I truly don’t believe it is because Mother’s Day is coming up in a couple days (but maybe my subconscious just knows). However, I have been thinking a lot about being a Mom this week and it’s a good time to write about it. Not to mention that I have not posted anything on our blog since October. We call it “survival mode.”
For some reason I distinctly remember a Sunday after church about 14 years ago when a woman was trying to help pack up the church belongings after the service (we rented a space on Sunday mornings) and at the same time she was trying to wrangle her kids. I don’t remember what had happened but I do remember her being filled with frustration and finally belting out the words, “Because I’M THE MOM!” I smirked then and I laugh now, just thinking about the whole statement and everything behind it…the joy, the frustration, the title, the ‘entitlement,’ the responsibility, the meaning, the requirements, the power, the lack of power and everything in between.
I remember always wanting to be a mom. It was just always in the plan. Little did I know that it would be such a long and difficult journey for me to become one.
Although I was never a really girly girl, I did have some baby dolls to care for when I was little. I remember in elementary school wanting to have twin boys who I would name Matthew and Michael. And I did save up all my pennies to buy my own Cabbage Patch Kid from ‘Walmart lay-away’ when I was eleven. I named him Matthew. Matthew never got a ‘twin’ though.
Around Jr high age I planned to have three boys and they would be named Noah, Jonah and Micah …Uffda. I’m glad that never happened. However, you will note that I’ve always wanted boys! So far, so good! ~~but truth be told, I wouldn’t mind adding a little girl to the mix.
This past weekend I spent a couple days with my parents. Just thinking about the shift in dynamics from my family of origin to starting my OWN family has been very interesting. I mean, for the last 36 years, I have been the child and still am…but now I’M THE MOM! And for some reason this really hasn’t hit home until lately. It’s almost as if, for me, the first ‘infant’ years “don’t count.” It’s like I had to wait until there is more than one and I'm in the middle of the ‘terrible twos or terrifying threes’ before it really counts! Maybe it’s when motherhood becomes ‘parenting’ that it really starts to settle in. The first year or so, it’s all about survival and those stinking cute cuddles from the squishy babykins. Now…it just gets real.
As I look at my three year old son's world, I remember how I looked at my parents when I was a child…they were so “old” and “mean” and “in charge”…they controlled everything! [of course I remember the times I got in trouble more than the times we had fun together] Does my three year old look at me that way? What will he think when he grows up?
I know I struggle with parenting...what is positive parenting? How do I be loving AND firm? I want my boys to know right from wrong. I want them to respect others. I want them to have strong character. How do I teach this in a loving way? Like right there IN the moment...how do I do that? That moment that he's pulling on his baby brother for the fourth time while I'm trying to nurse. I don't want the baby to be distracted, so I'm stuck! Tryg is distracting Kale and when I try to get Tryg to stop, I am distracting Kale. It's a no-win situation.
With pre-schoolers there are so many moments like this. However, there are also the loving moments that I cherish. Ah, motherhood....
I’m the Mom….a crazy yet absolutely amazingly enjoyable phrase! So much responsibility, frustration and exhaustion…but SO MUCH JOY, LAUGHTER and LOVE!