The year I graduated college (2002–shhhhhh!) I kept probably my best journal to date. It was this small, red, hard back journal with pretty kick ass quotes in it about love and passion and that stuff. I really challenged myself in those pages more so than I have in any journals since. I’ll chalk it up to my life being much more simplistic then but it’s definitely a vibration I want to climb back to again.
I never remember writing about being a mom. It wasn’t until after I had C (Christian–my amazing 10 year old young man) that I realized I gave voice to my desire to be a mom in that small red journal. I wrote about knowing that I would be a mom one day. I was excited to take care of a life and give back to the world. I was very clear about my drive to be a mom. I was almost shocked when I read the entry. I didn’t remember writing it. But it was right, I always felt like this was my path. I was meant to be a mom.
There have been a few times over the years who have asked me where I see myself in 5, 10, 15 years… I always hate that question (way more than I should because it’s an important exercise). But I was asked this question a lot in high school and college by teachers and administrators. Oddly enough, I always saw myself as a single mom. Is it because I was raised by a single mom? Is it because I knew early on that how I’m programmed doesn’t make for a good wife? Who knows… but I always pictured myself as a single mom when people who pose the question. I was okay with it.
I now have been a mom for 10 years and time keeps slipping away from me. There was a moment where I never thought I’d have a 2 year old because the parenting thing is so demanding at first. But now the time flies by and I constantly struggle with forcing myself to truly sit back and be in the moment. I struggle with remembering what really matters. I struggle with reminding myself that I said yes to motherhood to give back to the world and that takes raising a caring, loving, and creative boy. I’m sure I’m not alone here. I think once kids are born, moms inherit this 500lb slab of guilt because nothing will ever be good enough again. But I’m not going to use this as an excuse. It’s important to rip myself away from the homework, chores, and the day-to-day activities to really take stock of my bond with C. I owe it to him to be present, calm, encouraging, nurturing, and curious.
Having a kid doesn’t unleash motherly instincts (unless it did for you and that’s awesome on your part). It merely highlights who you are as a person. I’ve grown just as much as C has in the past 10 years and I’m extremely grateful for those opportunities. He inspires me to get it right. Growing up there was an obscene emphasis placed on my mom giving up everything to raise my sister and I. We were constantly reminded of that. But, at the end of the day, kids never asked to be born and they certainly never asked to metaphorically take anyone’s life from them. I didn’t give up anything for C. He’s a huge part of my life but he’s not my whole life. I don’t think he wants to be my whole life. I love my relationship with him. I feel like he knows me. I feel like I know him. It’s an awesome dynamic and I love seeing it develop as he gets older.
I’m not perfect but I’m getting closer each and every day. I’m so fortunate to have a super awesome son by my side as we explore life. I love being a mom and just like every other job I’ve ever been assigned to do, I’ll keep honing my craft and sharpening my skills.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there in amongst the internets.