What kind of mom are you?

Are you always sweet and gentle with your children? Do you always say just the right thing when your child is disappointed or frustrated or angry or hurt?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, I would love to hear from you because in my experience, perfect mothers exist only on television or in the pages of novels. In fact, all of the mothers I’ve met have one thing in common–they all wish they’d done it differently at least some of the time.

But, no matter how many regrets you may have about what kind of mother you were or are, believe me when I tell you that it is never too late to take responsibility for mistakes you’ve made. Whether your “child” is five or fifty, she or he is not too young or too old to hear you say you are sorry for whatever you regret.

So the good new is that it’s not too late. The bad news is that it won’t be easy.  After all, most of us have spent years defending our choices because we believed that if we didn’t, the world as we knew it would literally fall apart. I mean, if we have regrets about the way we took care of our children, doesn’t that mean we were bad moms? And, really, what’s worse than a bad mother?

What’s worse is how many mothers I meet who feel like failures because they didn’t do everything perfectly and sometimes they didn’t even get close.  And yet, aren’t we all just doing what we learned from our mothers, and they did what they learned from their mothers, and so on through the generations?

I believe that we have all done the best we could under difficult circumstances because being a mother in our culture is never easy. Even those who have full time help feel guilty, at least occasionally, for not doing more themselves.  And those who have little or no help–well, all I can say is God bless them.  Their world is one impossible task after another.

Either way, when you decide to have a child, you sign up for more joy and stress than you could ever imagine.  You sign up for a job that quite literally never ends.  You are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week–for the rest of your life because you don’t stop being a parent when your child becomes one–it just gets a little more complicated.   But, because you never stop being a mom, it is never too late to change the way you do it.

And what if I told you that, by changing, you have the opportunity to make life better for your great-great-great-great grandchild? Sounds far-fetched? It’s true. You have that power.  And all you have to do is let the world as you know it fall apart so that you can put it back together again—differently.

 

Below is a picture of me, my daughter, and her daughter–my daughter is a better mother than I was, and I know my granddaughter will be even better!

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