What sort of a mother am I?

On occasions over many years, my children have referred to friends of mine saying, “she’s a real mom”. I have never been insulted as I know exactly what they mean. However today I opened that poxy internet glimpse into peoples lives that is facebook, and I saw this from my online friends. Firstly Life on Hushabye Farm posted,

“Some of my mornings work, Jam drops, lentil and nut loaf and lime drizzle cake”

Yes you are correct, she said SOME. She even posted photographic evidence to prove it. Next there was theNest,

“Buns for the boys for brekkie; sponge for later (recipe on its way too!) And a grain, dairy and sugar free fruitcake”.

Just to let you know, Emily has a million children (not quite) and home schools them!
As I was reading these updates this morning, in walked my youngest who began to forage for food in the kitchen. I will never reveal what she found for lunch, but safe to say it didn’t come under the healthy homemade lunch banner, although I did put in an apple for her (which was bruised and a bit wrinkled and probably not something she will even consider eating).

I know mothering is not all about baking, but in truth if I think back, my mothers baking does figure very strongly in my memory. The problem is I am too lazy. I know I could bake, but I don’t. I know I could cook a lot better, but I don’t. I know I could make more effort in the dressing department, but I don’t, and I know a bit of makeup wouldn’t go amiss, but I don’t go there either.

So now I am wondering what will my children remember of me in years to come. Will it be…

That time two weeks before my eldest daughters first communion when I still had nothing to wear. She turned to me and said, “Mom can I ask you one thing, please don’t wear your Doc Martins to my communion”.
The almost daily smell of burned toast.
The fact I bake sometimes and wait to see what they think it is, as things have not worked out quite as I would have imagined.
The way I covered two books for my daughter for school, only to discover I’d sealed the first few pages, and covered them upside down.
The fact that I’m not very houseproud. Okay take out the ‘very’.
The fact that I tend to say, “Ah don’t worry, it’ll be grand” a lot, about everything from out of date yogurts to our late departure for the airport.
The fact I don’t care too much about homework, grinds or results.
The fact I appear at times to not know their names.photo credit: Jane Costa Lima via photopin cc

In spite of knowing all these things I do continue to dream, to imagine that some day they will forget the mom I often was, and remember the mom I also was. The mom…

Who carried them for hours when they were distressed babies.
Who welcomed them into open arms after school.
Who laughed with them every day.
Who knew when they were troubled.
Who lay awake at night worrying on their behalf.
Who cried her way through every milestone in their lives.
Who loved them more than anyone else can ever do.

*****I will have to give credit to my online buddies for their inspiration today. They are my online buddies for a reason. Life on Husabye Farm is a fabulous blog. This family live in Ireland and keep Alpacas! They even went for a walk one Sunday with one of them. Go check her out, especially the facebook page where you will see some fantastic photos.
As for the nest go treat yourself. Emily is an artist. Her work is stunning, as well as her being a great cook, mother and educator. Her craft and food filled blog is beautiful.

photo credit: amrufm via photopin cc
photo credit: amrufm via photopin cc

38 thoughts on “What sort of a mother am I?

  1. Tric, thank you 🙂 that really made me laugh!! Though, apart from the baking, as we have noticed before, we were absolutely *separated at birth*… I regularly note my total lack in all other motherly departments you mentioned. You may be lazy, hence no baking; I’m obviously just greedy!!!!

    1. Thanks my cyber twin, I agree it is uncanny how alike we are in many ways and not in others. I think you’re mega talented whenever I look at your art. I have yet to prove your talent in the kitchen department! 🙂

  2. I love your honesty tric it’s why I love your blog, moms should not put themselves in boxes, your children love you for what you gave them, and I have to be honest and tell you, my mum baked and cooked but she also got stressed out about it all the time and I remember the stress, the mess, and giving out about it,bthat’s not to say that all moms that cook and bake do this but mine did and it wasn’t pretty, God I hope she never sees this lol

    1. Lol. I laughed at your fear of your mom seeing this. How paranoid are we about our mothers! I suppose we all wish we could do better or more, but I am at the stage where I know it’s too late, I am what I am for them. Maybe I’m too honest, even though my mother often told me “A lie wouldn’t choke you Tric”. 🙂

  3. I love this. I also wonder what my daughter will remember: whether all the times I picked her up on time from school, or the few times I was late…all the years I was home with them every day, or the 2 weeks I went away by myself…I trust some of the “good” stuff resides in there with all the rest!

