I was born to be a mama. I waited until I was done with college and established with a teaching position, and until I got married. My husband and I both wanted children, and more than one.
Our children are spaced three and four years apart, respectively. We have wonderful children (of course, I am a mother, I would say that). My husband always announces how lucky we are. Our children are good people.
Even with three children who we love and adore, parenting is hard work. It is the hardest work there is. Knowing what to say and do when our children make mistakes, or when we make mistakes as adults, is not black-and-white.
As with all families, all three of our children are unique people with their own creative personalities. So, sometimes what works for one child as far as child rearing is not necessarily a strategy that works for the other. What is fair for one child may not be fair for the other. Parenting is hard work.
Children are not things to manipulate. They are human beings with creative, unique personalities and minds to guide and teach. We parents have great responsibilities.
I know, as a mother, that I would never trade it for the world.
Eric Fromm said, “The mother-child relationship is paradoxical, and in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent. (I will add to the best of their ability).”
In fact, Dr. Phil always says that we (parents) are not raising children. We are raising adults. Wow. That is a major responsibility and not one that we should take lightly, but one that we should embrace. This is why a parent’s work is the most noble work there is. (Oprah says that, too).
We have done our “job” when our children become independent thinkers and doers, and they stand on their own two feet.
That certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t support them when needed and appropriate or lend them an extra hand (or foot) at times. All of us, no matter how old we are, need others to support us, love us, and, at times, advise us.
I also know this. Jessica Lange said, “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position for your children.”
I love this aspect of motherhood (well, most of the time). I don’t want to worry about myself and be at the center of my universe. I won’t live through my children, but I would rather worry about them. It always puts my own individual worries in perspective. I am here for a greater purpose than myself.
We should not give up all of our own individual interests. I always say, there is a time and place for most things.
Now that my children are getting older, I am able to find time to engage in my own hobbies, which is important. To be a happy mother, you have to be a happy person.
However, I love hauling my children places, watching and supporting them in their respective activities, and being their loudest cheerleader. I will always be their loudest cheerleader, and I want them to know it.
“A mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional, and forever.” Author unknown