Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Hello there lovelies! It’s another wonderful week, and this Sunday is Mother’s Day, so today I’m giving you my two cents on Motherhood.
First of all, I think Mother’s Day should be called ‘Mother’s’ Day, because let’s be real, a lot of the people who aren’t recognized on Mother’s Day, actually should be. You don’t necessarily have to give birth to a child to be a ‘mother.’ (I mean, technically I think based on the textbook definition you do, but you know what I mean.) Some of the most important women in a child’s life aren’t their ‘mother.’ Grandmothers, Aunts, Sisters, Cousins, Nieces, Mother-in-laws, Sister-in-laws, Best-friends, and so many more all contribute to the life of a child—in some cases even more than their mothers.
So what is motherhood to me?
If you asked me when I was little, I would have probably told you being a mother meant, doing whatever I wanted to, getting to make all the decisions, not having to do chores, and getting first dibs on all the junk food.
But obviously my opinion has changed dramatically.
I now know being a mother means rarely doing what you want, HAVING to make all the decisions, doing every chore that nobody else does—plus having the added chore of being a human timer who has to remind those around you that their chores need to be done. Plus never getting to eat the most bites of your favorite treats (unless you hide in the car and eat it before you make it home 😂😂😂)
In seriousness though, being a mother is so much harder than I could have ever imagined. I love my kids. Fiercely. I am a Momma Bear in every sense of the word but there are some things you just cannot plan for and won’t fully understand until you’re in it.
Like… Why are moms so tired? My husband teases me and says I’m tired because I don’t just go to sleep. I usually stay up late, writing or watching tv and he’s right. I probably could go to bed earlier most nights. But, dad, let me lay some knowledge on you. I stay up late because late at night, when everyone else is asleep is the only time I feel like I can just unplug and focus on just my needs.
All day long I’m focused on others. Did I remember to buy the snacks for little Paula’s class party, don’t forget one kid is nut free and another is gluten free. What are we doing for little Timmy’s birthday in a few weeks? What am I making for dinner, did I remember to pay that bill or submit that expense report, how is little Ellen getting to soccer practice, when is the last time Timmy got a haircut, I need to schedule a fitting for Paula’s dance shoes, and on and on and on…
And these are just the surface things.
These concerns don’t even count: is Paula adjusting well with her new friend group, will Ellen be prepared to start middle school next year, does Timmy need to see a speech therapist, etc, etc, etc. Plus I can’t tell you how many times a day I wonder if I’m irreparably screwing up my kids and if I could be doing more or better.
So why do I stay up late? The answer is, because if I went to bed I wouldn’t sleep. I need that extra hour or two to sit on the couch, pull out my favorite candy from its hiding place and just unwind and focus on my needs.
Does that mean I never get time to myself during the day? No. I have a terrific husband and great kids, but I just have this sense of guilt when everyone else is awake. That I should be doing something else, so I rarely take time to focus on just my needs until they’re all asleep.
This could be a holdover to my childhood trauma, and likely it is, but I want my kids to feel loved, cared for, protected, and like there is nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for them if I could. In my experience, being a mother—a good, caring, involved mother— is an all day, all night, entire lifetime job that started the minute they were born and won’t stop until the day I die. And I know, a lot of people will disagree. But that’s ok, that’s what my motherhood experience has been, it’s not everyone’s.
For some people, motherhood is hard. They can’t handle their own lives and the thought of handling other people’s is so overwhelming they literally can’t do it. Or they do a rough job of it and they do end up harming their kids.
For some, motherhood is being an amazing Aunt who takes their nieces on grand adventures and lets them skate inside. Or they take in their nieces, cousins, friends because their mom is one of those aforementioned moms who can’t do it.
Some moms are grandmas who let you sleep with them because they know why you’re afraid of the dark and they want to protect you. Or they teach you how to fend for yourself so you can grow up and be the kind of mother every kid deserves one day.
Some moms are best friends who had their kids way too young but grew up right along with their kids. They let their kids know that sometimes the best things in life come out of what could have been a mistake. And making mistakes is a part of the journey, but it’s how you handle them that make you who you are.
Some moms choose not to become moms. Maybe they want to focus on themselves or just know it’s not right for them. Or they have abortions or give their babies to a family better equipped to raise them, because they want to break the cycle of abuse or they know they aren’t ready so they make a choice not bring more pain and heartbreak into the world.
Some moms are both moms and dads because their spouse died, or left, or couldn’t do it, or couldn’t be bothered. Transversely some moms are dads who do it for the same reasons.
Some moms aren’t. Some moms have all the love to give but the universe will never give them the joy of being called a mom. So they use that love and become teachers, or doctors or volunteers. They may never know the joy of being called mom, but maybe they’re Aunties or Best friends or Sisters. They give all that love to the people who need it and those whose moms maybe weren’t as all-in, or were ill-equipped.
The point is, motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes. My motherhood experience is not the same as the next person’s and not all ‘moms’ are biologically related to their ‘kids.’ The fabric of what creates an interesting person should be made up with lots of layers and textures.
To all the wonderful women who have contributed to my life (you know who you are), thank you. I appreciate everything you’ve done to help shape me into the human I am today and into the mother I hope I am to my kids. Without you, I wouldn’t know how to laugh, cry, and love my kids fiercely, with reckless abandon. To my kids, you are the best decision I ever made and I love you all with all my heart. Thanks for making me a mom.
Happy Mother’s Day!
That’s it folks! That’s my two cents on Motherhood. It’s hard, it’s crazy but it’s so, so worth it.
Rose Rayne Rivers
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