Because I am most typically a self-centered you-know-what (no expletives, please), I have had to look to outside sources to learn how to be deserving of a “World’s Best Mom” coffee mug. And I didn’t have to look far…
My Mom is UH-mazing. By watching her for 30 (excuse me, make that 29…I still have 7-ish long months before I am as old as that number I mentioned above) years, I have been able to compile a list of easy steps to attain Mommy Awesomeness, inspired solely by her character and her actions. It will probably be rather long, so let us proceed straightaway.
Step 1: I think you have to be born a certain way. So if you weren’t born that way, I’m sorry. This post will be completely unhelpful to you. (I was not born that way, so don’t feel too bad).
Step 2: Be timelessly beautiful. Don’t frequent tanning beds, don’t smoke or drink, take vigilant care of your teeth, and get a good amount of sleep every day. It gives you a witchlike, eternal quality that makes your children stand in awe of you and keeps them from backtalking.
Step 3: Get your children hooked on coffee at an early age. It forces an inexplicable bond between mothers and children and results in daily time at the table sipping and musing over this and that.
Step 4: Make a home that trumps any experience your children could ever have elsewhere. Make their favorite foods appear out of nowhere, sprinkle delicately-scented powder on their clean bedsheets, rub their feet and back for hours, laugh at their every joke, and quickly give them every item of your own that they show a particular fondness for. They will never really want to leave, and will find every possible opportunity to come back.
Step 5: Have the work ethic of a coal-miner. From the minute you rise until your time of rest at night, stay busy serving the ones you love. Make it look effortless and keep your body as spry and youthful as ever as you scrub floors and lift heavy children, or your loved ones will feel guilty. But whatever you do, even on your own birthday, don’t…sit…down.
Step 6: Never retire from being a Mommy, even when you become a Grandmother. Your daughter still needs you. Thus, when you feel that she might be overwhelmed by all the responsibilities that come with being the mother of small children, swoop into her house unexpectedly and magically tidy up the place in 30 minutes. Send her children home from your house freshly bathed and fed. When you keep the children at her house during her doctor’s visits, do every last bit of laundry and have it put away by the time she returns. Show up early in the morning with her favorite donuts and spend the day helping her tackle those projects she never thought she would get to. Your kindness and thoughtfulness will overwhelm her and mean THE WORLD to her, believe me. But you can’t ever stop, or she will die a premature and miserable death.
Step 6: Then there must be those special foods that you alone are known for. You will become a bit of a legend and even those in the community will know to request your chicken salad or “Kentucky Butter Cake” at potlucks and such.
Step 7: If you have a daughter, give her a birthweek instead of just a boring old birthday. Here’s how it works: at the beginning of her “birthweek”, place a special basket inside her room with a little prettily wrapped gift and card for each day of the week. End the week with a fantastic party where you present her with the BIG presents. The very idea of it will completely stress her husband out and plague him for a lifetime. It’s hilarious.
Step 8: Don’t expend all of your mothering energy on just your children. Make your home a haven of rest and comfort for their friends, as well. Some of them will remember it and thank you for it for the rest of their lives; some will even say you taught them how to be parents to their own children.
Step 9: Don’t just save gift-giving for holidays. Surprise your daughter on a random day in April with three beautiful azalea bushes. Delight your grandchildren by dropping off bakery treats on the way home from getting groceries. And when you go to the mall, never forget to stop at Baby Gap and completely wardrobe 5 poor preachers’ kids for the season…
Step 10: This goes without saying, but truly believe that your children are the brightest, the most talented and the best looking. Everytime your daughter asks how she looks, immediately say “Beautiful.” She won’t believe that she looks beautiful in her sweatpants and ponytail, but she’ll believe that YOU think she looks beautiful, and it will make her heart happy to have such a cheerleader on her side.
Step 11: Biggest step. Make God first in the home, in your family’s schedule and in your own life. This is of utmost importance. Your children will rise up and call you blessed for this one.
Step 12: Don’t teach your daughter anything about homemaking or cooking – in fact, do everything for her and do it perfectly – then when she gets married, she will call you every day, several times a day, for the next 6 (and counting…) years. This will also make her husband very uncomfortable and is also hilarious.
Step 13: Love your children-in-law as much as you love your own kids. Make as much ado about their birthdays (with the exception of birthweeks), learn to cook their favorite foods, and give them every reason to view you as their beloved mother and not their evil mother-in-law. They, too, will rise up and call you blessed.
Step 14: Respect and honor your husband. Even if his personality is the spittin’ image of your firstborn grandson’s. (ohhhh so glad my Daddy doesn’t know how to get on “that there comp-u-tater.”)
Step 15: Holidays…they have to be over-the-top, every single one of them, from Christmas to May Day to the 4th of July. And whatever you do, never stop inviting Santa to bring gifts to your adult children. Especially your daughter. She will be crestfallen after all these years to find that he left nothing for her under the tree.
Step 16: Like Mary Poppins, be “practically perfect in every way.” Which leads us back to Step 1…
Well, there you have it. Follow these 16 steps for the rest of your life, and you, too, can be when I consider an Awesome Mom…
Or, you could realize, like me, that Ms. Jackson’s are born, not made, and just take your kids to her house. She’ll feed them (and you), bathe them (and maybe even you), and then give them (and you) a little token of appreciation for coming over. Probably on her own birthday…
Ah, I love you Mom. I rise up and call you blessed. I will strive to provide a home for my children as magical and as comforting as the one you provided for me. I will teach them about the Lord. I will freely give them the things I love because you have always given to me. I will love their Papa forever. And I will work every day to become half as hospitable as you are to whomever crosses my threshold. Happy Mother’s Day, 2011 from your