The truth about motherhood

How many times have you heard that? I’ve been hearing it my entire life. My mother and other adults would tell me those wise words when I was questioning some decision they made or some injustice that was inflicted upon me as a “dumb know every damn thing” teenager. I’ve even heard it from my therapist and senior family members when I’m fretting or crying over a regretted parenting decision.

Before I became a mom, I used to think that the hardest part about raising a kid was affording one. I mean, that’s what people used to say. “Kids are expensive.” “Kids cost money.” And yes, all of this is true. However, money has NEVER been an issue. Not because I’ve always had some (I wish!) but because when you’re a mom, a good mom, you do whatever you need to do to provide for your children. Even when I had nothing, I had enough to make sure my son had everything he needed.

The hardest part of being a mom has nothing to do with money. It’s the emotional and mental expense of parenting that breaks you down (and eventually builds you back up).

When my kid was younger I promise you he was perfect. He did everything by the book. He was sleeping through the night by 2 months. He gave up his pacifier and bottle with NO problem. He was potty trained by one years old. He took naps with no problem until he was 8 and even to this day I rarely have a problem making him go to bed. I adored this kid. Not only did I love him but every moment I spent with him was the BEST moment of my life. We laughed, we played, we learned. Getting to see the world through his eyes, getting to experience things for the first time all over again, gave me more joy than I could ever sum up in words.

But then this strange thing happened. He began to form his own ideas and ideals. His own since of right and wrong. His own opinions of how things should and shouldn’t be done. And this would be a great if he wasn’t a “dumb know every damn thing” teenager that obviously knows nothing about nothing..lol.

It pains me to say that as he’s gotten older I find myself liking him less, and less ( I hear this is normal though?). I don’t love him any less of course. A mother’s love knows no bounds. I’d still jump in front of a moving truck for him and give him my last breath if I thought it would save him. BUT a teenagers patience testing abilities are also boundless. Sometimes they don’t listen, they talk back, they make really dumb decisions, they misbehave and they can just overall suck.

Recently I’ve found myself staying at work later. Going to the gym and just hanging out a little bit longer. Anything and everything to avoid having to go home and deal with the teenage monster. Indeed, kids do not come with a manual because so often I find myself at a loss as to what to do to make everything in his world right again. It seems that everything I do try to make things right, inevitably crashes and burn in just enough time for me watch it go up in flames. *mommy sigh*

Being a mother somehow makes you feel as if everything in the world is your responsibility. And in your kid’s world, most of it is. I’m responsible for molding the person I let out into this world. But at some point, I realize, you have to let them start making their own decisions, make their own way and have their own failures. At work we call these Failure Models. It’s what happens when you come up with something that you think is awesome and it fails (horribly) and by learning from your failures you are led to your success.

You know as I write this I realize we’re both making our own failure models. My mommy failures are teaching me how to be a good mom and his life failures are teaching him how to be a good person. Humm…how about that for clarity? I guess in the end, all we want to do is know that we did a good job raising our kids and that they have a life worth living that they will be proud of.

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