–by Anna Gosman

And  the “Mother of the Year” award goes to me…AGAIN. This is what I usually say to myself after I’ve lost my temper, forgotten to pack someone’s lunch, left someone at school (yes, that can happen…), the list goes on and on. It seems like every day I fail as a mother, and I wonder if I will ever get it right. I would like to say I am the Pinterest-inspired, party-giving, frilly-dressing super mom, but I’m not and I don’t know if I ever will be. Instead, I’m both practical and passionate, a reader, thinker, and leader —not exactly what I think of as a “super-mom.”  To top it all off, I admit that I’m loud, selfish, demanding, over-worked, and over-tired. I’m not proud of any of that.

But there they are on Mother’s Day, a line of girls with smiling faces, handing me bagels in bed – bagels because my husband, who is helping them, limits his kitchen skills to the microwave and toaster. Each one is thrilled to watch me open the card she colored at school and give me the random gift bag with hand-made gift or maybe a re-gifted stuffed animal. I’ve even had hand-written cards telling me that my girls hope they will be beautiful like me. Some, now teens, bleary-eyed and slightly grumpy that they are awake extra early before church, still manage snippets of enthusiasm when I open the presents my husband has purchased with their advice. Mother’s Day. Why do I deserve to have them celebrate someone as flawed as me?

At times like these, I need to reflect on what is going well in my chaos-filled life and celebrate victories both large and small. My oldest daughter is headed off to college next year. And the other day, I caught her cleaning up the living room without being asked. I almost fell over and died. My middle daughter, who has Autism, recently performed two roles in the school play and the same week completed all her missing Algebra assignments. Then yesterday, my youngest daughter actually offered to do the dishes instead of playing. What? I thought. Maybe I occasionally do things right (admittedly with the teamwork of my fabulous husband). I hope my girls will become women of character, maybe even flawed but hard-working mothers, women and mothers like me.

I know I’ll never be “Mother of the Year,” but I suppose I can be “Mother of the Day.” I can choose to tackle my weaknesses and celebrate my successes one day—one Mother’s Day—at a time.

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