Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

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TidBits About Donna #57 Mother’s Day – What KInd of Mom Are You?

It’s Mother’s Day – the second since I lost my mother. So how do you celebrate Mother’s Day when you no longer have a mother? It’s a strange feeling. I won’t be sending her a card this year or a present  either.  It was never easy finding a present that my mother loved, but one Mother’s Day I really scored when I sent her a pair of shortie pajamas. (We used to call them baby doll pajamas when I was a young girl.) They were lemon yellow with flowers on them. She wore them all the time.  I used to call my mother, too, on Mother’s Day. (In addition to the regular Monday and Thursday calls that I wrote about in an earlier post called, TidBits About Donna #33 I Miss You Most On.) Several times today, I’ve thought about calling – only to have the idea dashed as the memory of my mother’s passing slips in. I’ll miss that call. But I did buy a bouquet of flowers to set at our fireplace to honor her memory.

I’m a mom too. So I guess I could celebrate that part of Mother’s Day. But when your kids are grown up and live a continent away, that’s a little hard. It’s almost like pretending. Thinking back through the years to the breakfasts in bed, the frozen orange juice cans covered in food-dyed macaroni transformed into beautiful vases filled with colorful paper flowers, or the sea shell-studded picture frames showing off school picture even now bring back happy memories from when Kiersten and Jared still called me “Mommy.” When did I evolve into “Mom?” How quickly my son, Jared, and my daughter, Kiersten, grew up. Now they have lives of their own.  I am still their mother – always will be – until I’m not. I was once central – the pivot point of their lives, their core, but I am on the fringes now. I guess that is the natural way of life. I wonder if my mother though that too. Kiersten is a mom now, too. Will she have these same thoughts as her two lovely daughters grow up and away.

Today, as I do each Mothers’s Day, I reflect on my own mothering. I wonder if I measured up to the high expectations of mothering or did I fall short. I wanted to be the best mother ever. That was my goal. I wanted my children to grow up strong and independent. They did! I wanted them to be kind and considerate. They are! I wanted them to be respectful and respected. Based on the number of devoted friends they have, I believe they have achieved this too.

So why do I still have misgivings? Could I have given them more? Could I have lowered my bar of expectations? Should I have allowed them to do anything they wanted regardless of safety or sanity? Maybe! I don’t know! I don’t think so! I do know that I gave my mothering career my all. But since after all these years, I still have doubts, I searched the web for a perfect mom test and I found this one. What Kind of Mom Are You? I took it and held my breath as I clicked the Submit button.

Here’s my result.
…………………………………………..Balanced Mom…………………………………………..
You have sound principles on how to raise your children and it confers you a natural authority. You do not always go with the “popular” or the “easy” choices, instead but you will take the time to balance to pros and the cons of each decision, including factoring what your kids want. But you also know that what they want is not always what is best for them. You have learned to find the right balance between being overprotective and being too permissive. Don’t change a thing!

Phewww! I can live with that!

And it all started here with my wonderful husband, David. This picture was taken at a good friend’s wedding. Check out David’s smug look. He just learned he was going to be a father.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of ME.)


May 13, 2012 - Posted by | TidBits About Donna | , , , ,


  1. A lovely piece!

    Comment by How Sheen | May 14, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thanks, How Sheen.

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | May 14, 2012 | Reply

  3. A high school friend of mine – a Villa Girl- left this message for me. How sweet! Thanks, Eileen Scully Conboy.

    Donna this is just beautiful. Although I do not know your children I do know you and you are an amazing Mother and wife. I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day…you so deserve the very best.

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | May 15, 2012 | Reply

  4. I can empathize with you about wanting to talk with your Mom, but she is in a place far, far away from phones, as is my mother. She died at 85 after a second stroke 18 mo. after the first one. So, since Dec. 2000, I’ve been “Mom-less” too. I still know her home phone number! Now, I’m the elder Mom & my daughter, as yours, is 2nd in line & her daughter, now 5, is 3rd, as is your daughter. On the “Prairie Home Companion” radio program Mother’s Day, the host, Garrison Keillor, said his Mom is 97! He is about 70, I think. That surely is setting the Mom-longevity bar very high!! It’s up to us to see if we can still be here 80 yrs or so, hope we can still function, feel useful as a Mother for sharing ideas &/or advice with our children. The bonding many of us share w/a few “gal pals” is like mothering each other, hence, enjoying a new, tangent of value in our lives.

    Comment by Kathy S | May 19, 2012 | Reply

  5. Kathy, though your Mom is gone, I marvel at your loving relationship with your daughter. You must cherish that.

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | May 19, 2012 | Reply

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