Confessions of A Frustrated Mama on Mother’s Day

I don’t like church on Mother’s Day. Mainly because the preaching is on my least favorite Bible passage. One year near Mother’s Day, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I accosted our pastor on the church steps. I asked if he was going to preach on that Bible passage in Proverbs that says:

“I’m a woman. I can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never ever let you forget you’re a man, cause I’m a wooooman.”

The look of utter shock and puzzlement on his face was priceless. Then a slow dawn crept over his features and a nervous titter became a guffaw. This preacher was not slow on the uptake. When he had calmed down, I explained my dilemma. That woman in the Bible verse made me feel sooooo inadequate. It made me want to slap her. And that CAN’T be a good thing.

But I’m also sure, rather than giving us women incentive, it makes most of us go home like a whupped pup until Little Johnny and sweet Little Sarah — or the grown-up versions thereof — take us out to dinner, shower us with gifts and Hallmark cards, and assure us we’re the best mother/woman on earth — no matter what that old preacher said.

Let me regale you with the modern version of Proberbs 31:10-31. Tighten up the hat pins, girls. This will definitely give you an inferiority complex. Or you can compare yourself with pitiful little ole me. It will inspire you to pray, pray, pray for yours truly and feel really good about yourself. Here we go.

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
[Okay. So far, so good].

Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
[A little iffy here, but still doable].

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
[I’ve got a Belk’s credit card. Does that count?].

She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
[Shopping. Oh, Yeah. Very doable].

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
[Cereal and McDonald’s; gotta love ’em].


She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
[Sam’s Club, discount veggies in bulk]

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
[Mike just reminded me of the man sticker that reads, “All a man needs for retirement is a bass boat and a working wife”. Not funny].

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
[I live Down South; but my friend from New Hampshire . . . hey, Jo Ann. Do you mend your winter clothes? I know you get more than your share of snow.]

their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
[Think Walmart]

Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
[He’s respected; doesn’t talk much].

She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
[Where does she get all this Energy].

Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
[This perfect woman is a couturier (clothes designer) maybe a fashionista, who dabbles in real estate and grubs in the garden. Unbelievable].

and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
[Not if it’s Sunday. You know what follows Sunday].

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
[You got that right].

and she always says it kindly.
[Strike out ‘always’ and put ‘most of the time’ — I feel like I’m confessing to a priest].

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
[They need an eye kept on them, but I’m tired and I’d rather watch a good movie — hey! I’m being honest here! Gimme a break].

and keeps them all busy and productive.
[I gave up long ago].

Her children respect and bless her;
[six of one and half a dozen of the other in between ‘issues’. ]

her husband joins in with words of praise:
[He wished me Happy Mother’s Day and I told him to shut up — I’ll take it from the kids and grands, but not from him].

“Many women have done wonderful things,
but you’ve outclassed them all!”
[Now see. That oughta be in a Hallmark card].

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
[Lady Clairol and I know it].

The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
[Amen — Lord, I know you’ve got a sense of humor. So humor me. Please].

Give her everything she deserves!
[At least a few. I’m not greedy. ]
Festoon her life with praises!
[Just keep it down to a dull roar. I’ve gotta headache].


14 thoughts on “Confessions of A Frustrated Mama on Mother’s Day

  1. “[I live Down South; but my friend from New Hampshire . . . hey, Jo Ann. Do you mend your winter clothes? I know you get more than your share of snow.]”

    As a matter of fact, yes I do. I’m particularly fond of my darning egg that belonged to my great-grandmother. Frank and I both have some favorite clothes that I have mended and patched many times. But I also love to shop for new clothes — mostly Walmart these days since I no longer live and work in NYC.

    In another blog I follow, a woman wrote about Mother’s Day and how difficult it can be for women who have lost a child and women who have lost a beloved mother. She had done some research on the origin of Mother’s Day and learned it was created soon after the first world war to honor mothers who had lost a child in the war. The intention is certainly quite different nowadays.

    Like you, she told a story about church, Mother’s Day and a practice she convinced her church to stop. It seemed that every Mother’s Day the minister would ask all the women who were mothers to stand and be recognized. She knew there were women in the congregation who had lost children or had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive. She felt the practice was unfair to these women and caused them discomfort. I remember as a child my own church gave mothers carnations on Mother’s Day — red if you had living children and white if they were deceased. I think that was even more cruel, but I was too young to be aware of that in grade school. .

    • Yes. People have good intentions. But if they were thought through it might make a difference. Loved the darning egg story. Hardly anyone but us “old folks” know what it is anymore. I salute you for still “mending”. I’ve mainly done hemming and sewing vagrant buttons. But now not even that. My fingers won’t cooperate. Good points. Thanks, friend. And Happy Birthday on the real day. Have a super great one.

      • Thanks for the birthday wishes. I’m at an age when I can’t help but wonder if each birthday will be my last. I’m grateful every morning that it wasn’t.

        The only darning I do is sock heels and sweater elbows, but only on favorite items. Frank is very attached to some of his wool socks. LOL Ir’s easier — and looks better — to sew patches on sweater elbows though. Ahh yes, buttons. Sewing them back on is a never-ending task.

        Speaking of good intentions, I’ve also heard that baby showers were originally intended to be held AFTER the birth of a baby. Makes sense because there is always the chance of something going wrong before the baby is born. That happened once about 40 years ago when I was living in NYC. I went to a baby shower for a co-worker on a Saturday and learned at work on Monday that she’d lost the baby on Sunday. With all the medical improvements we have now, I guess most women would be likely to know well in advance if there was a problem.

      • Didn’t know that about the baby showers. As for the birthdays — the Bible says none of us know the day or the hour. Of course, age has a way of making us sit up and take notice. Here’s hoping you have many more and in good heart and health.

      • There is a phrase from the Bible that I’d like to have put on my stone. I have it written down, but I’m paraphrasing here. It’s something like: “Be ye ever ready for ye know not when the hour cometh.” The family of someone I knew who died on nine eleven had that engraved on her tombstone. It definitely applied to her, but it actually applies to all of us.

  2. After all my rambling, I just realized I haven’t wished you a Happy Mother’s Day. I hope Mike, your children and even Dickens have made your day very special. *hugs*

  3. That was so funny! Our preacher today included Aunts with nieces and nephews which my daughter who has never had any children have. I thought that was very nice. You have a wonderful sense of humor. I wish I lived close to you. I am in Ala.


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