Being a mother is the hardest role I've ever performed. My children depend on me for everything. Many times I have to step out of my own inner dialogue and engage in their worlds. My problems are silenced when faced with their needs.
I love being a mother and sometimes, honestly, I hate being a mother. When Sadie is melting down and there is nothing I can do but listen to her rage, I want to run away. Those are the moments I feel like a failure and I hate my role. Thankfully as she gets older the hour long every day rages I faced starting after her first birthday have slowed down. I have a complicated relationship with Sadie. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I, like Sadie, was a tough kid. She, like me, struggled to manage her outbursts and contain her frustration. There are moments I clearly see patterns passed down from my childhood emerging between us. Sometimes I am successful in stopping the repetition of poor interaction and other times I melt into the comfort of losing myself and accepting my emotional needs versus my rational needs.
Becoming a mother has taught me to appreciate my own mother. I look back now and mourn the times I behaved inappropriately, furthering the rift between us. It took me becoming a mother before I finally could build a loving relationship with my mother. Only when I understood how difficult it was to deal with a willful child could I step back and forgive my mother for our past.
Those times when I yell at Sadie , those moments when I wish I could stuff back the words into my mouth, I try to step out of my anger and remember I am yelling at one of the most precious beings in the world. My daughter. She is my wonder. She is the reason I became a mother. And when I do, despite my feelings, I take her in my arms and I say how sorry I am. I can't change what I've said but I can apologize. I can teach her despite our mistakes we can apologize and move on. With as much passion as I had when angered, I hug her and tell her I love her and then apologize for losing my cool. Thankfully she forgives me every time. Thankfully I am better at maintaining my composure despite the stresses of parenthood. And please don't think my kids get yelled at everyday. Instead, I hope to attain a state of mind when I NEVER yell at my children. I hope to parent only with peace in my heart and kind words on my tongue.
Motherhood has taught me to drop the ego. Again and again I need to forget the principled thing to do the right thing. Righteous anger has no place with children. Instead I forgive again and again until only my love for my children exists. The floor covered in food fives minutes after I cleaned it because Aaron refuses to eat at the table, I let it go. The little grievances that are "wrong" and aggravating are ignored or gently corrected to maintain a loving, healthy relationship with my children. I work very hard to not get angry. I have my children to thank for this lesson.
I am not sure I have shared this story before, it's one of my favorite stories about Sadie. When Sadie was born the epidural didn't take and I needed to be put under for an emergency c-section. For the two hours that it took between her birth and us meeting after my anesthesia wore off, Sadie lay in her daddy's arms looking up at him not making a sound. Her little eyes were open, waiting for me. When I was wheeled into the room Logan took off her blanket and laid her on my chest. She immediately took to nursing and closed her eyes, content, happy to be with her mother. I fell hard for her that moment. She was mine. She didn't leave my arms for 1.5 years after that moment. We co-slept until Aaron was born, I wore her everywhere and we only hired a babysitter when she was 2.5 years old. We were attached as two people can be attached. Aaron's birth forced us to renegotiate our relationship. She could no longer sleep in my bed or be worn throughout the day. It was hard but Sadie accepted Aaron and our circle of two became a circle of three. She took on being the big sister like anything else in her life with passion and love, Aaron could not have asked for a better sister.
I pray to be an amazing mother to my children. They are my presents from God. They are my blessings. I am grateful to have the right to have them in my life. I love them more than anyone or anything. My love is infinite for my children. The lessons I have learned in the past five years (I count pregnancy as a time of being a mother) are too numerous to count. My children have humbled me. They have raised me. They have taught me love. They have put a mirror to all my flaws. They force me to grow, to leap forward in order to stay ahead of them.
I celebrate Mother's Day because despite the difficulties, I would never go back in time and change my decision to have children. I am a richer, deeper person because of my children.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers. Each and every one of you is amazing.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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