overall worth, Edelman Financial Services Inc. found that a mother’s “job” represents about 17 key occupations from nutritionist and housecleaner to financial manager and psychologist, which in 2002 would have resulted in a fair market salary of approximately $635,700 per year, or nearly $53,000 per month.
At your annual performance evaluation, ask your “boss” for a raise…oh wait a minute…you are the boss! And being the boss can be very lonely, so if you feel like you are ready to open yourself up to the judgment of others check out a few blogs (www.momversations.com can be very helpful on a general “how would you handle this” level) or visit some Web sites (www.lifescript.com has a fun little quiz to keep you from taking yourself too seriously). Otherwise, pick up a few good reads and continue to muddle through on your own. “The Birth of a Mother: How the motherhood experience changes you for forever,” by Daniel Stern, MD and Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, MD is a fantastic look at the metamorphosis of the woman into mother that will help you understand some of the conflicting thoughts, reactions, etc. that cause your internal struggle.
Sometimes even moms need to be comforted and praised in order to keep their spirits high so they may better meet the overwhelming challenges of daily life with children. Be proud of yourself for choosing to bring a child into the world and give yourself a huge pat on the back for asking this question. Your constant dilemma translates into the love and compassion that every child needs and deserves, which basically means: You are doing a great job, mom!
” If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 587-KIDS.
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