May
09
Appreciating Motherhood
Filed Under (motherhood, Something To Think About)

When my daughter was little and I was having a moment of frustration, she asked me candidly, “Mom, do you like being a Mother?  Because sometimes it seems like you don’t.”  I was crushed.  I’ve never forgotten her worried eyes staring up at me.

Motherhood can be draining.  It can be thankless and difficult and confusing.  But it’s still the best job I’ve ever had.  That message can get lost in the daily grind.  Children tend to globalize and take things at face value.  When we complain about a child forgetting her sports equipment – again – and have to turn around and retrieve it two towns away, she can easily conclude that we view her as an annoyance or even a failure.

It’s important to children, and to a parent, to reflect on the positive aspects of parenting.  Each Mother’s Day I write letters to my children thanking them for the opportunity to be their mother.  I tell them what I think is unique about them and how they add value to my life and to the family.  By then end of three letters, I’m usually crying. 

The rewards of parenting can be evasive when you’re in the thick of it.  But they are many.   I appreciate being a mother because:

  • Mothering accentuates my strengths and weaknesses in a very clear way.  Every day I learn more about my self.
  •  Mothering fills up my life, my heart, and my mind.
  • Mothering teaches me patience.
  • Mothering increases my capacity to love and to express that love in my life.
  • Mothering expands my view of the world.  Children are the best teachers in the school of life.

There are two major shifts in perspective I experienced upon the birth of my first baby.  The first is that I suddenly felt complete – even though I didn’t feel like I was missing anything before.  The second is the astonishing awareness that comes with loving a little being more than you knew was possible.  I quickly realized that the immense love I now possessed for this child came with a level of potential pain and worry that was in direct proportion to the amount of love.  Becuase I loved her so much, I would experience her pain, quite possibly, more than she did.  A fair trade I suppose, but shocking nonetheless.

I’ve never met an elder who doesn’t reminisce about the parenting years as the ‘best years.’  Busy…tough…but still the best.  Despite the inevitable tears that arise, I listen to Trace Adkins’ song frequently to remind me, I am ‘gonna miss this’ time in my life.  Better enjoy it – the good, the bad, and the ugly – as they say.

Questions and Actions:

  • How has parenting changed you?
  • How can you express appreciation to your children?
  • Write a list of 5 aspects of parenting that you appreciate and look at it when you’re having a tough day.
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