The Art of Being a Mother
Posted on May 12, 2013
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there! I think my little one missed the memo as she was up bright and early at 6 a.m., yup, you read that right. SIX O’CLOCK. *Yawn* As a single mother there’s not much one can do other than scoop her up and snuggle for a few more minutes in bed before finally acknowledging the start of the day. Yesterday, we celebrated her fifth birthday. I cannot believe how quickly that time ticked by and, yet, remember many afternoons or endless nights where it seemed like I could feel each second, sense the deepening in the lines on my face and gray hairs threatening to sprout.
Glennon Melton of Momastery shared a pivotal piece of her Truth a few years back in Don’t Carpe Diem. This post was an instant hit with mothers across the nation. She shared the difference between Chronos, regular time as we can experience it, and Kairos, mystical or God’s time -the transcendence from the ordinary to extraordinary, tapping into the magic that infuses existence regardless of one’s belief or faith. While reading her piece I felt such resonance as being a mother is hard. It’s not a science but an art. No two pairings of mother and child are the same. It’s a 24 hour job, with no pay, no sick days, and no pension plan. I don’t think we enter parenthood expecting such, but sometimes we run on empty when Chronos gets us down to the point of not being present and mindful to always feel or appreciate Kairos. But it’s there.
Sometimes it seems we need simply one testament of “it’s okay to be real, to share your truth- even if it’s that you want to lock yourself in the closet for a few moments of peace.” Just as much the acceptance of the shiny photos of the moments where you captured the depth, the leaning in and embracing joy. Glennon’s piece, while personal, relates universally in that not all the moments are blissful expressions of motherhood, or even ones we should lean into so much as just let it pass and move along, carrying on in the art of being a mother. It is perfectly acceptable to NOT carpe diem. I agree. Motherhood is an art, there is no “right of way”, simply the path you forage with your little one as you both journey together through this endless wake of today we call life.
Here are a collection of pieces I’ve written about motherhood. It’s not about perfection, perfect doesn’t exist. As I told my daughter the other day, practice makes better. I don’t want her to strive for the unattainable and internalize it as some fault of her own. I believe we’re designed as unfinished pieces of art, and with each experience, each moment, we keep adding to the masterpiece.
Excerpt from Sweetie:
“There is more depth in a single moment than that of the future” ~Rabia
One of these for me is picking up my slumbering daughter to carry her to her bed. Tonight she was so tired and fell asleep on the couch; I noted the even breathing and lack of giggling, so I took her into my arms making our way up stairs. In the beginning it’s like carrying a rag doll until she curls in, her head nestling in my neck and her little arm wrapping around to hold on tight. She’s warm, serene and looks like a little cherub with her golden spiral locks. Yes, she’s asleep and one could say an easy moment to savor, but her feeling me, even if subconscious, is love and the sweet side of nature; the bond between a child and parent.
I recently shared a blog with family and friends about one mother’s confession that she does not LOVE every moment while mothering. SHOCKING, I know! Well, I feel many mothers can relate -fathers too. The thing is, I believe some think somehow admitting such lessens the love you feel for your child. Which is BS. For me, no I don’t love every moment, but the collection of moments I hold dear to my heart, the ones I make a point of savoring and locking away in the depths of my mind, many of those include my daughter.
It’s not easy parenting but that‘s where we’re lucky as there are many who can relate, commiserate, and swap stories; and those that cannot we can live vicariously through their adventures, then retreat back into nights like this and put our little sweeties to bed -then proceed to write, enjoy a glass of wine and listen to music : )
Doing Great Things
Anyone thinking being a parent is easy isn’t a parent
Anyone who thinks a parent believes they’re perfect isn’t a parent
Children are like tiny mirrors reflecting all the good, the bad and potentially the ugly
But the blessing is in realizing that while you are fallible
As long as you hold the image of your self in your child and the child in yourself
You’ll never lose sight of the human beings
For this little soul is with me here in this endless wake of today
There WILL be tickle sessions, tea parties, trying to put necklaces on the 70lb Weimaraner
There WILL be quiet times, tears, and owies
But through it all we’re family and that LOVE is stronger than anything
That bond can transcend the sands of time.
We’re all meant for great things and to me one of the greatest things I’m doing
Is being a mother to my little daughter
Excerpt from Motherhood and Me
“The potential for humanity lives inside every infant, but healthy development is an effort, not a given. If we do not shelter that spark, guide and nurture it, then we do not only lose the life within, but we unleash later destruction on ourselves” ~General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis M.D., Fari Amini M.D., Richard Lannon M.D.
As a mother I love to just sit and let my little one be. I was relaxing on the floor with my weimaraner curled up close listening to music. My little one was finishing her snack when all of a sudden I hear this little voice singing along with the song.
Unsure of the words and in her own key, she was singing intently. I looked up and caught her eye, so she stopped. I started to sing and she joined but not as loud as before. I smiled, and ducked away remaining silent.
Soon after my little one started singing again, this time louder and more confident; catching most of the words. She has a beautiful voice and as her mother I know I’m biased, I’m supposed to be. I’m her mother.
When she wants me to sing her a song she lets me know, when she’s had enough she passes along the sentiment, when she needs help with the words or finding the right note, again she looks to me and I understand she’s asking.
For to find her voice it’s not about me telling her what to say and how, it’s her in all her unsure shakiness finding her voice within; building the confidence she can and if she needs a little encouragement, knowing I’m here, regardless.
The Greatest Lessons
The greatest lessons we impart to our children are not of pen and paper, but the living examples we extend ourselves to be. It’s not about being perfect or always right, but what happens when we meet our imperfect selves, and what we do when we falter finding our way. It’s not about the destination but the journey. This human experience is flawed as are we, but that’s where choice and growth sprout, the moments in life where we chose to feel the depth.