03 May 2011

A Tribute to Our Mothers

I'm starting the Mother's Day posting a little early this year. I thought a blog about being an imperfect mommy should focus on this holiday for more than just one day. Today is a shout out to all of the mom's out there, but more specifically to the ones who raised G and I. With all my imperfections in raising two daughters, I have to admit to standing in awe of my mom and G's mom who both raised a much bigger brood. I just can't wrap my head around how it could be possible to juggle more than two kids at a time. This imperfect mommy can admit to her limitations. I'm just not cut out for any more multitasking than I currently do, so don't expect any blog posts about a third one on the way!

I sometimes think of our moms when my two little charges are being particularly challenging. How does one keep track of more kids than you have hands to hold onto? Somehow, our moms did it. I come from a blended family, so my mom didn't have six small kids to look after, but when I was eight, she had two teenagers, two preteens, me and a newborn to care for. Yikes! And she babysat up to five others as her job. I can't imagine caring for six kids or babysitting five kids, let alone doing them simultaneously!

G always tells me the story of his mom's ability to remain cool even when, as a child, he walked into the house bleeding profusely from some playtime injury. She calmly cleaned and bandaged him up and sent him on his way. When I think about this story, I wonder if that kind of calm is innate or if it is just a product of your environment. Maybe when you have that many kids, you just can't possibly hover too much and you have no choice but to remain calm when presented with a challenge.

Whatever the reason for our mothers' calm demeanor in the midst of chaos, I am amazed that they could raise so many kids at once and instill a sense of goodness in us all. We weren't just clothed and fed, we were taught values. It's a tough act to follow and some days, I'm struggling just to keep my two girls clothed and fed, never mind teaching them compassion for others. On those days, I take heart in the thought that if it's possible for one mother to turn six kids into good people, then surely, if I am willing to put in the work every day, my girls will be just fine, too!

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