I remember when I left my full-time HR job to be a full-time mom, when I had my first kid. I looked at this enormous duty as a profession, which I was prepared to devote myself and all I had got for! I labeled “being a mother” as a job…well, one that you could never quit though. And I was naive , and quite arrogant, enough to believe that it should be something not too difficult for me to learn and become good at in no time. Looking back at my school and career records, I never did so badly at all. I got good grades at schools and received some good opportunities and compliments at work. So, why would this be different? I would be a good mother for sure!! So many women could do it well and why wouldn’t I!!
I found out the truth only during the first week with the baby!!! Gee… Everything was so difficult. I was completely clueless and so exhausted to the point of being depressed! There was no one to train you for this particular tiny individual, whom you had to deal with 24/7! If she was the boss, she would be the messiest, fussiest, extremely difficult to please boss who seriously lacked communication skills – literally!! All she did was screaming at you when you did something wrong!
Days, months, and then years passed and I still felt so clueless and a little discouraged. I had no idea whether what I did for her was right or not, or whether it would serve my ultimate goal of raising a good and happy person. No one was there to verify that. Then how would I know whether what I had been doing was right or not? Who would tell me when I was a good mother or warn me when I was not!?
For some, mothering seems so instinctive. They look like they are born to be a mother and the way they deal with their kids seems so effortless. I just don’t feel like that at all. I remember waiting and waiting for such instinct to kicks in and then I wouldn’t be so clueless. But it never did. There were only mistakes that kept kicking me in the face! It was really frustrating as I felt like walking in the dark. I just knew the general direction but had no idea whether I was in the right path that led to sunlight.
Only until this year that I feel not so clueless, not so tired, not so discouraged. Looking at the Mother’s Day cards from my 12- and 10-year olds now, I am bursting with pride. I’m not proud because they are the best kids in town. They may not be the best mannered nor got the top scores at school, but considering how clueless I had been feeling, they are not doing so poorly as daughters at all. I’m proud because I know I must have done some things right to take them here. And now it feels like I just had my first real performance appraisal…one that I’ve been dying for for 12 years! I would never say this before, but now I can say that, “it’s all worth the wait.” It gives me strengths to go on and keep trying…try to always be a better mother…try to have faith in putting the best in my kids so one day they will give their good things back.
Now I know this is all too native and may be a little arrogant, to feel so proud of my kids only from two pieces of paper on Mother’s Day. At best, It is just the first appraisal. There are so many difficult tasks or goals for me to achieve as a mother, and there is no guarantee at all that I will still get a “meet expectations” result in my next appraisals. But at least, this first one would serve as my fuel to keep going. It is just a little something I would like to share with all frustrating mommies in the world. that you should never lose faith in doing everything you think is good for your kids. As one day, if you are not too wrong in what you do, you’ll get to see a glimpse of success like me. You’ll get to feel that all your sweats and tears were never wasted. You’ll get to pat yourself in the back and say, “I’m not doing so badly at all.”
Salute to all mommies…the hardest profession on earth…yet the return far exceeds all kinds of physical possessions a career would give.