My gift to all mothers on this Mother’s Day is this—grace. This holiday, I hope every one of you moms will take a moment and remind yourself that you deserve praise EVERY day, not just on a day highlighted on the calendar.
It strikes me that the phrase “Mother’s Day” is a misnomer, because the fact is every day is children’s day. We moms instinctively put our kids’ needs in front of our own. Every. Single. Day. It’s because moms are wired to protect, feed, teach and love our littles. Watching our children grow and celebrating their successes are the rewards we relish.
Our society often sends the message that if a child is doing well, it must be due to good parenting. How many times have you seen a mother complimented on her child’s accomplishments? Society has a way of saying, “Wow! Great job, Momma,” when a child wins an award, dances wonderfully, creates a beautiful work of art or earns top grades. If that is the message we get when a child is successful, it makes sense that the opposite is also true—that if your child is not doing well, it must be due to your parenting. If your son or daughter is disruptive in class, failing in school, messing up in (insert activity here), using drugs or driving too fast, that must be due to your failures. My simple response to this is: No, that’s not true.
During my 25 years as a practicing pediatrician, I have seen great moms whose kids have struggled, and I have seen struggling moms whose kids were straight arrows. The truth is that kids turn out to be the people they were born to become. Your child’s victories are not your own and, similarly, their setbacks are also not yours.
Moms were put on this Earth to love our children unconditionally, to keep them safe and support them. What they do with their life is mostly up to them, and it will be determined by their own inner strengths and weaknesses. We should support them, counsel them, guide them and help each other be the best moms we can be every day, but most of all, we should accept our children for who they are. And in doing so, we must also accept ourselves for who we are.
Happy Mother’s Day to you, my fellow moms. Let’s celebrate each other!