Monday, 31 March 2014

Not the Perfect Mom


Tonight didn't go how I wanted it to go.  Not at all.  It's the first time in a while that the kids and I have had an evening to ourselves.  They're in bed now, and I'm sitting on the couch, wondering if they know the truth. The truth is, that I missed them all day today.  Every time, I calmed a screaming child, or changed yet another poop-drenched diaper, or laughed or held or cuddled a baby, in my heart of hearts, I was doing for my own kids - hoping they had the same love, care and attention from their daycare provider today.  I miss having fun with them, and hoarding all the time I want with them, and the only thing that I want to do when I get home is to see them and hug them, and hug them, and hug them.  That's not the truth I showed them tonight.

But, tonight went more like this...barking orders, annoyed corrections, and short patience, a fumbled meal, exhausted frustrations, and rushed bedtimes.  Not what I wanted, not nearly close to what I planned.  Instead of a sweet, loving and gentle Mom, they get this frazzled, middle-aged, pregnant woman who doesn't know how to bridge the divide between the Mom she is, and the Mom she wants to be, who, in the meantime, is what they are stuck with.

I clearly don't know all the answers. I couldn't even attempt to string them together into a outcome based list at this point...but the only thing that really spurs me forward, that really encourages me to keep going - is maybe that Mom I plan to be, I actually am, sometimes.  The rest of the time, if I at least keep her in my sights, then I have something to aim for. And maybe, just maybe, that one day, in the future, when my own kids have kids, they may not forget all the times their Mom fell apart, but they will be able to forgive me for it, and remember the other times when I held it together - and know that those times are really what shaped their childhood.

I've stopped striving for perfection. I already know it's unreachable, a standard that defines itself by the constant comparison between itself and day to day failures.  Instead I want to strive tomorrow to be better than I am today, and the day after, and the day after....always keeping in focus a great deal of grace, mercy, love, peace and gentleness.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mean White Girls


I just recently started a job where I work with a completely female staff.  One really nice thing is that this job hires all ethnicities, races and religions.  Interestingly, that's a first from my experience, and I have found that I rather like it.  Learning about someone, who they are and where they come from are a fascinating part of my day.  However, I have noticed something strange, overall, (with a few exceptions of course) the women who have made me feel the most welcome, and part of the group, have been the beautiful ladies, largely of racial backgrounds other than "white" girls. Now, I am not saying that this is a fair judgement or assessment by any means, but it is the white girls who have the tendency to come across as self-centered, rude and generally unfriendly.  

I've spent a lot of time mulling this over.  Is this a localized phenomenon?  Is it simply a personality clash? I can't expect to get along with everyone.  Is it because I am not in the position to really get to know them? Is it a broken reflection of Caucasian culture? Or, is it me? Am I actually the same way?Am I unwelcoming and suspicious of people who are new to my environment?

Daring to hazard a guess, I would say it is possibly the way that I am perceiving the situation, by oversimplifying complex, long term work relationships.  However, it started to make me wonder, would I behave the same way if I wasn't the one desperate to make an "adult" human connection to embrace during a day filled with never-ending demands from tiny lips and adorable faces?  Do I react this way when a new-comer (a new white girl) is trying to become a part of my world?  

It deeply saddens me to remember times when I have behaved coldly, not allowing someone new in my world the simple comfort and of easy, friendly acceptance.  In the grand scheme of things, a small kindness is not requiring the other to prove their own worth.  

As a Christian, I want to believe that my belief system of loving others, and accepting others as they are comes naturally to me, but maybe it's not as natural as I thought.  Maybe it takes effort, the effort to step outside of the insecurities I have built within myself, perhaps to even step outside of my own cultural limitations in being kind and loving to ladies from all cultures - even my own.  To not see every other white woman as a threat, judging her immediately without giving her the same benefit of doubt that I would enjoy myself. 

Through all of these new experiences, I am learning that I don't have to be defensive or caustic, that what other people express is more about me than about them, and it's my job to love them where they're at.  To be kind to them no matter how they respond to me...especially to the white girls. 

The Search for Light, on the Darkest Day of My Life

It's never easy to tell someone that they have cancer. That's what the thoracic surgeon said. I wanted to assure him in that ...