"Mom is always the last one to the table, " she moaned, a little annoyed that I was making her wait to eat, as I feverishly sprinted around the kitchen making sure everyone had what they needed before I sat down. The rule in our house is, we return thanks, and eat the first bite of our meal after everyone has sat down at the table, together. Before I could open my mouth to give a curt answer, Jeremy chimed in and let her know why.
I could have summed it up for her in one word.
I'm not complaining. There are days that the repetitive-ness of picking up pajamas left on the living room floor for the ump-teenth time, or digging out dirty socks stuffed in the folds of the couch drives me a bit over the edge, and sometimes I handle it well, and sometimes I don't. I try to be a good parent, I really do, but I have this crazy anxiety that I'm not doing it right. Does anyone else feel like that?
I am constantly second guessing my actions and what I tell my daughter, and how I raise her. There have been guilt ridden, sleepless nights I have gone to bed chanting one thought in my brain over and over, " I will do better, tomorrow. I will do better, tomorrow." Jeremy has come home to me announcing to him on occasion that I have given myself the "bad mommy award," for the day.
But, I try and learn from my mistakes, and tell myself this: "There are no perfect parents. Learn from your mistakes. She deserves that. She deserves the best."
And that I can do. I can give her my best. It is not perfection, but I don't think that is what she seeks. She just wants me. Mom. At my best.
I have come to the conclusion there is no one right way to raise children, only some obvious wrong ways you should avoid, and the rest is up to us. All kids are different and have different needs for their unique personalities, which makes it is impossible to define a "right way."
What this mama's heart beats to, is her daughters rhythm. I love her to pieces, and then some, more than she will ever, ever know, much more than can fit into words on this little blog of mine. Grace is a great kid. I have to remind myself that, that just didn't happen. Mama had a hand in sculpting, finessing, and fanning that sweet personality of hers to bloom. It is her flower, but I did the watering. Chances are, when you stand back and look at your own kiddo(s) from an outside perspective, they are some doggone, awesome little beings. Yes, it is them, but pat yourself on the backs, mama's, because you done good. You are doing your best, and it is paying off ten fold.
I wish all you wonderful mama's out there a most lovely Mother's day weekend. I know some very special little kids, and not just a handful of them, more like a bus load of them, and they are a reflection of some serious Mama Bear Love.
Simply, the best.
I thought I'd leave you with a classic recipe for a cheese pie adapted from my "More from Magnolia Bakery" cookbook. I make it once a year when the strawberries arrive at the market. It's a perfect Mother's day treat, or breakfast, or splurge, or whatever you'd like to call it. It needs to spend overnight in the fridge, so make it a day before you plan to eat it. Mama Bear's love it!
Mama Bear's Strawberry Cheese Pie
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar
1 lb. Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 Cup Powdered confectioners' sugar
1/4 Cup Sour cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Generous handful of fresh strawberries, sliced up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crust. Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie dish, and press the graham cracker mixture firmly into it, to make the crust. I use a 1/3 C measuring cup which packs it down nicely.
Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, then let it cool completely before putting
the filling in.
Once the crust has cooled, make the filling. In a stand mixture or in a bowl using those mama bear arms of yours, combine the filling ingredients, whipping it well, until no lumps remain, and it is smooth.
Spread the filling evenly into the cooled crust, and it let sit in the fridge to set up overnight.
In the morning, slice up your strawberries, and starting at the outside diameter, arrange the slices in a circle, moving your way to the center.
When you are finished, put the pie back in the fridge until ready to serve.