Thursday, April 5, 2012

On Mothers

I love being a Mom. It is a great joy to me.

I know I am the perfect Mother for my children -- because they are mine. They like it when I break into wild dance in the hallway trying to get a cheap laugh, and they understand when I need a little time to myself and can't hold them at that exact moment. They like it when we play together, sit together, read together, are silly together. They don't like it when I'm a little short or unwilling to play. But they still like me. We're tight, these small people and I.

I guess I just don't worry that I'm not "the best." I'm doing my best. And they know it, and I think their little spirits appreciate it. I know I appreciate them, and I think they can feel that. I love who they are. I appreciate their unique qualities and the little quirks of their Dad's or mine that they seemed to bring with them or have developed very early.

I am glad that in a world that changes, in a strange land where everything can shift or be taken, this much will not: I am a Mother. I am their Mother.

I don't feel a need to be the same as other Mom's, I don't feel the need to make the same choices they do. I'm just the best Mom I can be, and I've practiced enough that at this point, I know ways to get closer to my best. I don't feel so sucked into what is someone elses' best. In fact, I think forcing yourself to be someone elses' version of Mom or forcing someone else to be your version of Mom is almost... dangerous.

Here are a few things I know: I get better with every child. I have a lot better feel for what I'm doing. I don't get as frustrated with the third child experience as a I did with the first. Do I feel like I did K.J. a disservice being more high strung back then? No way! I was the best Mom I could be at the time. And it was still a pretty good Mom. And he is a fabulous oldest child. We were learning together, back then, just as we are now. We're meant to grow, both of us on our journey.

I think pregnancy is incredibly hard but childbirth is the most amazing thing I've ever done. And even the blood and guts and discomfort of pregnancy is really awesome in it's own horrible way. For some women, pregnancy is a breeze. I'm not that woman. But three times, I've been the best pregnant Mother I could be. And that's good enough.
I could give birth every day -- but I guess I'm selfish that way. I think those three experiences are the very defining experiences of my life. When I knew I was a daughter of God. When I knew we were partners, that He loved me, that my spirit and my child's spirit were bigger then all of this. For me, childbirth is incredible. For some women, it is not so divine. And that's okay.
I give birth in a hospital with a doctor -- my ob/BFF -- and I do it with an epidural. That's how I do it. I know other incredible women who have C-Sections... that is how they give birth. I know other incredible women who deliver their babies at home... that is how they give birth. I know other incredible women who become Mothers through adoption or fostering other peoples children... and that is how they give birth. I know other incredible women who nurture and love the children around them even if they're not their own... and that is how they give birth. And that's okay.
I just don't think you can go wrong here. Motherhood is divine.
All three of my labors have been scheduled. Sometimes women don't like that, or sometimes they think they have to make an excuse if they do. I don't feel that need. I could tell you what my body does, but why? It's really a choice I've made three times. It is my body that I shared for a time with my precious baby... if I feel in my heart and my body tells me it's right to go ahead and give birth, that's okay. I did it all three times with all the love in my heart. I know other women who will carry their baby way past due because that is what they feel in their heart and what what their body tells them is right to do. And that's okay. They do it with all the love in their hearts.
We all have access to inspiration to know what is right for us.
Becoming a Mother is wonderful, no matter how you do it.
I nursed and then supplemented my older two, and had a hard time getting my feet back under me. When we had Kate, my husband and I made the choice to bottle feed her so I could be the best mother I could be. And I was! I would say I was a sensational Mommy to baby Kate... that was the right choice for our family, and for our baby. She loved having a Mommy that felt so good and so clear-headed. I appreciate my efforts and my choices all three times. That's okay to make those Mom choices. I know many Moms -- most Moms, actually -- who are incredible at nursing their babies and cherish the experience. They are great Moms -- being the best Mom's they can be, and that is how they do it. And that is okay.

I am a good Mom. I'm not perfect, thank heavens. I'm not always patient, I'm not always kind, I'm not always funny. Sometimes I'm still just Marie, still a kid myself. But I am a great Mom. I love my kids with my whole heart. I committed myself to them when they were brought into this world -- they will always be my first and most important concern. I am absolutely crazy about them, and I know they are crazy about me.

Being a Mom is the best. There is just nothing like it.

I am glad I am the Mom I am. I am glad you are the Mom (or Dad, or Kid) that you are. We are different -- we are all, each of us -- trying our best in this crazy world. We can say what we feel is right, but always with great respect and deference for those around us.
Whatever choice we make, it is our own. And usually, as a Mom, it is a choice made with great thought and love and passion for what is best for her family. We are, after all, Guardians of the Hearth.

I love Motherhood. However you are a Mother, I celebrate you.


Kyle, Alicia, and Jaxson said...

Wow, thank you so much for writing that! We definitely all have different ways we do things as mothers even in giving birth. I LOVE that you mentioned how we know what we need to do and what our bodies need. It's so very true. I feel we are doing someone a disservice when we make others feel they should do what everyone else is doing or put pressure on people to do what we think is right or the best thing when they have already known in their hearts they should do something else. I am just like you when it comes to pregnancy, not my favorite. And with bottle feeding Katelyn, I had to do the same and I got criticized to death for it. Made to feel guilty over doing what I knew in my heart was best for my little guy.

Sorry that was a lot of info. I just think you are great and I agree with you 100%!

Jen said...

I love this. It is like a manifesto of acceptance, and I dig it!