the unconventional mother

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my mom on her 40th birthday

my mom.

she was not a conventional mother.

she was a…pack your own lunch, make your own bed, do your own laundry, figure out your own dinner, earn your own money to buy your own clothes, get your own band-aid, i’m on the phone and cannot help you with your homework…mother.

as a result, i learned how to forge her signature by the time a reading log was required in the 2nd grade, knew how to cook ramen noodles and mac n cheese for dinner when i was eight, always made my bed first thing in the morning and started a lucrative babysitting business by the time i was in 5th grade.

i resented her mothering style and have over-corrected with my own children.

i am a…

…give her one more extra kiss before she goes upstairs to bed mother,

…cuddle with her on the rocker that she outgrew many years ago mother,

…keep him on my lap so i can smell the top of his head a little longer mother,

…make breakfast, lunch, dinner and beds every day mother,

…wash and fold all of their laundry mother,

…help them or enlist the help of someone with their homework mother,

…mediate sibling squabbles mother,

…facilitate friend play time and activities mother.

and, despite my best, while flawed, mothering efforts, my own children will most likely resent me and think i am ruining them too.

for all the time i was putting down, dismissing and complaining about my mom’s mothering style, i should have been grateful that she helped me evolve into the resilient, strong and self-sufficient person i am today.

maybe being conventional is overrated. i never, ever doubted that she loved me. and, i miss her.

my mom did the best she could do.

i am too.


 

The Weekly RAK-Up

#125. Gave flowers to our neighbor and her caretaker for Mother’s Day.

#124. Let someone ahead of me in traffic.

#123. Donated a couple of gently used toys to Good Will.

#122. Assisted with a school project.

#121. Helped a girl who was left alone in movie theater (brother was working/taking tickets and babysitting at the same time).

#120. Sent a birthday card to a boy whose family requested them.

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