I’ve always strived to be a great mother. I was raised by an incredibly sensitive, nurturing mother who enriched and encouraged me in all things. Unfortunately, I’ve been raising my daughters during an era when it is considered socially acceptable for women to compare and judge each other on their achievements. Where do you work? How much do you make? How do you punish your children? Where do your kids go to school?
Of course none of this is productive. Goals and successes are shades of grey- what is colossal for one woman is minut for another. Every child needs something different and there is no one “right way” to think or parent. How do you allow your kids to dress? To date? What is their curfew? How many activities are they in? The noise is endless.
While I have always tried to block the noise and live in a way true to myself and do what is right for my family, seeing Patricia Arquette’s character of Mom in last year’s Boyhood was one of the best gifts that I’ve ever received. Her character personifies all that I have attempted to do and be. She is far from perfect but constantly and consistently tries to have a life for herself while she does well for her kids. She is forever juggling these goals and desires and in so doing raises interesting and intelligent kids who understand that she deserves a full life for herself and is a better mother because she pursues personal fulfillment.
All of this is to cry out to the world- let’s celebrate each other’s different choices, ideas and methods of mother-ing. Instead of seeing each other’s errors, let’s praise each other for the constant attempts at being real and good and doing the best we can for our children. Your best may not be the same as my best but we are all trying. Cheers to you all.