I think a lot mother’s question our success. We go through the day, juggling jobs, shopping, cleaning, homework, hockey practice, girl scouts, track meets and band concerts.
We do our best to be supportive and loving and patient, but we aren’t always sure that we’ve hit our goal.
A lot of mothers, I think, lie down at night and wonder, “Was I OK today?” We hope that we have done a good job taking care of our kids and our homes and our spouses and our actually paying work.
I was one of those working moms for 24 years. I often found myself hoping that I’d done it well. My kids were happy and secure, so I felt OK about it, but like many mothers, I found myself focused on every time I’d raised my voice and every time I’d given in when I shouldn’t.
I was never sure that I had been a good mom.
From the vantage point of a 64 year old grandmother, and the mom of three adults, I can tell you now that I absolutely kicked ass. I was all that and a bag of chips. I killed it. I nailed it.
There is no more successful momma than me.
(Insert image of old chubby lady doing the happy dance.)
How do I know that I have been a totally successful mother?
I look at my kids, that’s how.
I have a daughter who in many ways has followed in my footsteps. She became a teacher, like me. She is about to become a mother of three, like me.
And she has surpassed my achievements in every way.
I have always believed that teaching is both an art and a science. I was very, very good at the art. And I was fair to middling with the science.
My daughter excels at both. She is one of the most beloved teachers I’ve ever known. Kids, parents, colleagues; all of them appreciate and value her. And she’s been chosen by the school district to take a leadership role with the curriculum.
I did a good job as a follower; she is a leader.
And my sons have outpaced me, too.
I have always dreamed of being some kind of musical performer. I wanted to sing. I wanted to learn the guitar. I wished to be a soloist.
My sons have taught themselves to play music on several instruments. They write music. They sing. They have been performing with a bunch of local groups.
This weekend they’ll be in the recording studio making a recording with some of their very best friends.
I’m so proud of them!
And both of them have lived up to their vows to contribute to their communities. They are hard working, humble, kind. They work every single day to make life better for kids, teens and families at risk in the small city that they have made their home.
I must have been an amazing mom. My husband must have been a remarkable Dad. Our children have grown up to be kind, giving, generous. And all three have gone beyond my life’s achievements.
I know I’m a good Mom because I’m so happy to have written the paragraph above. I feel no competition, no challenge, no need to hold onto my place.
I am happy, so very happy, to cede the position of most beautiful Mom, most patient Mom, most beloved teacher to my daughter.
I am proud and delighted to hand over the title of family musicians to my talented boys. I am proud beyond belief.
And I no longer lie in bed at night and wonder if I did a good job.
The proof is in the next generation.
I’m happy to sit back and enjoy the reflected glory.