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Meditations: “Humanizing Mom

On Mother's Day, one expects to read about the wonder and glory of motherhood. While I can tell you from personal experience that we mothers like to be appreciated, I can also tell you that a rosy and sentimental Mother's Day column always refers to mothers in some other family-the picture painted there is not me, not my mom, not my grandmothers.

In my family, mothers do not suffer any more than other mortals, nor are we particularly unsung. We complain when we trip over shoes on the living room floor, and we expect a little praise for carrying the daily Grand Accumulation at the bottom of the stairs up the aforementioned stairs.

We do not deserve or expect devotion from our children. We wanted to have children. It was our idea. If they come around from time to time when they are grown-ups, we are ever so glad. But if they live their lives as secure and independent souls, we value that.

Motherhood, in my family, is not always the most important job in the world. Some of us are actually good at it, some of us shuffle along and do our best, and a few are better off in other professions. We try to face that.

Mother's Day is no time to romanticize parenthood-parenting is a down-to-earth process if ever there was one. So this Mother's Day, let's humanize Mom. Thank her for doing what she could, given all the dirty socks, thank her for loving you as well as she was able in spite of your three years in junior high, and then, let her thank you for the privilege of being your mother


Published in Jane Ranney Rzepka's A Small Heaven: A Meditation Manual, Boston: Skinner House Books, 1989, 21. Visit the UUA Bookstore.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.

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