How I’m doing as a mother
The other morning, my kids and I were frantically searching for Ryland’s library book. I was already running late for work. I remembered the night before that it was library day and had planned to put the book in his backpack before I went to bed. But I got sidetracked on the internet and forgot about it. It turned out that the book was not in the drawer where he usually keeps it. It has been misplaced. I could have turned the house upside down and found it that morning but I didn’t want to miss my bus. So I told his brothers to help him find it and if they didn’t Ryland would just have to apologize to the librarian and he would return the book the following day when we find it.
I felt guilty as I rode my bus that morning. It was not the first time one of my kids missed bringing their books on library day. I can be forgetful at times and my kids know that. Sometimes I tell them to remind me things. I am a very busy mother. I get pre-occupied and absent-minded. I’ve switched their school lunches, forgotten to give them money on Popsicle Fridays and sometimes missed deadlines for paying fees. They’re not too happy when these happen.
When I arrived at work that same morning, I called home with a calmer voice. They found the book. And I was the one who misplaced it. Oops. I moved the book from its usual place and it got buried under a pile of paper.
Recently, I’ve read a blogger’s post about how she doesn’t think that her mother is the best one but this blogger acknowledges that her mother tries her best to make her family happy. Although I don’t know this blogger personally, I felt kind of sad for her and the mother. Of course, she was just being honest. But as a mother, I know how frustrating it can be when I think I’m giving my all to my kids to make them happy and yet there are times when they still get disappointed.
There was also a time when I didn’t think that my mother was doing the right things – the right decisions in life, not just for herself but also for both my sister and me. But she had it tough. She was in a difficult position being a single parent. And I never really thought of it as her not being a good mother. My mother was a very hardworking person. She still is. I have always held her in high regard although we had our misunderstandings and falling-apart especially when I was still a teen-ager.
Lately, I’ve also been trying to assess myself as a mother. I’ve been very busy these past couple of years with work and with the kids’ activities that sometimes I feel like I’m slacking in my responsibilities to my children. I’m quite often tired and I get pretty irritable when I’m exhausted. My kids know that though, and I explain myself to them when I catch myself raising my voice.
I let them join the different activities that they are interested in. Like for instance, last year, my two younger boys signed up for the Spring Basketball League. And Reggie is always joining different jazz and band camps and attending and performing in jazz concerts. I want them to be happy, but at the same time, going to these activities can sometimes make me exhausted especially if they’re happening one after the other.
I love my kids and I want to devote as much time to them as possible. But there are times when I also want to have “me time.” I usually get this at night when they are all tucked in bed. This is when I read my books, watch my taped shows, or go on the internet. But sometimes even that time is not enough and I do my “me time” when they are doing their own thing and don’t need my attention. I also sometimes feel guilty when I spend time a lot of time on the computer instead of playing with them, or when I pretend I’m listening to Ryland when I’m reading something interesting on the net.
The other night, I was checking one of my sons’ school agenda when I came upon his homework and read what he wrote.
“My mother in her spare time does chores, uses the computer, reads a book or takes a nap. My mom is already perfect to me. I don’t have to do anything to make her perfect. If I could change one thing about my mom it would be that she could remember better so I don’t have to forget it.”
I share my experiences as a mother here in this site and also to friends when I talk to them. Some say that I am a good mother. Thank you very much if you think so. But I think that my children are the best judges of how good or bad a mother I am. Some people may think otherwise. But as for me, it’s what my kids think and feel about me that matters the most.