For me, painted by Pearl. It's wonderful!
My mother died in February and I've tried all day not to think over the lists of "good and bad" in my head. You know what, she was seldom a bad mother, just indifferent most of the time--at least with me. I can't speak for my brother and sister. Some weird part of me wants to be crushed that she isn't here for mother's day this year. I know two women at church who very recently lost mothers too. I'm pretty sure they are mourning the loss of their mothers on this day. While today is hard for me, it is also easier in many ways. I don't have to locate a mother's day card that is not too silly, but not too smarmy. My mom always held me at arms length. I believe she loved me, but didn't show it unless it was important to her at the time. What I come to most days is that she did the best she could. It makes me feel better, anyway.
As for me as a mother. I'm not perfect. I try every day to let them know that I really, really love them. I also manage to growl at them at least once a day. They bring out the best and worst in me, but at the end of the day I want them to know that they and their dad are the most important people in the world. My kids (and I suspect yours, also) are the reason the saying "I love you, but I don't like you very much" was coined. I also think they could say the very same thing about me.
I try to remember every day that they aren't extensions of me, but their very own human being. It's okay that they don't like the same things I do. It's okay that they disagree with me----respectfully, please. It's okay that they are growing up--I'm fiercely proud of all three of them! I look forward to our future together and the things we'll share. I want, at the end of my life, for them to be able to say they were glad they knew me. I want them to be able to say, without a doubt, that I loved them madly. I want them to remember my cooking, my silly songs, how much I loved their dad, that I tried to be fair, and that I cared what was going on in their lives--even when they didn't want to tell me.
Thanks kids. Being your mom is the most important thing I'll ever do.
Love, hugs and kisses,