Thursday, November 29, 2007

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

The wonderful Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored struck a chord with me in a recent post when she said, "No one becomes a mother for the recognition. ... There's no 'thanks for being a great mom to your kids' cards and no extra vacation days for a job well done." I have to lamentably acknowledge that this is usually true, unfair though that is. But I'm also happy and proud to say that my mom is an example that there are exceptions to the irrelevance that sometimes (feels like it) comes with being a mom.

I've wondered before about my role in the blogosphere. I'm not a mommy blogger, even though I move in a lot of mommy blogger circles. (To be fair, I'm not really a teacher blogger either, even though I also move in education circles.) But one thing I feel I contribute to the momosphere (sure, that's a word) is the perspective of a grown daughter, reflecting back on a lifetime of loving from her mom.

My greatest gift to the community - so far as I can see it - is that I can offer hope to some of the moms out there. Those of you who cry with frustration when your child won't stop screaming? Guess what - my mom did it too, sometimes while letting the vacuum run just to drown me out. And I turned out just fine in spite of it. Those of you lamenting the inevitable growing-up of your babies? My mom lamented losing me to adolescence and adulthood too, tears and Kleenex and all. But we have a great relationship now, as two grown women who love each other beyond measure. These are things that can be hard for all of you in the trenches to see, but I am living proof of the awesome good to come after doing a great job raising your children.

So to Kristen, and anyone else who feels irrelevant sometimes, I guarantee that you're not. And when your children are older and more capable of understanding and expressing their emotions, they'll realize it. Someday, they'll have their own blogs - or whatever the equivalent will be in twenty years - and they'll use them to tell the world how awesome you were in their childhood. Why? Because you're raising them to be the kind of people who will willingly acknowledge what a great job you did - hell, they'll want to acknowledge it.

Just look at me: I wrote a photo essay to my mom. I bragged about how beautiful she is. I called her my hero. My mom is amazing and I want everyone who reads this blog to know it. Because she's important to me.

That's all well and good, I know, for your children to acknowledge your "job well done" in the motherhood department. But it's not like anyone unrelated to you comes walking up to tell you you did a good job raising your kids. Right?

Wrong. When he first met my mom, my friend C. did just that. We had all been having a picnic at a park for my birthday, and as folks were leaving and Mom was cleaning up, C. offered to help carry things to the car. As they walked, he thanked her for the job she did in raising me. He knew she'd been a great mom, he said, because of the kind of person I had turned out to be. Because he was grateful to have me in his life, he thanked my mother.

So I'll let you all know that you should do the same. If I have made a difference to you somehow, be thankful for my mom. If you think I'm a good person (or that I try to be a good person), the credit for that goes to my mom. If you are glad to have me in your life - virtual or otherwise - be glad that my mom did such a great job loving me and teaching me for the last 25+ years.

Let's make a great big e-card that says, "Thanks for being a great mom to your kids." Because I want Kristen to know that it can happen.


Dimsumthing said...

Cute story! Since you're also of the Nablopomo group, I'm randomly tagging you for the 7 Weird Things Meme. The details are at my blog. Sorry about that, but I have to pass the randomness forward!!


Lisa said...

She DID do a great job raising you, that Mom of yours. You ARE a good person, and it comes across in all of your writing. Here's to Mom's everywhere, and your mom in particular, who give up their heart and soul for their children and don't get nearly enough thank you's!

Mrs. Chili said...

Okay, no fair making me cry first thing in the morning!

I'm the mother of two daughters - currently eight and ten. In the ten year old, I'm already sensing the troubles on the horizon. I KNOW she's got to grow up and to learn how to self-identify. I KNOW I'm going to be the person against whom she does that - I'm going to be the one she tries out her new attitudes on, I'm going to be the one she "HATES!" when I tell her she can't do something. I'm going to be the one she dismisses as irrelevant. It hasn't happened at full volume yet, but I know it's coming.

My only hope is that I can maintain my composure and put away my own feelings long enough for her to come back to me. I have a strong circle of women friends who will support me (AND my daughters) through this time. I just have to trust in them - and in myself.

Amanda said...

You've done a lot. And we moms thank you.

flutter said...

You are such a doll.

Kennethwongsf said...

Just a single glance of you and your mom reveals the bond between you two. And I must say she is just as adorable as you are.

I like the idea of a big e-card for Kristen. How do you propose we do it?

Guilty Secret said...

Beautiful! I love how you make me look at things from new and interesting perspectives.

Hello, 'Mrs. David' - well done!

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Having a good relationship with your mom is one of life's great joys. I'm glad your life is joy-filled!

Anonymous said...

I have to say to Mrs. Chili that even though I,too, feared hearing the dreadful "HATE" word, neither one of my daughters uttered it (to me, anyway). I am grateful for Lara every day. I am grateful for our relationship and what it has become. Lara, I may have started the process of creating the person you are but you have truly blossomed through hard work of your own. I admire you and I love you very much.

Lara said...

mrs. chili - i second my mom's comment, though from a different perspective, of course. i never hated her, but more to the point, i was never angry enough to feel like saying i hated her (even if i knew i didn't). obviously we've had disagreements over the years, but she raised me to understand that disagreements are okay and a necessary part of relationships. and we've worked through them. it's not impossible, so don't lose heart.

mom - as if it weren't already obvious enough, i love you so very much. can't wait to see you for xmas. :)