Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mother's Day -- Reality vs. Idealism

I have always been an idealist with high hopes.  I have struggled with disappointment and disillusionment throughout my life.   I've tried to give up the habit of building up romantic idealistic dreams that will not match reality, so I can prevent the disappointment which often leads to depression.

 

But every year, I am disillusioned at Mother's Day.  For some reason, the week before Mother's Day is always terrible here.  I am not sure if my children really are that much more insensitive and disobedient that week, or if I just have higher expectations and hopes that week.  After all, it is the final days before Mother's Day.  Surely they'll want to show their love in more ways than drawing me pictures, right?

 

No.  They may have  good intentions, but usually by Saturday night I am in an angry and depressed mood.  I don't even want to see what sweet things they've written on their cards to me, because surely it is ALL insincere!

 

(A little melodramatic, I know.  I guess it's obvious where some of my children get it from.)

 

Once again this year, I find myself making a rather sarcastic mental commentary on the perfect Mother's Day gift.  After all, how hard can it possibly be to give me just a few little things:

  • a clean house (instead of ... well, its current state)

  • cheerful and prompt obedience  (instead of grumbling or ignoring)

  • joyous laughter (instead of bickering and tattling)

  • peace and quiet (instead of mom having to nag and lecture and push and prod)

  • pleasant conversation (instead of whining and complaining)

  • gentle hugs and snuggles (instead of fighting over who will sit by mom)

  • time to just be (instead of rushing from one task to the next)


 

This year, I'm trying to stop the negative rut I was letting myself fall into.  You see, on Saturday my family asked if we could bring home a puppy.  Steve grilled them on their willingness to help with the puppy and EVERYONE was willing.  Mom had the final say, and Mom said yes.  Three days later, it's all on Mom again.  I had really thought they'd last a little longer than that.   Just before Mother's Day.

 

(Pity party begins, stress mounts, melodrama builds.)

 

Sigh.  I'm sure Anna Jarvis, the creator of the modern Mother's Day tradition, had good intentions.  But did she realize that idealists across America might develop hopes of "perfect" Mother's Day weeks and be frustrated by the normal sinful and selfish ways of their children?  Did she realize that the week leading up to Mother's Day might leave some mothers focused on all that they have to do and how it isn't appreciated?

 

How did I get so mixed up?  Being a mother isn't about me, or my feelings, anyway.  It's about serving my family "as unto the Lord".  It's about raising my children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord".  Usually on Mother's Day, God reminds me that it's not about me, anyway.  Usually on Mother's Day I get out of my negative funk and have a renewed commitment to serve God by loving my family unconditionally and joyfully.  I'm just trying to climb out of that funk before Mother's Day this year.  I'm trying not to let myself fall into that trap, actually.

 

Mother's Day isn't about me.  It's about the calling God has placed on my life when He blessed me with children.  It's about my love for Him.  It's about my service for Him.  It's about my mission.  Mother's Day isn't about me being pampered (though I won't reject any pampering that comes my way).  Mother's Day needs to be MY re-commitment to the mission God has given me. If that is my focus, how can I be disappointed?

 

Serving Him,
April E.

 

 

9 comments:

  1. Wow April,
    Inspiring
    Challenging
    Encouraging
    Inspirational
    Motivating
    Stimulating
    Visionary

    Exactly what I needed to hear...
    I am there with you in the trenches
    and I have teens and adult children living in the house.

    One day I hope to hear the greatest words...
    Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant
    from my Lord

    Until then
    we press on toward the mark
    and recommit to serve our families

    Thanks.
    I plan on sharing a link to your post on Facebook, my blog, and twitter.

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  2. Excellent post April and something I needed to hear!

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  3. So sorry you are dealing with so much. I pray that as you let the Lord be your peace and strength during this time, you will grow in Him. :)

    JoAnn

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  4. I can really relate to your post April. Thank you for this gentle reminder of what Mothers Day is really about. Blessings!

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  5. Wonderful post!
    I linked back to you on my blog here:
    http://mamaknj.blogspot.com/2011/05/mothers-day.html

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  6. Beautiful job!!! I hope your day was happy and restful!

    Blessings
    Mrs. White

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  7. Great thoughts, April. You are so right--Mother's Day really isn't about pampering mom. It is instead about taking care of our children. Praise Him that you have healthy children He has blessed you with. They will always struggle with their own sin natures, as we will--but find joy in the blessing He has given you in them! :)

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  8. [...] After I posted about how terrible my Mother’s Day pre-weeks usually are, I decided I needed to update. I had a good, blessed weekend. I will admit that on Thursday and Friday I was sad and down at times.  Not at my kids … just frustrated with my own long list of stuff that was nagging at me, and how I wasn’t making progress with it. I started to indulge in a pity party and I made myself stop.  For one thing, my teens noticed it and I didn’t want them to think I hated Mother’s Day.  (They had read my blog post.) [...]

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  9. Oh, how often I've fallen into the same rut. Thanks for your warm admonitions.

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