It’s not often that I am affected by the things that people say to me or about me. Not any more anyway (shout out to high school Cindy – you were such a sucker). I tend to take everything with a pinch of salt nowadays especially with this whole parenting gig. And also I don’t need other people telling me who or what I am, to know who I am, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, we were saying goodbye to Aunty Caron and Ma on Monday night (who are currently on their way to New Zealand) and as we parted she said, “You’re doing a great job – being a Mommy to your babies”. As usual I brushed of the statement with a lame attempt of a trying to be funny comeback, “well you should check in next year and see if they are all still alive”. You see, as much as I don’t let negative things affect me, I have this tendency to not really let compliments hit home either. You know the “you look lovely today” gets the response of “thanks but you should see how much make-up I’m wearing – clowns are jealous” or “Wow, I can’t believe you’ve had 3 kids, you’re looking so thin” gets “thanks, but you should see the 10 ‘spanks pants’ I’m wearing under these clothes, I can hardly breathe”. Never just a thank you and a moment of taking in the compliment.
But this time the words resonated with me without me really realising how much I needed to hear them. Maybe it’s because I know that she knows how it is with them now that she’s been here with us for the last couple of weeks or maybe it’s because as a Mom (or Dad, or caregiver), you actually just need to hear them every now and then.
The main problem is that your kids can’t tell you. Well mine can, but they choose not too. And despite that – we need to hear it. Because, no matter what you are thinking, you are not failing at being a Mom. You’re not. Unless you don’t buckle your child into a car seat – that is a super no no.
So here is me telling you that you are doing a great job. For reals! Well done to you Mom (or Dad). You are the superstar that your kids look up to and without being able to say it, are so grateful to you for bathing them, for feeding them, for clothing them, for making juice bottles, for making milk bottles, for making snacks, for waking up in the early hours of the morning, for waking up again minutes later for your alarm, for going to work to provide for them, for staying home to look after them, for loving them, for saying that you are sorry when you over react, for disciplining them even when it’s hard, for teaching them, for sitting up with them when they are sick, for cleaning up their bodily fluids and stuff, for being there for them when they need you and being there for them even when they don’t know they need you.
You! You right there… Yes you, Mom or Dad or caregiver of precious children. You are doing a great job.
Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.