Monday, May 14, 2012

Confessions of a Frazzled Mom on Mother's Day

Mother's Day. A day for celebrating moms everywhere. The perfect day for mom to relax and get flowers and sappy cards about how great she is. When you've lost your mom, though, it can also be a day for memories. And, even when the memories are sweet, they can definitely still make you sad. This Mother's Day was a tough one for me. It's the 3rd year I've no longer had my own mom. But it was the roughest year yet. I've already been bogged down with car and money worries. And missing my mom is hitting me very hard.

To top all of that off, my own daughter and I spent three hours sitting in an urgent care clinic. To say it was frustrating is putting it mildly. She then spent most of the evening crying and I spent it, well, losing my temper. I can say with certainty that Mother's Day is not the best day to feel like, and possibly behave like, the worst mom in the world. The fact that it's a special day just compounds the awfulness of it. 

In fact, I'm starting this post at 1:00 in the morning because she woke me up at 11:30 and I haven't gone back to sleep yet. So I guess I have to admit, I'm a frazzled mom right now. I also suppose there are a lot of moms out there who can relate to that feeling. I'm writing this in the middle of the night because I'm not sure what else to do. I can't make her frustration go away. And I can't seem to control my own. I can't call anyone to vent because most people are in bed right now. So this is the only option I have left. I'm sure hoping it will help.

Now for the confession part... I'm not a perfect mother. (I know, you're all shocked, right?) I get frazzled. I get down in the dumps about life's problems. I yell sometimes. I struggle with discipline and consistency. I don't always make the healthiest foods for my kids (sometimes I even let them eat a cookie in the morning!). I sometimes choose sitting on the couch for 15 minutes doing aboslutely nothing over playing Candyland. I get uptight about small things. I get worked up over big things. I have many faults indeed...  

The problem with being a frazzled mom is that our own frustrations don't help the situation any. I know that. And I've done a good job at trying to keep my cool. It just hasn't been working so well for me today. I would like to hope that, even when I'm not being so nice, my kids know how much I love them. But, more importantly, I'd like to be able to show them at all times. Didn't do such a great job of that this evening. And I feel horrible. Being a single mom makes things even more difficult. When you feel like you're losing your temper, you can't really step away from the situation because you can't leave the kids home alone. And mine always seem to follow me outside, so that doesn't help either. What's a frazzled mom to do...?

Well, this is what I'm doing: I'm doing my best. And that's about all we can do, right? The trick is to not continue to beat yourself up about things you can no longer change. I can't change my earlier behavior. But I can work on it from here on out. I can collect myself, which I'm doing by writing this, and I can move forward with a better attitude (hopefully).

Like I said, I've been thinking about my mom a lot this weekend. The truth is, my mom wasn't perfect either. Not by any means. She was a good woman. And a great mother. But she had her faults, too. The funny thing is, those aren't the qualities I think about when I remember my mom. I think about all the things she did for me. All the kind words. All the love she had for me. Not about any specific times when she lost her temper or didn't play with me or rasied her voice. Our memories are funny like that. We choose what to remember and what to discard. We wrap up the whole of things, of relationships, of events, into a bundle and remember mostly the emotions we had about them. And love is one of the most powerful emotions of all. For the most part, I do show my kids how much I love them and how special they are to me. I hope that means in the future my kids won't remember how I yelled at them tonight, but rather, how much I loved them always.

So, I confess... I'm not a perfect mother. I don't suppose there was anyone out there who actually thought I was in the first place, so maybe it's not really that bad a confession after all. And maybe I shouldn't feel nearly as bad as I have been feeling about things. And maybe, just maybe, writing this has helped a bit. So thanks for listening...

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