Mother’s Day is celebrated by some and dreaded by many. Whether it is happy or painful usually depends on the children and whether they remember.
Mothers, being the sensitive creatures we are, typically spend time reflecting about whether or not we were good parents. If we are honest, we believe we did some things well but we also know we made our share of mistakes.
Unfortunately, most of us had little preparation for parenting. When I was in college, I got a degree in science and education, but there was not even a Parenting 101 class offered. Most of us naively assumed we would know what to do when the time came.
We later had to understand we did the best we knew how at the time with the knowledge we had, and hope it was “good enough.”
Unfortunately, there are toxic parents who abuse, neglect and hurt their children. Survival as an adult may depend on severing contact with an abusive parent. But in working with these adult children, I have yet to meet one who didn’t wish it could be different.
Today there is no excuse for not preparing for the most important job we have. I went to my search engine and typed in “parenting classes in Oklahoma.” They are plentiful and free. Check them out.
Years ago I heard Buckner Fanning tell the story of taking his two young sons to buy gifts for their mother on her special day. The 9-year-old chose a tube of lipstick called Reckless Pink. It was iridescent and would glow in the dark. The 6-year-old chose a spray cologne named Intoxication. Together the two boys decided on a third gift — a cheaply made charm bracelet with the Ten Commandments on it.
Fanning believed his sons were giving their mother an important message. They wanted their mom to look good, smell good and be good.
Not a bad place to begin.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at email@example.com.