I‘ve had 16 different jobs. In those jobs I’ve worked my very hardest. I’ve always tried to be the very best at whatever I did. I always joke that I am a supervisor’s dream because I love to follow rules and I’m dedicated and loyal to my employers. I do what I’m supposed to do and I try to do it very well. I just really like to work.
The only job that I’ve spent most of my adult life struggling with is being a mother. There is no training.
Wait, there’s a ton of training,
I just never knew which was the good training or which was bad. I’ve had a difficult time deciding what training to use and what training to stay millions of miles away from. Everyone wants to be your training officer, even those who’ve never held the position. The world is full of people, books, movies, classes, and open advice from strangers on how to do it.
Seriously, I’ve been told I was way too easy, in the same incident that someone else told me I was being unreasonably strict. I’ve had people tell me they admire how incredibly consistent I am as a mother, and I’ve had others tell me I was not consistent enough. I’ve also had one person tell me my child never suffered any consequences while another person blamed my tough consequences for my child’s rebellion. As a parent, we will always have people judging us in ways they would never ever judge our work performance in any other job, and over the years this has caused me huge amounts of turmoil.
However, I’ve managed to get through the last 23 years doing my best to make the right choices. I’ve read a ton of books on this subject, I’ve spoken to at least 6 counseling professionals, and somehow I’ve managed to raise two and half women. My half is still here which means I’m not out of the woods yet. It also means I have more room to learn. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve made a lot of really good choices that have paid off in growing amazing relationships with my children. I’ve also had days where I couldn’t believe the decisions my daughters have made and questioned my purpose in life.
In short, being a mother is not for the faint at heart. It’s not for those who want to feel really good about themselves. It’s also not for the women who ever want to sleep again. But listen, if you want to stand next to me, or maybe get some encouragement on this thing, come back here. I’m going to be taking the next few entries to talk about things we can do to make our jobs a little easier, or harder. Basically, that’s how this thing works. It will never be an easy job but having anything great is never easy.
Enjoy your day today, as you reflect on all your days of being a mother.
Or, maybe you’re reflecting on all the days you will be having as one.
Either way, if you are a mother, you’ve taken on a lot. You’ve given away a lot, and you’ve been hired for the hardest, most rewarding and least rewarding job you’ll ever have.
Happy Mother’s Day.