Saturday, May 11, 2019

On Mothering.

I always wanted to be a mom. And I was determined to be a good mom. And I’ll admit, one of the reasons I wanted to become a mom was to be a different kind of mom than the ones I observed as a child and a childcare worker. 

I could go into the pain I observed but we all know it’s out there. Media and magazines shine a light on the difficulties and tragedies. While knowledge and awareness is needed, I worry that surrounding ourselves with all of this may bring us even more pain. And we don’t need more pain in this world. 

We need more love and caring and sharing. 

Mothering and fathering is a lifelong commitment. It’s not easy. You need a strong heart and an even stronger sense of self to be selfless in the moments and years to come. Crying babies grow and their bumps and bruises grow as well. It’s impossible to keep them from every fall and cold and social bruise, though I’ve tried very hard. 

But most important is love. Loving them no matter what, even when you’re upset too. Seeing through the developmental hurdles, tantrums, tears, and rebellion to the heart that needs support. Caring by listening to the words of pain and offering presence, arms to hold them and a soft place to land. Sharing your own failures and stories, if needed, to let them know they are not alone in this difficult world. 

We all need to know failure happens. 

This is hard for me to say, not only for myself, but for my children as well. I want them to be happy, healthy and successful. Whether you deny that reality as I have for so many years or you are wise enough to embrace it. Everyone, even best of us, fall and fail and struggle. 

As a mother, I think that has always been my greatest fear. 

Life has handed me many bumps and bruises along the way to teach me not just to avoid pain, but to grow up and out of it. Some of my more epic failures have become my biggest accomplishments later in life. Yes, I’ve lost jobs and relationships and money and health. 

But I’ve also found new work and love. I’ve figured out that somehow I always have enough. And building health and strength is a life long practice best done with love. 

Near or far. Up or down. The best I can do as a mother is love. 

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