Mother's Day is an interesting yearly phenomenon. I often hear grumblings and rumors that it is a day that most women do not enjoy. I try to understand where the disappointment lies. Perhaps it has something to do with what I consider the "wheat and tares" nature of motherhood (or life in general, for that matter).
I think women tend to be extremely critical of personal failings when they evaluate their lives and see areas of unrealized expectations. Inadequacies often become the glaring "tares" that make it hard to recognize that there is "wheat" as well. When we spend a day to specifically reflect on mothers, many women often feel guilty that they do not measure up to some preconceived ideal. With everyone touting the wonderful things that mothers are and do, it is easy to get wrapped up in personally considering what we aren't and what we don't do. The "tares" become dominant in the mind's eye.
For me, I have to remember that "wheat" and "tares" is a package deal. As much as I would want life to be all "wheat," I simply cannot have one without the other, and that's okay. If I am to enjoy the good that life has to offer, I have to be willing to accept that there will be bad as well. If anything, this intricate weaving of opposition helps create a sense of balance. Focus too much on the one, while neglecting the other, and life feels unsettled and disproportionate.
For instance, when the primary children were invited to go up on the stand during sacrament meeting to sing a song this Mother's Day, Garrett was very conflicted about whether or not to go. I encouraged him to walk up to the front when it was time, but he hesitated and said he didn't want to, so I told him he didn't have to and he could stay sitting with me. This must have caused some sort of turmoil and frustration within him so he blurted out (very loudly, I might add), "I hate you, Mom! You're a butt crack!" Yeah, not exactly the sentiment you want to hear, much less, have the rest of the congregation hear (especially since I thought we had broken him of the habit of using the word "butt crack." I thought he had long since moved on to the more sophisticated insult of "idiot").
The fact is, were I a new mother, that would have mortified me. Instead, I had to cover my face to stifle my outburst of laughter. I'm grateful that a few years of experience have helped me be comfortable in my own skin. I can recognize that it's nothing personal, nor does it fully reflect the kind of mother I am (or the kind of person my child is) when the "tares" are on display. I can look past Garrett's actions, accept them, even, and move on, knowing fully that I will have much more "wheat" in the long run. Because of his expressive, passionate nature, I have to deal with a few inappropriate outbursts. I'll take them because it is also his expressive, passionate nature that inspires the loving and joyous things that he says and does constantly. If I can't have one without the other, then I prefer to take it all!
I think I am at peace with my "wheat and tares" life. It's a blessed life!
This post authored by Amber