Make a mother’s day!

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Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor
editor@journalpontiac.com

I became a mother for the first time almost seven years ago; it changed my life for the better in so many ways, but as wonderful and fulfilling as it is watching little humans learn and grow, it isn’t free from ups, downs and challenges. Most parents would likely agree.

Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor
editor@journalpontiac.com

I became a mother for the first time almost seven years ago; it changed my life for the better in so many ways, but as wonderful and fulfilling as it is watching little humans learn and grow, it isn’t free from ups, downs and challenges. Most parents would likely agree.
The pandemic has made the stresses and challenges of parenthood even
bigger: daycares are closed on-and-off, students flip-flop between online and
in-person learning, and parents attempt to rearrange their schedules accordingly and try to find ways to entertain their children with greatly reduced options in a relatively scary time.  
Parenthood is a strange occupation – and that’s exactly what it is! – in that there are a number of good and effective ways to get from point A to point B, but each one has possible criticisms. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding? Stay-
at-home or working parent? Co-sleeping or not? How much screen time? It’s almost impossible to choose one direction without questioning whether you’ve made the right choice or feeling some level of guilt or regret from time to time.
Mom/dad guilt is the common feeling that you aren’t doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making choices that will negatively impact your child
in the long run. It’s so easy to focus on the negative because there are so many things to feel guilty about and beat yourself up for: affirmation is rare.
Parenting is constant, repetitive, laborious, and literally consumes your life, and can be a thankless job – you’re just doing what you signed up for, right? 
One day a year – May 9 this time around – is set aside for honouring the sacrifices mothers make for their kids and their contributions to society. It’s a day we notice and reflect on all of this often unrecognized work.
Feeling appreciated and recognized is fulfilling, improves your self-esteem and makes you feel useful and important. However, the best compliment happens randomly, when it isn’t prompted, expected or only given on a special occasion.  
Last year, a neighbor stopped in our yard. While my husband chatted, I tended to the kids. Out of the blue, he remarked how well the children were cared for and that I was doing a good job. That simple gesture had a deep impact and was the highlight of my day. 
Marks of approval are so precious when it comes to parenting because many parents would say it’s the job they care the most about and try their hardest to do best, but it’s a job without performance appraisals or annual increments in
recognition for a job well done. Recognition isn’t expected, but it’s so meaningful when given authentically.
So why limit the praise of mothers and fathers to one day a year? Be spontaneous and call out a good job when you see it, at any time of the year! Be the one who makes a mother’s (or father’s) day!