Half the Mother That You Think I Am
“I wish that I could be half the mother that you are.”
I receive this comment from time to time, in messages or Facebook posts. It makes me cringe a little and my stomach sinks.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the compliment, it’s just that I really AM only half the mom that you think I am. You only get to see one dimension — my best half — in this blog or in my Facebook posts.
You only see my life in edited photos — the perpetually-beautiful garden, the always-happy children, and the wholesome, homegrown meals.
But guess what? I have weeds and chaos. And I’m no stranger to the weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that comes with raising a young family, either.
So it makes me very uncomfortable when people imagine that my life is always delightful romps through the garden, harvesting perfect organic vegetables with smiling, appreciative children in tow.
Now I’m not intentionally trying to deceive anyone, it’s just that I really don’t think you’re here to learn about my children’s misbehavior, or how chickweed is taking over my garden during my hectic, working full-time, over-extended absence. Doesn’t research and experience show that we “hide” posts or “unfollow” people who complain? We have enough of our own drama after all.
And in this age of public shaming, pompous parenting, and self-righteous anonymity that is an unfortunate side effect of social media, I simply have made a very conscious effort to keep things light, non-judgmental, and positive around here. I never make a claim that my choices are superior, and I don’t judge anyone’s methods of getting to the same end — I just share what works for me. Although I occasionally post the mistakes that I make, or the unexpected catastrophes, I prefer to create a world where all the vegetables are beautiful, and all the children are carefree and smiling.
Because this is just a GARDENING BLOG after all, not a political or social statement.
But my kids cry just like your own, and they complain about the heat/humidity/bugs/itchy plants/monotony of working in the garden on an August afternoon.
And even though they’re usually good about eating their vegetables, they’ll whine and protest if I put squash on their plate (and I’m Mother of a HUBBARD, for goodness sake!).
And although I think that I’m doing a darn-good job, I still get frustrated. At any given moment, I’ll yell, I’ll look for a shortcut, and I’ll sometimes feel like I could do a better job at being a mother. And sometimes I just want to be alone.
Because this job of being Mom is TOUGH!
So, please… don’t compare yourself to me.
I long to consistently be that other half of the mother that you see, too.
But I also take comfort in knowing that memory is also one-sided. Isn’t it the optimistic, caring, forgiving, encouraging, loving side of our multidimensional mothers that persists in the works of poets, artists, and songwriters? In the memories we have of our own Mommas?
One day, we’ll all be that half of the mother that we wish we could be.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Recommended Books (affiliate links):
About our Move (and some future GIVEAWAYS!)
That’s right, our dream has come true… we’ve moved from our <0.5 acre city hillside home, to a 54 acre farm (about 2.5 acres of which is FLAT and tillable)! Many of you who follow me on Facebook have already heard the news, but you can also learn more about our new home on Instagram. If you’re still looking for your gardening dream, hold on tight — it took us 9 years to find ours!
And there’s more to celebrate. My Facebook page has now gained over 10,000 fans, and I just recently won the Garden Bloggers Hall of Fame Award for “Best Writing.” I’ll soon be posting details about some weekly giveaways from Fiskars, CobraHead, and more, so stay tuned!