Tuesday, December 30, 2014

that motherhood cycle

Motherhood is a funny, funny thing.

Sort of like a club.  But really nothing at all like a club; because everyone else seems to be in it with you.
And aren't clubs supposed to be exclusive?

I just remember looking around one day and realizing that I was in the club.  I was a mother.
I had a minivan.  There were sticky hand prints on my walls.
The laundry was piled up all over the place; and my number one job was answering questions.

And I remember seeing my own mother differently in that moment.  All of a sudden it occurred to me that she was a person, just like me.  And I wondered if I had ever made her feel like she was less than a person?  Because, as a mother, there were certainly days when I felt like less than a person, and more like some tired, lumpy creature that never slept or made sense.
And it honestly had never occurred to me that my mother had once been a young girl planning her own wedding day, the husband and children she would have, the vacations they would take together, and the dreams she might accomplish.  Somehow I had overlooked the fact that she had probably given up on some of those dreams in order to see that I reached mine.
How had I not seen her before now?

I am convinced it is because you have to be in the club in order to recognize other members of the club.

At that moment I not only recognized my card-holder status; but knew I had to change.
I wanted to treat her with the love and respect she had deserved for a very long time.  I wanted to appreciate those quirky parts of her sense of humor, those things that make her the human being that she is, the one she will always be, and the one she was before I came on the scene.

It also made me want to stop putting so many expectations on my own children.  They aren't responsible for my happiness, or for any feelings of self-worth I do or do not have.  They may be everything to me, but that does not mean that I will always be everything to them.
Because someday they will have children of their own and the cycle will begin again.
They will finally understand what it means to be in the club; and I will be older and wiser.  I will smile and nod while they tell me about their moment of clarity... how we are all just human beings in need of love, respect, and relationship, regardless of the role we play or have played in one another's lives.

I will smile and nod because I will remember the moment I realized the same thing; and how that was the moment my mother finally felt free to connect with me as one adult to another.
And that it was also the moment that I set my own children free to be the person God made them to be, without owing anything back to me.


Now go hug a mom.

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