It’s taken 12 years and two kids, but I finally feel like I’ve really settled into being a mom.
Sure, I’ve been a mom since the moment I became a mom. I mean THAT moment when I said something along the lines of, “Hey, so I really feel like I have to go to bathroom, but I’m pretty sure it’s the head of this miniature human being.”
And it hit me, I mean really hit me, that the only way I was going to ever become un-pregnant was by pushing this body-snatcher out. (And boy did she snatch my body–nearly took all of my abdomen muscles with her.)
But even that moment of labor and delivery experienced twice over didn’t quite prepare me for the many different kinds that were to come. Like how, in a matter of 10 minutes and one simple instruction to clean up their mess, I can go from being “the best mom ever” to somehow becoming a species from another planet who managed to survive on earth, serve as an incubator for two human lives…and have the audacity to tell them what to do.
Like, are you kiddin’ me right now?
So, after years and years of those moments, my sentiments about motherhood looks a little like…
Shall we say, realistic?
Yes, realistic. Especially now that I have a 12 year-old mini-mom and an 8 year-old who once remarked that she wanted to be a butterfly when she grows up. (If this were a real option, I’m almost 100% sure she’d still go for it.)
I’ve hit my stride in realizing that, yeah, I want the absolute best for my daughters and I’ll work my ass off to be the best example that I can for them…but I’m not perfect and I won’t pretend to be.
Until situations in school and home life [and puberty–oh God, puberty] required something different of me…different of us all.
A few harder questions.
Changes in perspectives.
A reality check on motives and fears and truths.
I’m the mom that you’ll catch dabbin’ while driving…
The mom who will kiss and comfort my kids just as quickly as I’ll shoot them the “death stare” as a warning to get their act together…
The mom who’s incessant about cleaning up the house one week, and then the next say, “aw screw it; let’s just watch Netflix and pig out…”
The mom who doesn’t hide or downplay my mistakes, moments of confusion in figuring out life, or my tendency to have a bit of a potty mouth…
The mom who will be honest about what she was doing at their age, and discuss the pro’s and con’s of the genius and flat-out thoughtless shit that I did.
I need my kids to know their mom–for the awesome moments and the “mom, you were trippin'” moments.
Because that’s real.
It’s something they can actually learn from–something that will empower them to navigate the many dimensions of their being and their lives without becoming so hard on themselves. It’ll give them a close-up view of how to live and grow on their own terms, and how to do so with as much honesty and transparency as possible.
I often talk about flaws and how my kids love me anyways. I guess it’s because I continue to be in awe that I get to experience that kind of love and connection. Here I am, 29 years-old still discovering who I am and what I really need in life while simultaneously working to raise two girls to achieve the same at various developmental stages.
Do you know how challenging that can be?
Nonetheless, progress. This new sense of grounding and comfort in my identity as a mother was reached in steps that occurred over time.
It flowed a little something like this:
This led to a deeper bond and a greater acceptance of each other. While we’ve always been pretty open, but this is different; it’s more mature and far less judgmental (doesn’t mean it’s perfect). My kids don’t just see me as their mother; they know that there’s a woman in there too…a woman who was once a girl like them, trying to find her way (still).
That’s what matters most to me: my daughters being able to always see a piece of themselves and their experiences, at any given moment, in me.
Even this part, no, especially this part of me (she’s totally my spirit sister):
And with my daughter having just celebrated her 12th birthday, I couldn’t be more grateful for how our relationship has grown over the years, and I remain optimistic about what the teenage years hold for us.
But who am I kidding…she’ll probably be over me and “it” (whatever it is) by the time this post is finished, to which I’ll respond:
So here’s to all the moms who have hit their stride, are closer than they realize, or are convinced the whole notion is a lie.
No matter where you’re at on the journey…
Thank goodness we’re in this together.
– Sincerely Syreeta