Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

A Mother’s Day Tribute to All My Fellow Imperfect Mothers

I remember growing up celebrating Mother’s Day and honoring this incredible woman that is my mom. In my eyes as a young girl she could do no wrong. She had her act together – she worked but she was home by the time I got home from school and was always available to play with me, make me dinner and cuddle with me. She’s the most positive person I know and everyone always turns to her for advice.

Then there’s me.

I never knew how inept I could feel until I had kids. What makes any of us think that after our baby is born we’ll magically know how to change diapers, get her to sleep, burp her or figure out why she’s crying for three hours straight? Motherhood is seriously an example of “winging it.” Don’t get me wrong – I try to be Super Mom. I make cookies on snow days, braid my daughter’s hair while folding a load of laundry and check homework while I cook dinner. But somehow I always feel like I come up short. I’ve always said that if I could be half the mother my mom is I’d be happy. But every day I question myself – am I instilling self-confidence in my daughter, am I doing everything I can to get my special needs’ son the services he needs?

As The Safety Mom, a lot of my girlfriends call me with child safety questions and even child rearing questions. We all think someone else is doing it better than us or has the answers. I try to help but there’s that little nagging voice in the back of my head, am I really a good mom?
Maybe it’s all in the eyes of the beholder. My kids tell me on a daily basis that I’m the best mom in the universe (and that’s not even followed up by a request for ice cream or to stay up an extra hour!)

I don’t want the Mother’s Day card extolling my virtues as this perfect mother, it’s too much pressure trying to live up to that illusion. In fact, I’m learning to embrace my imperfections. And you know what? When I stop trying to be perfect I have more fun! And then my kids have more fun. And, in the long run, isn’t that what it’s really about, our kids being happy not because of all the things we give them but the feelings we give them?

So, here’s my commitment this Mother’s Day:

  • I’ll give up trying to bake cupcakes. I’m not good at it and the store bought are just as good
  • I’ll be selfish every now and then and do something just for me. A happy mommy is a happy family
  • I won’t compare myself to the mom down the street who seems to have it all together. I’m sure there are some imperfections she struggles with as well
  • I’ll ease up on the petty things. If my son wants to wear the same shirt to school two days in a row does it really matter?
  • I won’t judge another mom on her choices. They’re her choices and she’s doing the best she can as well.

To all the other imperfect mom’s out there – Happy Mother’s Day!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Parenting

Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten from my mom – by Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom

Mom and her grand daughters

Mom and her grand daughters

This past Wednesday on my radio show, Keeping It Together With Alison, The Safety Mom, I featured two inspirational moms.  Women who have made a difference in their community and in their own family’s life.  If you’d like to hear it, you can search for my show on I Tunes and download it.  Unfortunately, at the last minute I wasn’t able to host the show as I was in court for what seems like the thousandth time trying to get a divorce.  And, unfortunately, there was one inspirational mom who I refused to have on if I wasn’t doing the interview – my own mom.

I asked her to be on the show two months ago.  As is typical of her, she immediately made a self-deprecating joke and said having her on would ruin my show.  Yes, that’s the first trait we have in common, we’re both the last person to ever boast about ourselves.  Since I couldn’t have her on my show, I wanted to write about her.  First, because she deserves a tribute and second because the life lessons she’s taught me I think could inspire many people. 

Her name is Kathy Rumery and, perhaps because I was an only child, she spent a great deal of time with me.  And while she has continued teaching me so many life lessons, most of the really important stuff she taught me while I was still in kindergarten.  Here are some of them:

Always believe that things will turn out OK    As a mom myself, I’m sure that it was a toss-up who was more nervous that first day of school, me or her!  But she told me that it would be wonderful.  She is the most optimistic and positive person I know.  There are many times my faith has been tested to its limits.  From the death of my son to the agony over my eldest child’s disabilities and now to the pain of my divorce it has been a struggle.  Without her strength and her support I would never have made it this far.

Life isn’t always fair   Yes, she warned me that it wouldn’t always be easy.  Whether some kid got picked for the lead in the school play over me or I missed out on a job opportunity to someone I believed was less qualified, stuff happens.  But she has taught me to don’t hang on to anger of injustices, in the end it will only hurt me.

Try your best  She never got angry if I didn’t get all “A’s” in school, she just wanted to believe I tried my best.  There were never any unrealistic expectations and because of that I learned it’s better to do what you love in life, not what’s going to lead to the greatest financial rewards. 

Always be a friend If there was a new kid starting school she would suggest that I invite them over.  She taught me to look at people for who they are, not the color of their skin, their size or their religion.  This has remained with me and is something that has become all-important as I watch my son face bullies over his disabilities.  How much better this world could be if we taught our children more tolerance.

Family lasts forever   I remember one day in kindergarten when I had some silly fight with my best friend and she told me she wasn’t my friend anymore.  I was devastated!  But I came home and my mom dried my tears, got me some cookies and told me that it would all be better and that she was always there for me.  She has been ever since and I try to remind my kids of that every day.

I know I am blessed to have such an incredible mother and am so thankful that she is my best friend.  While she is the youngest of her siblings everyone turns to her for advice and support.  I pray that she knows I am there for her everyday.  I would never be the woman I am today without her and I just hope I can be half the mom she is.  I love you mom.  Happy Mother’s Day.

2 Comments

Filed under Life Stories, Uncategorized