Mother-well dressed (wears an apron), fresh cut flowers on the table, fresh squeezed orange juice, delicious, hot baked breakfast, and a spotless home to enjoy our perfect mom with.
Not everyone was lucky enough to have the smartest mother or the kindest. It's a luck of the draw and as a kid, you play the hand that you were dealt. As we grow older, it's amazing how many people talk honestly about their dysfunctional families and physical or emotional hurt dealt them by their very own moms when they were just innocent kids trying to grow up. Even with all the anger, most confess that they still honor their mother on Mother's Day or try to do some kindness for the lady that brought them into the world. Plenty of people grew up with mostly positive experiences in their relationships with a mom, too, and some have mothers who are like saints in their selfless, constant giving.
On one specially- assigned day (Mother's Day) the idealized picture you'll see portrayed on a Hallmark moments card or flower advertisement lures you into buying something you normally wouldn't get for the person who really needs something practical but won't spend the money to buy it. Perhaps it's your gesture of appreciation, an expression of gratitude, or love, even when you have mixed emotions and wish your mother had been a little kinder or more available to you, overall.
Growing up provides the lessons that we're not perfect and definitely are far from it. We know what our mothers were like and what their influence did to our lives both positive and negative. But stepping into a mother's shoes is not an option for all of us, short of adopting a child and taking on the role of mother/father.
In the U.S., 82% of women aged 40–44 years old are mothers-the majority of women experience the role of motherhood. In terms of raising the kids, the percentage of moms taking on the full time childcare role drops significantly, however. Statistics from National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center shows that 27% of parents (mother or father) of children under age 5 years old raise the children full time. Other family members may take on the role, or childcare providers, nannies and others take care of the kids approx. 73% of the time. In contemporary life, that means a mother's presence and influence is only one portion of a picture of what children are exposed to.
One mother of four who works full time, travels, and comes home to a variety of children in her household (including one child diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder,) told me recently she has four hours at the end of the day to spend with her kids. She tries to forget about everything else such as job pressures to provide her kids with four quality hours of time as their mom. In contemporary life, she is actually the normal mother.
From giving up her ability to sit down and dine with the family because she's too busy serving them, to caring for the colds, flu, rushing home from work to tend to emergencies, and going to school to bat for her child that needs attention when misbehaving, mothers don't take on easy roles when accepting the challenge of being moms. It's usually the stress and strain of trying to cope that creates short fuses in mother's who snap, bark & bite. While kids take it all in and accept it for what it is, as adults we have to sort through the confusion and understand the issues brought to the table when we were kids cared for by moms.
Hopefully we all learn from our experiences and take that into our grown up roles of being parents (moms included). Once we actually get a chance to do things differently or "better" as adults, we discover that our moms were just human beings doing the best they knew how with their resources. We honor them for that, for gestures that were memorable and positive in our childhood experiences, or for just the fact that we have them to thank for our being alive!
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!