Updated: May 15
Happy Mother's day! And please forgive me for the only catchy title I could come up with for this blog post. Blame it on exhaustion or mimosas from mother's day brunch.
Allow me to confess, that title was tricky. There is nothing I wish I knew before I became a mother.
Not because it's not tempting to fantasize what it would have been like to be given a crash course or even just a few warnings to prepare me better for this journey that is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. But because I am wise enough now to know as a mother and step mother of 5 that there is no such thing as knowing what you are getting into with motherhood. Nothing I could have told the 20 year old me who had no idea what she was signing up for in being a mother. Or to the much older me when she became a stepmom of two later in her life. None.
Motherhood is a roller coaster you can't predict the highs and lows, twists and turns of. Not for any of the different stages of motherhood. Pregnancy, adoption, newborn, toddler, preschool, preteen, teenager or adult. No manual or pep talk can prepare a mother for what is to come.
So between me and you, whoever has read this far, let's change this blog title to "things I keep discovering about motherhood"or "5 of MY truths about motherhood"
Now that we have that understanding, here are the 5 things I know to be true as a mom.
1) You will never have all the answers
I started off with a bottom-line because I can wrap it all up with this one right here. There is no expert level to motherhood. How sad is it that most of us strive to some fantasy of perfection sold to us by society, social media, the capitalist agenda, that book that promised you all the answers, the overarching and opinionated mother-in-law or your own or the impressive influencer mom you happen to follow on social media for that matter. The best you will ever have in motherhood is the sense of "OH, I seem to have gotten the hang of this chapter" that comes after you have fallen and gotten up a few times since entering a new season of motherhood.
2) You are your children's most influential Spiritual teacher
No pressure, but... actually, pressure!
The most important task of motherhood is shaping little and not-so-little human beings on the journey to discovering the meaning of life.
To be the best teacher for those whom you mother, you need to come to terms with the fact that you yourself are only a student in this arena. You yourself need continued mothering and that most of that wisdom is going to come through self-guidance, through TIME.
Have a vision of who you would like to be as a mother. Then supplement that with a Divine Power, a few vetted and trusted individuals and maybe a partner and a community that can be the wind beneath your wings to provide the support you will need to get you there.
3) The hardest battle is the one with yourself
Your trauma and the reactionary survival tendencies it programmed you with is what you are up against. Not your unruly toddler or teen. Not your life partner, his passivity or even the lack of one altogether. Not your unfavorable life circumstances. Those are hurdles that simply accompany the battles of healing yourself.
And trust me, YOU CAN HEAL!
Going within yourself to learn and become aware of your unconscious patterns must be one of your first priorities on this journey. Why? Because unless you are actively are working on your healing, you don't parent from your ideal place of what kind of mother you would like to become. You mother from your sedimenting habits of what you know to survive. That is until you make the unconscious conscious, you will continue to be a habitual wounded animal repeating the same unwanted reality. Only when you become the driver, aware and in control, that you can begin changing and becoming your own vision of the ideal mom to your children.
Don't aim to out-mother your own less-than-ideal mother. Aim to be the best one you can be for your little humans. Build on what you know as you heal your old wounds and write a new, more beautiful story.
4) That mom who seems to have it all, DOES NOT
Please, just DO NOT COMPARE!
She may be homeschooling, farming and harvesting her own free range eggs, not letting her kids use any screen time, living off grid, raising them with a supportive father, raising them with an involved community, teaching them 4 languages, gave birth to them at home, gave birth to them on Mars, is having them recite the Bible or the Quran, is gentle parenting, feeding them gourmet veggies, with siblings or alone. Even SHE goes through doubts, tough days, losses her temper from time to time, makes compromises, feels alone and overwhelmed sometimes.
Don't fall victim to what you are carefully fed, top egos that share selectively or don't even admit to themselves that there is no one best way to mother. We are all figuring it out so give yourself the chance to err, to learn, to try.
Your kids don't need you perfect. They need YOU as you are.
Be open, vulnerable, always willing to learn and grow alongside them.
5) Everything changes
None of it will stay the same. Even the challenges, even the triumphs, they are all fleeting and ever progressing.
That baby will sleep through the night, the toddler won't throw tantrums any longer, the teen will realize you mean well. They won't need you as much as they do now and you will find yourself lamenting THAT at some point. Isn't it funny? Every stage will demand something different and nourish you in a whole different way.
Go easy on yourself mama!
You are enough!