Most moms have no idea how amazing they are. Maybe it started with Sigmund Freud, who blamed practically all neuroses, and the ills of society, on moms. Maybe it was the TV advertising where moms were portrayed as lacking if their kids’ socks were not pearly white, the house wasn’t perfect, makeup was messy, and the coffee was not “good to the last drop.” Nowadays, there are plenty of “perfect” Facebook mothers, who seem to keep everything perfectly balanced with the grace and beauty of a swan.
Our mom, Shirley Fay, was perfect… because she wasn’t. There were plenty of times when the Spam was burned, our clothes didn’t match, and she forgot to use Love and Logic when we were getting on her last nerve. Our mom was perfect because she gave us a great picture of how to live life as an imperfect person in an imperfect world where the best-laid plans don’t always work out.
Our mom was perfect because she also showed us what it looks like to make mistakes and to learn from them. We got to see her learn to deal with family conflicts, financial burdens, health issues, mice in the house, a dog who ate the Easter ham, frustration over flat tires and even a wonderfully faithful yet imperfect husband.
Moms… I thank you for all that you do! Here are some things that I hope you will take to heart and remember:
• Parents who try to be perfect often raise kids who struggle with painful levels of perfectionism. Give your kids a gift by making mistakes and being gentle with yourself over them.
• Take care of yourself by letting your kids do most of the housework. This builds their self-esteem and shows that you are someone to be honored rather than taken for granted.
• Become very hard of hearing when your kids get demanding or fail to preface their request with a pleasant “please.”
• Ignore the perfect moms on social media.
Everyone else (including me):
• Let the kids know how fortunate they are to have such a wonderful mom.
• Model an attitude of service by helping Mom in front of the kids.
• Clean up after yourself.
• Do this stuff the other 364 days of the year… not just on Mother’s Day.
Moms, I hope you know how special you are! Memories of my mother always fill me with comfort.
Dr. Charles Fay