Monday, May 10, 2010

Some thoughts on mothering...

We celebrated Mother's Day much like we always do. We went to early service at church and after Bible class we high-tailed it over to Abuelo's for lunch . . . or brunch, since it was 10:30 am. Technically, that's 11:30 on the East coast, so we were perfectly within the realm of lunch eating times.

It's what you do in our town on Mother's Day. Abuelo's thinks it's because they give out t-shirts to all the moms, but really it's just because it's the most bestest place to eat in town.

The reason I know it's the bestest place to eat is because the doors open at 10 am and if you're not there by 10:20 you have to wait an hour for a table. Thankfully, after being parents for 35 years, my mom and dad know how to sacrifice for the family. They skipped Bible class and got there in time to secure one of the coveted large party tables. Don't judge, that's how we roll.

Which is why I was on the treadmill this morning burning off some calories left over from yesterday. My mind was wandering to summer and the year of mothering ahead of me, and I discovered something about myself.

I LOVE MY CHILDREN. There isn't one thing I wouldn't do for them. Well, I probably wouldn't carry the gaudy, bright yellow Ed Hardy bag that came as the free gift with the perfume they bought me for Mother's Day, but other than that, I'd do anything for them.

It's just so easy to love them. I know it's cliche, but in most ways they really are the best of me and the best of Honey all rolled in to 3 little-ish bodies. Most days I can't think of one thing I don't like about them. It is so fun to see their little personalities bloom and realize, "That's just like something their Daddy would do."

Two of them are more like their Daddy and one is SO much like me. Because I love their Daddy so much, it's really easy to love the two that are like him. They are good to the core. They are relaxed, silly, loving, thoughtful, and giving . . . just like their Daddy. I'm just as in love with them as I am with Honey.

And the other one? The one that's just like me? She's pretty great, too. She's affectionate, observant, smart, giving, patient, and loves to help. She's dependable and caring and will do whatever it takes to please you. And I love her just as much as the other two.

But . . . it's harder for me to express that love. She's the one I loose my patience with first. She's the one that frustrates me to no end. She's the one that drives me crazy.

Oh, they all have their moments, but for some reason, her moments come more frequently.

And I think I know why. At least for today.

She is so much like me. I see her strengths and love them. I see her weaknesses and know that they are my weaknesses. And I HATE those weaknesses. And I didn't understand why she couldn't overcome them until I realized I haven't overcome them either.

I think I expect more out of her because I expect more out of myself.

Is this making any sense?

I'm the first one to love and accept and overlook the strengths and weaknesses of the other two, the two that are little clones of my beloved Honey. It's what I've done with Honey for 15 years and it's only natural that I would do that for them.

But it doesn't happen as easily with the one that is more like me. Because I can't do that for myself. I can excuse and forgive and look the other way with others, but not with myself.

It's not playing favorites. It's that I project the feelings I have toward myself onto her.

So I need to work extra hard to make sure she knows how much I love her. I need to put extra effort into making her secure in that love. I give her the same grace I need from my heavenly father.

And I have to love and accept myself . . . just the way I am, just the way God made me.

I have to realize that God is the creator and changer and shaper. It's his power that makes us in to his image. I don't have to do that for her or myself.


Shelly@Sweet Journey said...

Wow! Thanks I needed that mom encouragement.

Shelly@Sweet Journey said...

Oh, and great picture by the way! I haven't looked at ours yet to see if it turned out.

valerie in TX said...

Great post, Jenni. I have these exact same thoughts and feelings with my own little "mini-me". I have recognized myself in her for some years now, but haven't realized until your post that the reason I am so hard on her is because I'm so hard on ME, and that I struggle with those weaknesses in her because I hate them so much in ME. Thanks for helping me see the "why". It helps me get one step closer to the "how" of changing my heart.

And...I completely agree with you that Abuelo's is the most bestest place in town to eat. (didn't know they gave out t-shirts on Mother's Day...we will definitely have to go there next year!)

Misty said...

TOTALLY needed this today!