A Mama malady of our time is the topic of reflection today…It is so lovely to have you here…shall we begin our time together…
I have prepared a special tray just for us, it has vintage cups, tiny sugar bowl, a tiny milk jug & freshly baked Gf scones with homemade strawberry jam for our treat. We are sitting at my dining room table which is positioned in front of a double sliding glass door that looks out onto our front garden.
Our tea blend today is an unusual one that I think you may enjoy, it is called Orange Pekoe, I have the teapot, so, as I pour our tea or would you prefer coffee…we will begin reflecting on today’s topic…
Mother guilt seems to be a malady of recent times, although, it may have always been… I have observed this in Mamas both young, old & across different cultures & whether they are birth, adoptive, step or foster mothers.
Let me explain what exactly Mother guilt is; it is the feeling we have not done or doing enough for our children.
It is a very unpleasant feeling for any Mama…who has & is doing her absolute best for her children, whether they are young or now adult….within the knowledge, life experience, circumstances, health & energy, resources & maturity she has…at any given time along the way!
So….why do we feel this way… It comes down to what we either continually expect of ourselves (I am guilty of this one) or the pressure of expectations that are continually placed upon us….or maybe a combination of both…
Over the past 50+ years media in all its forms has had a huge part to play in this malady & the expectations that are placed upon motherhood…I grew up with movies & programs…where the mother always had the perfect house, her children were always clean, neat, well mannered & well behaved all the time…she was the perfect mother, wife & cook, always had a smile on her face & the perfect words on her tongue for every occasion…she did everything perfectly to keep the family running smoothly…
The actual reality of motherhood, of course, was never shown…that imperfection, exhaustion & messiness reigns with raising children….in all its glory!
Conversely, mothers who fell outside of this perceived “normality of perfection” were judged & found wanting! Which I am here to tell you…is all of us Mamas! As hard as I tried & I can tell you…try I did! I could never attain that level of perfection… I was not the perfect Mama… My children may have started the day clean, neat & tidy…but by the end of the day they were not…I taught them good manners & what was acceptable behavior, I gave them a solid foundation of God’s love but children are children…they mess up, just like us adults do!
While of course we want to do our very best for our children…absolutely & without question! The main thing they need & want from us is….relationship!
They want to be with us, spending quality time with us, watching us go through both the good times & the challenging times…so they too can learn what a real role model of resilience looks like…imperfect & messy but trying….& in observing us…meeting & overcoming the challenges of life…they learn that they can too….going on to lead their best lives in the good & the challenging times that will inevitably greet them as adults!
So, Mamas let us who have done & are still trying to do our very best for our children, whatever age they may be & whatever capacity we may have…do away with Mama guilt in all its manifestations & see the real priorities…spending quality time with our children & grandchildren when we can…& enjoy the precious moments of relationship…for what it is…imperfect & messy……but loving each other within it with kindness, patience, respect & tolerance!
I hope you enjoyed our time together & the Orange Pekoe tea…until next time
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