There is no experience quite like being a mother. The highs can be euphoric, the lows demoralizing. Somewhere in between, my authentic identity and “mom” identity have fused into a strange but wonderful hybrid. I do not believe in true “balance” as it pertains to giving oneself whole-heartedly to different areas of life. But I do feel I have our family routine somewhat established and I am comfortable enough to change it up when necessary.
Every now and then, when I am in the thick of it with my 3.5 year old and 2 year old, I marvel at my own mother’s strength. While Skyping, I will often tell her that I am drowning with two; how world did she manage with FIVE???? I think we have all done that at some point as mothers, right?- Compare our situation to another mother’s and feel absolutely convinced we wouldn’t be able to handle whatever they are tasked with; or worse, maybe we have observed mothers with fewer children and assumed that life must be so much easier for them. It may be redundant to ask my mom how she dealt with five compared to two; the answer is, you just do. There’s no perfect formula to motherhood; having kids that are are happy, fed, and alive at the end of each day is the goal on many occasions for me…
My oldest will be 4 next month. In these few short years that I have been a mother, I have not openly admitted to my own mother how awful I feel for every time I took her for granted, unknowingly diminished her role, or assumed her actions/reactions were over the top. I have had private moments of shame, reminiscing on pre-teen/teenage years when I thought I knew better…or college days when I felt relieved to be on my own, yet constantly heard her voice in my head (thankfully) before making decisions. Now, as a mother, it is irrelevant that I did not/do not agree with every decision my mother made; I realize how important it is to acknowledge her heartache, tears, exhaustion, constant state of being misunderstood, brushed over, etc…all of these things I have already experienced in such a short amount of time. I am sorry, Momma, for any time I wondered why it was hard for you to let go. I apologize for every time I caused you pain, from toddlerhood to adulthood. I am sorry for not always seeing you as a whole person, apart from me and my siblings.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for being an example of what a woman, wife, and mother should be. Thank you for taking time for you when we left the nest, for investing in yourself, your education, and your business. Thank you for being a wonderful Mimi to my kids, and for being the best mother in the world to me. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.