Thursday, January 5, 2017

Nary A Perfect Mother

"We bring these delightful creatures into the world eagerly, happily, then before long, they're spying upon us and judging us rarely favorably.  Having children is our fondest wish but in doing so we breed our acutest critics. It's a preposterous situation entirely of our own making." Spoken by Lady Susan from Jane Austen's Lady Susan.

When I read this quote to my mother, she smiles and says, "I'm just thankful you girls are past your acute critic stage and have moved into the grateful and appreciative stage."

Oh dear. Could I have been so insensitive to the woman who gave birth to me? I don't remember being so, but she does.

If Jane Austen  said it in the early 1800s, many generations of children have been critisizing or making fun of their mothers and fathers. A sport easier to recognize in other people than in my own family, my husband and his two siblings seemed to go through a ten year phase of laughing at their own parents antics and child rearing faux pas. I did take notice of how good naturedly his mother and father responded--little did I know how I would need to follow their example. My day was just around the corner.

Surprisingly,  it's not as hard to swallow as I expected. The first time was an unexpected sting, but when I realized they were only speaking the truth from their child minds and when I was able to admit I was indeed an imperfect mom trying her best, I too could laugh--for the most part.

The only antidote I can conjure for avoiding the harsh critiques from my children would have required of me to be the perfect mother. Not one can be found on the planet, and the sooner we realize this of our own mothers, of ourselves, the sooner and the better we can forgive, love, and take responsibility for our own growth--a critical step in development, which would only be possible if...we are blessed with imperfect mothers and the chance to be one ourselves.