Happy Mother's Day!
You Either Are One, or You Have One!
I would love to be June Cleaver, that woman had it together....always. Oh wait, she's not real, but then why do we aspire to her standards? Ward always came home to supper made from scratch, an impeccably kept wife, two well behaved children (Beaver was well behaved just trouble prone), and an immaculate house. June always had a smile on her face and heels on her feet. She was calm, cool, collected, and pretty much flawless. I sort of hate her a little bit because deep down I feel like I fail in all the ways she excelled. I probably don't, but you know with being a mum comes all that excess baggage you pack around called mother guilt. Apparently June only carried grocery bags.
Of course the 50's mum had to make way for the more relaxed reflection of the late sixties and seventies. Carol Brady, the twice married mother of three who had three stepchildren, a housekeeper, bell bottom pants, and a televised marital bed. Who would have guessed that sleeping with one's husband helped pave the way to motherhood, or that *gasp* you might actually be a woman with needs when you are done putting buns in the oven. It's actually not all about dad and the kids apparently, go figure!
I suppose Carol Brady with her occasional obstacles and less than perfect children gave women permission to breathe a bit. She may have had the worst haircut ever, but at least she didn't have the world convinced that to be a good mother you had to be a stepford wife. I wonder what Carol would have though of Florence Henderson's affair with her eldest TV son? Do you think they could have worked out THAT issue in 30 minutes like they did everything else? Where's June when you need her!
Life has changed so much since then, and with technological advancements being what they are we always feel like we could be June Cleaver if we tried. I mean she had to hand write grocery lists, cook without convection, and go to the library for information. We can do things faster, easier, and pretty much everything is at our fingertips so why then do we feel as though we often fall short? It's all about lifestyle. In the 50's (heck even in the 70's when I was growing up) life was pretty simple.
Kids went to school, mum's cleaned house and got the food cooked (while having coffee with the woman next door). Kid's came home played outside till dinner, mum served, family ate, bath time and the kids are in bed. You took the odd vacation, but for the most part daily life didn't fluctuate a heck of a lot. When your routine is that regular and uncomplicated being a mother seems pretty straight forward. What happens when your life looks like this:
Shift work, soccer practice, homeschooling, computer gaming, convenience food, e-mail, answering machines, cell phones, shopping malls, early puberty, sex in media, divorce, social networking, mental illness, and numerous other modern day challenges. Suddenly it's not so straight forward, as a matter of fact it's like rushing down the rapids with no paddles. Then why is it we expect in our crazy modern lives that we should or could maintain a June Cleaveresque existence? The more challenges we have to face the more we condemn ourselves for not achieving perfection.
I think we have it all over June, she would have snapped a heel and crumbled into a big aproned ball by now. Even Carol's mullet would have turned grey faced with some of the things we conquer daily. I think the most remarkable women from those eras are the ones that learned how to adapt quickly, stay strong, and maintain an open mind (like my own mum). Funnily enough, that strategy works for us modern day mums too.
My mum was amazing. She was the epitome of adaptation and strength. No matter what life tossed her way she caught it and ran with it right till the end. She was the most supportive and loving of mums, she was the very best of nanas, and overall she was just the best person I have ever known hands down. She passed three years ago today, but I still feel as though she could walk through the door at any minute. I miss her more and less each day. The best gift she ever gave me was life, and for that I will always be grateful.
As a mother myself I am so blessed! I have two beautiful boys who fill my heart with joy and my days with purpose. Sometimes I feel a bit like June Cleaver, and others a little more like Marge Simpson, but I always feel like the luckiest mum ever. Years ago I didn't think I would even have the chance to be a mother (long story), and now my only daughter is one of God's angels, but I couldn't ask for a better life. There is nothing more uplifting then a cuddle (or a huggle as we say) from my boys, the way they smell after a good nights sleep, or the way they smile when they feel a sense of accomplishment. The desire to keep them small and yet the excitement of watching them grow. To me that's motherhood.
Thanks so much for everything Mum, I'll take it from here.
Happy Mother's Day!
Labels: Mom Stuff