In honor of yet another Hallmark holiday, I’ve decided to create my own Rotten Tomato rating scale for my motherhood.   I wonder if my mom ever did that.  Did she ever question how well she was doing?  Did she wonder why her teenage girl (me) was such a shit?  Did she worry it was her fault?  Did she contemplate that I might need therapy some day because of my Italian/Jewish/Curly-haired descent?  Was she like the rest of us, filled with self-doubt about their parenting?

So, here are the pros and cons of Jessica’s mom-abilities:

Cons (69% dislike on Rotten Tomato):

  • Sometimes I’m short fused and after a long day at work, the thought of cooking, cleaning, laundry makes me a bit crabby.
  • I won’t let my kids quit their stringed instruments.  They’re not happy with me about that.
  • I’m a bit militant about getting enough sleep (although I have no idea why I don’t force myself to sleep more!)
  • I ask a lot of questions.  Sometimes that pisses them off.
  • I like to hang with them when they don’t want to hang with me.
  • I like my alone time when they want to hang with me.
  • I’m passionate and sometimes that comes off as “uncomfortable” or “awkward.”

Pros (100% on Rotten Tomato – (why not give myself 100%??):

  • I am in love with them.
  • I tell them I love them every day.
  • I’m super open about life: the good, the bad and the really ugly.
  • I give them what they need but not always what they want.
  • I have boundaries for them and for me.
  • I value our family and our time together, which frustrates them now but they’ll be glad some day.
  • I respect them.  Even when I don’t agree with them, I respect them.
  • I ensure that we support one another and work as a team.
  • We have fun!

As I tell my kids what I’m writing, I get lots of protests and hugs. They tell me I’m “the best mom ever” – and that they “love the not-so-great things” about me!  Now they are making me cry and it’s hard to type the blog.

Looking back, my mom was all of the pros and all of the cons – but I didn’t really appreciate it until she got sick and oh-so-quickly left.  In fact, how often did I tell her how great I thought she was? That I loved her crazy dancing, her weird food choices and her wild hair (wow, sounds familiar)?  We never say it enough.  For me, it’s too late.

So, if your mom’s still here, tell her.  Let her know that you love all the things she knows you don’t always appreciate about her!  Tell her that you now know how hard it was to raise you.  Tell her that you love her.  Don’t wait.

Instead of beating ourselves up about our mom-abilities, how about we base our rating on how much joy we get from being a parent.  I think that’ll put us on the top of the rating scale.  No one’s perfect, right? 🙂

Have a fantastic weekend!