I recall many years ago when I was a young teenager trying to figure out who I was going to be and how I was going to get there. Trying in every possible way, to defy any form of authority -- especially my mom -- I would argue about everything, do the opposite of what she would ask me to do and tell my friends how horrible it was living with her. Now that I am a mom to two boys, I can only begin to understand the world of a mom.
Considering there is such a large group of women who are moms, we rarely speak of the turmoil and daily events that take place in our lives. Having the privilege to be in this most unique position, I have some insight I would like to pass on to those who are not moms (especially the "single-I-never-want-to-have kids" friend and all men in general). We are teachers, doctors, psychologists, cleaners, cooks, professional organizers, counselors, drivers, bankers, cheerleaders and the list goes on and on. We have the ability to multitask all of these talents and still manage to email/phone/text our friends to ensure we stay in touch, reach out to those who need us for one thing or another and bring in a steady stream of income.
It's funny how the saying "You will understand when you're a mother" seems so simple, yet we don't really understand it until we are actually at the point when we are a mother. If only there was some way that I could have appreciated this years ago and treated my mom better, tried to make her life easier and been more supportive and understanding. I can't go back now, I can only try to be half the mom she was to my brother and I.
I never saw my mom as an actual person when I was growing up. I never once thought she has her own thoughts, emotions, feelings, commitments, dreams/aspirations so on and so forth. I constantly think about this now, as some of my own dreams are disappearing further and further into the background and I can't seem to keep them at the forefront. I am a multifaceted woman who has a lot to contribute to this ever changing world, so how is that I can barely find time to take a shower and brush my teeth these days?
I think as moms, we all strive to strike a balance; we feel guilty if we put our needs above our children, spouse, friends, etc. -- and this guilty feeling is what holds us back the majority of the time. I try to tell myself if I am happy and take time for ME, then the family will be happy as a result... but I can never actually take that step for ME time! I think most moms think when their children are older they will have time to look good, feel good, pursue their hopes and dreams and be who they were meant to be. I am only now beginning to realize I was meant to be a mom and so much more. Not all moms have to be frumpy and only talk about their kids. We should have higher expectations of ourselves and know that one day our children will be in a position where they actually appreciate all of our sacrifices and the time and significance we placed on their wants and needs.
For those of you who are not a mom or have no interest in becoming one, I want you to know that it is absolutely the toughest job in the world (my opinion but many others share it as well). There are days when we cry ourselves to sleep, wish we could turn back the hands of time and take a different path, tell our partners that we are going to the store to get a few things for dinner and end up taking an hour long drive just to get away and reflect. There are also so many fabulous moments that I would never, in a million years, want to trade for anything in the world. The birth of my two children, looking into their eyes for the first time, their first smile and all the other beautiful and precious milestones. The sound of their laughter and the happiness in their eyes is enough to re-focus me and push me to do the best job I can.
I would like to send some appreciation to all the moms who put others before themselves, let their own wants and desires sink to the ocean floor in order to allow their families to rise to the surface and to my mom -- a great leader, role model and a strong and unbelievable woman -- Thank you for giving up pieces of you and who you wanted to be, so that I could discover and learn where I wanted to go.
Photo Credit: bochalla.
More from parenting