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The Perfect Mother

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

When women stop trying to be perfect mothers, homemakers, community members, and human beings, what will happen to the world? Will it actually all fall apart? Not quite.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chaya tries hard. But, being human, she often fails. Every morning she wakes up with the best intentions: “This morning I will be calm, patient, and loving while I get the kids ready for school. I will create the right atmosphere, set a positive tone, and help everyone start their day in the best way possible.”

Sometimes things go pretty well. Chaya is able to be upbeat and warm, organized and efficient. Everything runs smoothly and the kids leave the house smiling. Some days are different — like this morning.

All is well until Chaya gets out of bed. Little Yossi runs into her room (he knows he’s supposed to knock first but, as usual, he doesn’t bother), tugs on her arm frantically, and insists that she come to see what’s happening in his bedroom.

“Chaim won’t give me back my scissors! He’s jumping on the bed with them and he won’t give them to me!” Indeed, his story is confirmed as Chaya enters the bedroom and sees Chaim laughing and jumping up and down on the bed while holding the scissors high above his head and teasing, “What scissors? I don’t see any scissors!”

“Get off that bed right now,” shouts Chaya, worried that Chaim will stab himself with the scissors. “Give me those scissors! You could hurt yourself!”

“Give Mommy my scissors, you ganif!” Yossi chimes in. Chaya reprimands him as she tries to grab Chaim’s arm, “Yossi, don’t call Chaim names.” Chaim continues to jump, but Chaya finally reaches his arm and pulls him toward her.

“Ouch!” Chaim screams as he falls onto the bed. “You made me bleed!” Sure enough, there is a small red line forming on the inside of his arm. The scissors must have nicked him on their way down.

Chaya’s suspicions are confirmed. She is not a perfect mother after all. In fact, she is the worst mother in the world!


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