    1. Thanks Lucia. I think I am guilty of complimenting myself occasionally and then one of my kids says something and I realise I am living in a bubble of my own creation and my kids are only too happy to burst it. Time will tell I suppose. Maybe when they have children they’ll forgive us?

  4. What do you remember about your mother? If I’m not wrong people remember the better memories rather than the worse. It doesn’t give you a free pass, but it doesn’t mean you have to do every little thing in order to be a good mom. As for cooking my mother stopped after my brothers found their love for it. I was able to cook before 10, perhaps you might enjoy cooking with your kids more than just cooking for them. It’s a good life skill.

      1. Imperfection makes us human, and makes us approachable. Perfect leaves people question what you are hiding.

        From what I’ve read I think you are doing an amazing job! Keep it up.

  5. My three are grown and even tho they have some “mom stories” that would hurt the feeling of the most laid back mom, they each have said things that have really touched me and verified that they were watching and paying attention. There was the day I found a photo on my youngest daughter’s Flickr page, a photo of a box of donuts for her and a stay over friend with juice and milk. The caption was “best mom ever”. Or when my older daughter was pregnant and kept telling people that her baby was going to grow up playing with homemade clay and paint like she did. And when she spoke of wanting me to teach her boys to speak Spanish. The night my son spoke to everyone gathered at dinner about how his mom’s cooking is always the best. And then there is this week when I ended up in the hospital and they all came running to their mama! So mine will remember the good, the bad, and even the ugly (projects they had to turn in to school). I’m sure yours will too.

    1. I loved your reply Corina. I think it is as our children get older they are more likely to recognise and remember some of our finer moments.
      I hope you are feeling better. Are you out of hospital yet? Isn’t it wonderful that they were willing to drop all to be by your side when you needed them. You must have got something right. 🙂
      Get well soon.

  6. I love this Tric, I think we all go through thoughs times of wonderment, but as you have done here, we need to reflect on the things we do so well also 🙂

    1. Thanks Nicola. Yes we do make mistakes, and are less than perfect but we do try our best.
      I think I was writing this as much to convince myself I’ve done some things right. as to hope that one day they’ll realise it. 🙂

    1. I’m pleased it was so timely for you. Thanks for the compliment! Us mothers need to stick together. I can remember my own mom sighing regularly and stating “this is a thankless job”. She was probably right most of the time, but I live in hope. I hope your day gets better and better.

  7. Another great post! We mums do tend to compare ourselves to other mums and judge ourselves accordingly. I did and still do!! I was a lazy mom when the kids wee small and even lazier when they became more self-sufficient. Cake and milk for breakfast on more than one occasion! But, they remember our laughs and the Saturday house cleaning done to a mixture of music of their favorites and mine. We got more dancing and “performing” done than cleaning! 🙂

    1. Haha Oh Deb I can imagine them enjoying their cake and milk for breakfast! I think you’re right it is probably ourselves who judge more than our children. I’m sure your children have many great memories of their early days.

    1. I think you’re right. When I wrote it I was only thinking of myself but reading the comments I can see I’m definitely not alone.

