Friday, April 22, 2016

Being Someone's Mama

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I wanted to be many things when I grew up: a teacher, a lawyer, a writer. Rich and famous was probably on the list, too, though I've since decided famous probably isn't such a great thing, after all.

Number one on my list, though, was mother. Even as a child myself, I knew for sure I wanted children.
And this is the single greatest job, my most glorious accomplishment. The weird thing is that after all those hours of dreaming and then the reality of it, I can now see the end of my most pressing years of motherhood.

Don't get me wrong. Children always need their mothers in some capacity. As a "child" who lost her mother at 40, I know this firsthand. What I'm saying is that the years when my children need me intensely, pressingly will soon come to an end. Even my youngest daughters, 14 and 16, are finding their independence now. It's lovely to watch, actually. Terrifying, too.

My little girls have mostly grown up, which feels unbelievable to me. All those carpools. All those Halloween costumes, the ones I so laboriously hand-stitched (just kidding). The early wake-ups and sleepless nights. The clinginess and irrational childhood fears. The diapers! So. Much. Poop. The special meals. Potty training. Reading books in bed. Singing in the darkness. The pink nursery and then twin beds. The long trips in a goldfish encrusted mini van. Pictures hung on walls, crude drawings soon faded in sunlight. Learning to swim and write and read. Parent-teacher conferences. Listening to the CD "Multiply with Power" again and again. Watching cartoons and witnessing senseless heartache. Easter dresses and egg hunts in the too tall grass. Trips to the emergency room. Watching through the window as oldest daughter "played deer" in the yard or barked her head off on the trampoline, a mighty convincing bark, too, I might add.

The list of memories is endless and precious and funny and downright weird.
Childhood is such a strange and fascinating pit stop.

This is not a sad post. While I do feel the pressing passage of time and what that means for all of us, 
I also feel a sense of accomplishment. I can glimpse my own future, though what that will bring exactly I haven't a clue. I haven't dared to think of it in detail yet.

What I know for sure, especially as I see these girls are quickly becoming women I love and admire, is that the family dinners and time spent reading or curled up watching movies or having long talks on long drives or setting boundaries or letting children break rules was totally worth it. 

I love these girls madly, fiercely, crazily.
Being someone's mama, three someones, actually, is the very best thing.
Really, it's the only thing that matters.

To young mothers, especially those at home (for the short or long term), I have some unsolicited advice for you. Own your  most important job like a wild woman, like a badass. When the jerk at a cocktail party glazes over with boredom or tacitly downplays your meaning and relevance, pull out your phone and shamelessly share all those pictures you took. Approach this like Clint Eastwood: "Go ahead. Make my day." 

The end of it all does come, and if you want to find your position in the marketplace, you will. Or not.
It doesn't matter. The people you raised matter. The woman you became in the process matters. 

Okay, stepping off my little soapbox here.

Have a great weekend!


  1. awe....such a sweet post! I raised 4 boys. They were so sweet as little ones, then grew into sweaty smelly athletes, lol. Now they are grown men, married with children of their own. Your daughters are beautiful.

    1. Haha. I hear the same thing from all my boy moms. I bet they are wonderful "boys."

  2. Amen sister! I loved raising my boys and we did just about everything on your list. I love that each phase of having kids is different. I'm going to tell you though, when they are off on their own you sure do miss them.

    1. I hear ya! My oldest in is California. She moved out three years ago for graduate school and stayed after graduation. It definitely gives me perspective with the two left at home. I am trying to enjoy every minute! xo

  3. Raising kids..girls, is not something for the faint of heart. I was not prepared for becoming a mother, I was dreaming of what 'I' wanted to be. But I instinctively embraced motherhood. All of the trials and tribulations you are going through are so familiar to me. Fast forward in my life. My girls are now 29 and 25. I get a good deal of respect and admiration now that they are gaining true maturity. I was not a happy camper when they flew the nest. These empty rooms mock me with their laughter and those times when I could jump in bed with them and talk about life, get and give advice on love, friendship and cute clothes. It was extremely hard to let them go but it's a given. One is married and the other has had a boyfriend of 7 years and they are just now getting an apartment together. I've had to let go of many things, they have someone else very important in their lives to confide in and support them. Of course I know they need me but they have another major person in their lives and I need to step back, re-adjust my needs and realize theirs.

    Sorry for the long comment, you opened up a ton of feelings for me. For every minute. You are very needed in your daughter's loves. That's not a thing of the past yet. Live in all the moments, sweet lady!


    1. I welcome the long comment, Jane! My oldest is 26, so I get what you're saying. My other two are 14 and 16. I'm trying to savor this time with them. I hope you're having a good spring. xo


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