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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Motherhood is not for the egotistical

There are plenty of things that can be said about motherhood -- how it's like putting your heart in another body and watching it walk around, how it's a privilege and a blessing to be a mother. But what I want to talk about is how motherhood is not for those who require lots of emotional stroking.

Nothing takes me down a notch or two quicker than a small child who says "Mommy, do you have a baby in you belly?," when in fact there is no baby in my belly. (A large child who says that is subject to a swift kick.)

Or the kid who comes home from a sleepover raving that so-and-so's Mom is the most awesome because she a.) let them stay up all night, b.) made homemade donuts and fresh-squeezed orange juice, and c.) puts on makeup just for doing the dishes. (For the record, I totally would not be friends with so-and-so's Mom.)

No, to be a mother requires a tough outer shell. One that deflects statements like "You're wearing that to the school program?!" quicker than a Redwings goalie deflects a flying puck.

To be a mom means to have a big heart and a little ego, to practice what you preach when you say "Sticks and stones..."

Having said all that and despite popular belief, mothers are not superheros. (Though I do have at least one superhuman skill.) And sometimes a chink in my teflon armor lets a zinger through that stings a little (or a lot).

Like a few weeks ago when Annie came home from a school retreat, all excited to share the details of her day. She said one of the activities was to talk about someone who has inspired her. I could feel myself getting all warm and glowy inside, waiting to hear exactly what I had done to inspire her and grateful that she was willing to share that revelation with me, when she said, "I said that Dad has inspired me because he's had issues to work through and he has kept working on them and persevered."

I was stunned. And hurt. And quite frankly, a little angry. But I didn't tell her that. I nodded and said, "That's great. You should be sure to tell Daddy that."

But, as a good friend pointed out, it's to my credit that she is able to recognize qualities like perseverance as inspirational. And I feel pretty good about that.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all mothers out there. I got a diamond bracelet that I absolutely adore! Click thru to the 4th Frog Facebook page to see a picture of it.


Eternal Lizdom said...

Beautiful post, Amy. And so true!

babybeezymom said...

I'm with you. totally wouldnt be friends with the homemade donut lady or the make-up with dishes gal....

my 4 year old told me today, "mommy, you have big buns"...for a brief second I contemplated another 2 miles on the treadmill when she followed with "when I grow up, I want big buns too."

Happy Mothers day

Michelle said...

So well said, Amy. Thank you for your blog.
And I would not be friends with her either (supermom from the sleepover).

Mike Magan said...

You are the glue that keeps our family together, and without you, we would not be together today.

mimbles said...

I think I can say with some degree of certainty that my kids would all think it extremely peculiar for someone to put on make-up just for washing-up. But I may not be able to compete with homemade donuts.

Happy Mother's day :-)

Beth Zimmerman said...

Beautiful post Amy! So true!

And high five to Mike for recognizing and speaking such a beautiful truth! :)

Shelley said...

Oh, yes, so very true!

Lovely post!

And Mike's comment was so sweet!

Anthony - The Indianapolis News Guy said...

That's the great thing about kids; they're honest.

Annie said...

dont get so down on the ONE TIME i sed dad inspired me!