Friday, November 8, 2013

Let's learn something: The Mom appreciation game

Background image by Shawn Campbell
Our family is fairly laid-back. My husband and I are incredibly fortunate that our son somehow inherited all of our good genes and relatively few of our evil ones (and there were lots of the evil ones to go around).

But we all have bad days. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a liar or has an extreme case of denial. When we have bad days in my house, I like to play the "When my Mother was my age" game for a little perspective. You can play, too (preferably with your own mother or other parent of choice, not with mine.)

Here's how to play:
  1. Determine what was going on in your mother's life when she was the same age as you are right now. If you are unsure of what was going on in your mother's life during that time, I think we both know that you owe your mother a phone call. Yes, I am serious. Call your mother and ask her. It'll make her day.
  2. Realize that what you have going on right now is comparatively not as bad as the life and times that your mother went through.
  3. Enjoy your life. (At this point you may want to call your mother and apologize.)
For example, I might say:
When my mother was my age, she had a 14-year-old son and an 11-year old daughter. She was going through a divorce and working long hours at a job she was overqualified for to send me to a private school and to support us in general. She was also budgeting to save enough money to buy all our Christmas gifts without using any credit cards. In addition to all that, she regularly encouraged our friends to come over on her rare weekends off to play, and she taught me how to cook. There was no household Internet or regular cell phone use, and Roseanne was the top show on television (but we weren't allowed to watch it because it wasn't considered a nice family show).

Suddenly my three-year-old's stubbornness doesn't seem so bad now. Excuse me while I go call my mother to apologize.

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