(excerpt from a message I wrote today to a close friend whose kid is having a hard time, a message many of us need to hear)
With Mothers Day approaching and your mom’s birthday just past, you’re often in my thoughts.
First off, I’m praying for your girl. I make a habit of every time I think of you or her, I focus and lift her. I see her face w sparkling eyes, clear eyes, engaged eyes, I’m-present-in-this-moment eyes, eyes I’ve noticed when she is “herself.” That’s the vision I lift of her in prayer.
Meanwhile, I think of you and mothers day (which I will NOT rail about right now but which, in short, I think more often feels devastating than it feels great, at least to me. For me, it can be a very mixed-feelings day). But I am recalling Gloria Steinem’s quote. Did you know that her mother was flamingly mentally ill, often wrapped in blankets in the house for days with depression while little Gloria, age 8 yr or so, did the grocery shopping, etc? Steinem says that all we need to be is “good-enough” mothers…which she counted her mother as having been.
You, like me and every other woman I know, can point to a zillion mistakes we made, things we’d do over in a heartbeat. But I know for sure that you and I awakened every single morning and gave mothering our very best. Some days that wasn’t so great…others days it was heroic. We would surely qualify as “good enough.”
And then our kids, like us, made choices for themselves.
We cannot be responsible for those because we aren’t.
You are a good mother…not a perfect one because there aren’t any…but a good one. I know because I was there. You laughed and were goofy, wiped noses, fed dogs, rabbits, birds, went to school events, rocked to sleep, showed up every day, set tough limits when it would have been easier to be a softy. I know….I was there.
So this year, if Mothers Day is hard, skip it. May your mantra be “good enough.”
And please don’t feel alone or hopeless about your kid.
Lori Whitlow said:
Kathleen, I can’t tell you how much this post meant to me today. You totally nailed this one. Many thanks for your words, Lori Whitlow >