I love my kids; I love how they are teaching me to be a better person every day, I love how they are showing me to how unconditionally love. I have two boys, and they are the best teachers I have, the lessons I learned and have yet to learn from them are valuable, and I doubt that I was able to learn them otherwise.
Motherhood is hard; it is the most challenging thing I did and do, I believe there is nothing harder in life than to be a mother. To be responsible for a human, not just by feeding them and changing them, but to have a direct impact on how they grow up to be! That is a lot!
What makes this job a bit easier are the rewards that come along with it, there is also nothing in life like it. The smiles and the laughs are priceless, and I wouldn’t trade the hugs and love with anything in the world. There are so many articles and books about how great motherhood and parenting are, and most mothers I came across will talk about the wonder that is their children. This post is not one of them! It is my reflection and thoughts on what motherhood is to me, and a side of the story that I don’t find many mothers are open to telling.
Mothers are asked to be perfect supermoms. Starting with pregnancy, a woman is judged continuously on what choices she makes, what she eats, drink and how she plans delivery! Then, of course, the polarizing topic of breastfeeding! I breastfed my kids, and I believe it’s one of the most significant accomplishment I’ve done with my kids. But I learned not to judge other moms who don’t because I think she is doing her best.
One of the things that make motherhood so tricky is the feeling of inadequacy that a mother feels almost every day, if not multiple times a day. Every choice a mother makes or doesn’t make will be judged, not only by other people but also herself. Whenever one of my kids is facing problems whether at school, home or with friends; I question my decisions and don’t get me started on the what ifs.
What if I learned to calm down and not stress over little things, would my son be calmer too? What if I wasn’t strict about junk food and talked endlessly about vegetables, would my son not be overeating and craving sugar?
What if I spent more time playing and less time disciplining?
(this goes for all parents, but today is mother’s day)
So here are my thoughts on motherhood.
We are not supposed to teach our kids everything; we are supposed to do our best and model to them what it means to be a good person, it is up to them to choose the lessons they learn and when.
It is not about not making mistakes; it is about making mistakes and learning from them because no matter how much we try we will. We will snap, scream, not say the right thing, say the wrong thing…….and it goes on.
There is no perfect kid, perfect mother, nor perfect father. Then why do we always measure ourselves up to perfection?
As adults, we heal the wounds of childhood, if we are lucky to engage in the process of self-growth and acceptance. No matter what we do, our children will experience pain and suffering caused directly or indirectly by us. This is not a free pass to relinquish responsibility; we have to do our best and rectify our mistakes, acknowledge them and accept them.
I wish I can spare my kids the suffering and the pain, but that not what I’m supposed to do, I will be depriving them of learning and growing. What I need to do is nurture and be there to hold them when they cry, to lend them a hand to lean on and the strength so they can get up.
As a mother I don’t need to figure it out, I’m not required to never make mistakes, I don’t always need to know what is the right thing to do, I don’t need to hold myself to perfection that I will never attain. Making mistakes and screwing things up is part of motherhood and parenting.
What I need are love and self-compassion,
To know I’m doing my best, and I’m enough,
To continue to learn and grow,
To trust that my kids will grow up to be ok and kind,
To support their learning and growth, especially when it gets difficult,
To love them no matter what they do and choose to be,
To know that I’m not in control of what happens
To trust that everything shall pass and all the frustrations will cease and new ones will replace them,
To look forward to the joys and laughs and good times that are still yet to come.
To all mothers and parents, don’t take it too seriously, we all will suck at some point, just as well we will do great other times, we will never be the perfect parents to our kids, and the best thing is we don’t have to be. All we need is to love them, be there for them and let them know they are enough.
And remember, you can always laugh or cry…no matter what don’t take it personally or seriously!