Listen…to…your mother. It’s a phrase I utter about seven thousand times on a Sunday morning. When I can’t seem to get the girls to find their shoes, brush their teeth, get in the car and a multitude of other things on the way to church I emphatically state “listen…to..your mother.” They think it’s hilarious to repeat the phrase over and over to each other and giggle about how crazy I sound.
A dear friend said to me this morning: “Mother’s Day..sometimes it just seems like too much.” And I get that. Mothers feeling overwhelmed at a day to celebrate them, yet unable to escape the responsibilities of the daily routine. Women who wish they were mothers but are unable. Women who mourn the loss of their child or their own mother. Families who need reconciliation on these celebratory days.
So what to write about on this “too much” day. After much thought (kidding…I was napping this afternoon), I thought I would make a list of what your mother would want you to know if she was an OBGYN married to a Pastor.
- Educate your kids about their bodies: My kids remind each other to “wash around your vagina” in the tub. When BK was born, Mc said breastfeeding was “weird.” To which I replied, “yes dear, it’s only the beginning of weird stuff your body does.” Kids who know how their bodies function can express when they are injured, uncomfortable or, God forbid, touched inappropriately.
- Vaccinate your kids against HPV: People, it’s not a conspiracy theory. It’s a vaccine that has the potential to eliminate or nearly eliminate cervical cancer and significantly reduce HPV related diseases. Trust me. I deal with this, literally, every day. Does every vaccine have a small risk of complications? Yes, but significantly less likely than me seeing your kid later in life for an abnormal Pap test or some other problem. Plus, there’s more formaldehyde in pears and bacon than in vaccines. (mic drop).
- Make sure your kid has a trusted adult they can talk to that’s NOT YOU. As parents we think we want or need to know everything that is happening in our kids lives. The reality is that we can’t do much about it. I can tell you everything your kid says to me in the office but then she wouldn’t trust me and she already doesn’t listen to you. What I can do is encourage them to be safe, be healthy, see the consequences of their actions before they happen and be honest with you. So make sure they have a pastor, a doctor, a coach or a mentor you trust.
- Let your kid be honest with you. When they do something dumb and are brave enough to tell you about it be sure to remind them how glad you are they were honest with you amidst the lecture about how disappointed you are.
- And finally, be easy on yourself. I am reminded weekly by Pastor Jon and Pastor Jason that God has already made His mind up about you and the news is good. It’s okay to be stressed, sad or overwhelmed on Mother’s day. Or any day. Forgive others, forgive yourself. Love people more than they deserve and let yourself be loved more than you deserve. And don’t forget to see your Gynecologist and go to Church.