  8. I love baking too and kudos to all mums who are into baking and cooking, but I don’t believe that any mum can do everything, we all excel at different things and it sounds like you were always there for your kids whenever they needed you, one of the most important things a mum can do x

    1. Yes we can’t do everything, but I think we’re guilty of thinking we should. Time will tell what they’ll remember, but burned toast will definitely be up there. 🙂

  9. I hope baking isn’t important, because I don’t bake. More like I can’t. I made cookies once that tasted like shrimp. Don’t ask me how. I think they’ll remember that you were there for them. I hope that’s what my son remembers. I have to give him store bought treats or send him to his grandmother’s so she can bake for him. But I help him with homework, read him stories, buy him shoes or laces because both are constantly wearing out, etc. His dad just took off and disappeared, so if nothing else, I think he’ll remember that I never left him. That I’ve always been there. Even though I’m gone for long hours six days a week, he knows I’m coming home. Can’t say that for his worthless dad. I hope that translates into “real mom.” I don’t think I’ve ever liked that term. All moms are different. Most work, some don’t. Some bake, others don’t. Some keep a clean house, other’s try really, really hard to. I think the only thing you need to be a “real mom” is to love your kids and do what you can for them. If you can ask yourself at the end of the day, could I have done more and the answer is no, you’re a good mom. Your post today made me laugh. I’ve needed one. thanks

    1. Delighted to make you laugh. I have little doubt that your son will remember you as a great mom. Parenting alone is a very difficult job. Yes, to love our children and do our best for them are probably all that will count, well I hope so anyway.
      Thanks so much for your comment.

  10. You are a funny lady, Tric! I could never imagine you any less than the perfect mother. I believe it is a good thing that we are all different; as I write this I remember a glaring moment in my mothering history when I thoroughly embarrassed my youngest in first grade… Each child was to have a parent in school to help their child cut out pictures from magazines. While all the NORMAL mothers struggled with their tiny scissors cutting perfect little bits from the pages — I whipped out my pocket razor and did the job in a few seconds. When I looked at my daughter, instead of being happy we finished first, she was upset I was not “like all the other mommies.”

    God bless each not normal mom out there, and God bless you, Tric! 😀

    1. Jackie I smiled so much reading this it really brought home the message that we all are parenting the same way, and we all mess up for our little ones even though we are doing what we think is our best. Now that your little ones are all grown up, from what I know of you online, I suspect they are well happy to call you mom.

  11. Yes, Katie remembers the incident with the razor… and she has a collection of razors of her own. She is an artist that uses all kinds of things including hand tools, power tools and razors. She realizes now that I taught her so much more than to only follow the crowd. And she laughs at how silly she was then – only wanting normal.

    1. Delighted I sparked an old memory for you and your daughter. Knowing you online I can well believe how highly your children regard you as a mom.

  12. Tric, this made me laugh 🙂 any mum that is able to laugh with their kids is a great mum in my book. If it’s any consolation, I don’t/can’t bake. And I don’t cook either. The other day, my daughter was shocked that I could actually fry an egg. She was so worried that I would burn myself. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    So, there are all kinds of mothers. All doing their best in the toughest job in the world.

    1. Yikes it sounds like you and are are twins in the cooking department. I think I’d love my children to remember most the amount of times we laughed together, I’m not sure that will be their main memory though. 🙂

      1. Lol! I think you might just be Martha Stewart compared to my standard. I’m sure the kids see you as a wonderful mother, who loves them just the way they are 😊

  13. I’ve been both – the married, stay-at-home mom who made sprouted grain, sugar free cookies that actually tasted good and cooked everything from scratch and whose house was always clean and who had a 60 day supper rotation menu that didn’t serve the same thing as school did for lunch –
    And I’ve been the single, broke, unemployed, seriously ill mom who laid on the couch and said, “Oh! you need something for the school party tomorrow? Can you walk to the store and buy some cookies out of your allowance and I’ll pay you back next month?”
    All I know is this – my kids grew to manhood as compassionate, caring young men who said to others, “Oh – that’s where you’re at, right now, okey-dokey – don’t like it? well who says it will be like this forever? But you can hang out in this safe space until you’re ready to go forth again….cuz here, we just take it as it comes – and you never have to pretend to be something you’re not…”

    I may be over reaching, but giving your kids a space to be themselves – to have respite from the world, to share and know they can come to you with anything – and knowing there will be times when you can’t fix anything, but are willing to sit beside them while they figure it out – well, that’s what they’ll remember – and sounds like you’ve got that covered – 🙂

  14. Thank you. It sounds as if you have definitely been a great mother, and your children are proof of the good job you did.
    I hope I’ve done as well.

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