There was a time in history, like when I was in Kindergarten, that getting a merit card was pretty special but when it had a gold star on it, my word it became something REALLY special. A gold star meant you had been recognised as ‘The Best’. I don’t remember comparing my merit cards with other kids’ or even bothering to know if other kids got them. It wasn’t really important because I just knew that my teacher thought I was the best.
Fast forward a whole lot of years. I’m not in Kindergarten anymore. I’m a mum, and the reality of life is that I can try as hard as I like and do what I think is the best job for my girls, but there are no gold stars anymore. Or are there?
Like every other mum on the planet, I wake up with ‘mummy guilt’ already in place for one reason or another. You know the drill. Guilt over what you feed them, how you dress them, where you take them or don’t take them, what you give them, how you discipline them, how you speak to them, whether you’ve read them enough stories this week. Guilt over blah blah blah..the list goes on. Some things are big, others we make unnecessarily big in our minds. We know all too well the reasons we could never be considered a gold star mummy.
See the gold stars
And then one day in conversation, your slightly more grown-up children say something that just brings you to tears. It goes something like this….
“Oh, Mum, remember when we stayed in our pj’s ALL day and watched TV and ate junk food? That was so much fun!”. That was me, mothering post night shift and I felt like the worst mother in the world.
“Oh, Mum, I remember that cake you made for my 10th birthday. It was intensely chocolate and SO good. You should do that again.” That was the year I worked and had to make a supermarket cake look amazing in quick time.
“Oh, Mum, you’re the best at birthdays ’cause you always decorate while we’re asleep the night before.” That’s me with a handful of cheap balloons and crepe paper streamers. Nothing flashy.
I’ve had a number of moments and conversations like this in my mummy life, and each time it hits me right in the heart. I try really hard to be a good mum and I know I don’t always get it right. But the times when I thought I was last in line for any mummy award, my kids put me right up on the podium with their big smiles, their treasured memories and those magic words… Mum, You’re the Best!
When an ordinary woman loves her children in ordinary moments on any ordinary day, it doesn’t produce any kind of trophy for the shelf. But when they smile at you just because you’re their mum… there is that all important recognition that they know you’re the best. And that makes YOU a ‘Gold Star Mummy’!
Happy Mother’s Day!