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What will the children think of us?

Anticipating Mother’s Day, I bought myself a gift. A group of doulas came together to buy a flat of mugs Judge's Bench and gavelall proclaiming, “World’s Okayest Mom”. Judy picked mine up, and is holding it for me – but we are both disorganized enough to keep forgetting to pick it up, even though we’re seeing each other fairly often. Of course, that’s the sort of thing you might expect from a couple of the World’s Okayest Moms. I’d put the picture up, but I don’t have the mug yet!

One theme from Mama Renew has coincided, giving me musings to fill my Okayest Mom mug. A few weeks ago, we were considering mothering styles and our mother-culture of making judgments and being judged, which are often two sides of the same coin. As we were talking,  memories of our parents bubbled up to be shared – mistakes that we really didn’t want to pass along.

But we also agreed that it is inevitable we will misunderstand and misstep, even if it’s in different ways than our parents did. We all know that kids eventually learn that parents are “flawed”; that other parents might be better at other things. Yet a flaw is a seductive word in our culture! A flaw might have a fix – we try to iron flaws in our health, food, finances, careers, relationships. Oh, the never-ending temptation to “Get it Right”.

Only no matter how many articles and books and research papers we read about better ways to parent, at the end of the day we will remain human. We each have a unique blend of strengths and weaknesses! We are all the World’s Okayest Mom, in some respects, even as we bring gifts and strengths that are uniquely ours.

I don’t think that before now I’ve sat with the truth before that my children’s disappointment is inevitable. If it is universal that we carry little echoes of our own disappointments of childhood in the choices we were making as moms, cultivating the skills that we wished our mothers had for us, so will it be for my kids. I’ve found some freedom to knowing that someday I will hear questions, disappointments, or anger – and having compassion for my sons and myself, for me, may mean not trying to prevent or repress that moment.

I want to welcome who they become, and what they know that I do not!

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