MOTHERHOOD: 5 THINGS ALL MOTHERS HAVE IN COMMON (Issue 27)
by Diane Gold
Since Mother’s Day is coming on Sunday, I would like to write a little about motherhood. Congratulations to you all. You are at the top.
Of all the things I am, being a mom is at the top of my accomplishments. Why do I say this? Why would I single out this one role I play in life? It’s because it is the most infinite role I play.
If you are a mom, you probably have heard this attitude before or know other moms who feel it. I have always marveled to myself,
“Why didn’t anyone tell me how spectacularly mind-blowing and unbelievable this experience of being a mother actually is?”
When I was 35 years old, I had my first (and only) son. Before he arrived, I had never, I mean never, held a baby, except for a baby puppy or kitten. This is quite unusual for a mother-to-be and for someone who has reached the age of 35. That was my truth. I did not know what to expect, knew that I was enduring a pretty easy pregnancy, a little nausea, some weight gain, some gentle kicks to my mid-section, and I did not have any idea what was ahead, other than that my husband (the baby’s father) and I were so excited.
So I gave birth, a month early and held my first child. Wow. I was so in awe of this beautiful being whose life I was to care for. I knew immediately, at the time of his birth, that motherhood was gigantic. It was the most wondrous role I had ever had, and my amazement with life and my good fortune was pouring out of me.
I stumbled along doing what I thought was right for my son, with guidance and cooperation from his dad, who was just as in love with our son and fatherhood as I was with our son and motherhood. But each book of bringing up baby is written differently for each child.
Two years and 10 months later, my adorable one and only daughter arrived, was mine to care for and my son had a sister. Another first, I had two children. So everything I had learned or thought I knew from raising a first child had to be altered or did not apply. Everything was different, but yet, it was similar. I had to learn all over again because my daughter, a unique individual, deserved it.
What a gift to have borne these children and to have had the opportunity to be close to them and get to know them. My gratitude is unfathomable, and they are amazing.
But, let’s look at what we, as mothers, have in common, not in any particular order.
1) HEALTHY CHILDREN
The first thing is we hope to have healthy children. We are ecstatic when our child is born with no problems. Or, when we see that there are problems, we realize that we can handle the problems and, hopefully, we reach out for that help. Either way, health is first on the list.
2) HAPPY CHILDREN
Next, we notice the temperament of our baby, whether our baby seems playful and happy or inactive and sad. We look at the expressions on her/his face and count the squeals or smiles. Some moms even have a record book for their child’s first smile. The important thing for most of us is that our child is enjoying the world as much as possible. We care for our child’s sake and not because it will be a lighter work load for us to raise a happy baby. We always care for our children’s happiness, no matter what age they are.
3) BOUNDARIES FOR CHILDREN
We all set boundaries for our children. This very commonality has everything to do with this website because learning about setting boundaries as children helps us as we mature. We all construct them in ways we believe will help rather than harm. We all walk that fine line between too much control and too little. We have to use our best judgment as to what rules will cause constriction, fear and oppression and what freedom of rules will create proper, respectful and groomed adults.
Within this similarity, there are as many formulas as there are different noses on our face. As mothers, some of us emulate the rules of our parents. Some of us oppose the rules of our parents. Some of us stifle the growth of our children by too much interference. We hold them back by placing rules upon them when it is time to let go. Some of us create instability in our children by giving them too much freedom.
We all discipline our children the amount that we each believe will show them the authority, creativity and kindness of leadership in order to develop nurturing, cultivated, prepared leaders in our children.
4) WE ALWAYS REACT AS MOMS
Once a mother, always a mother. Throughout the lives of our children, we react as moms. Whether it is our duty to be involved in our children’s decisions, we always have concern for our children. No matter where we are, we always root for our children’s well-being. We are there for them, even when they are far away; we care for them even when we are on vacation; we always work hard to guide them as best we can, no matter when or where. We all share the reality that Motherhood Doesn’t Stop.
5) LETTING GO
Because we love our children and have invested so much time in their development, we tend to forget how important it is to step back from their growth process so that they can grow. Through each stage of development, whether as babies, toddlers, youth, teens or adults; we must place boundaries on ourselves. We must realize that our children’s maturation has everything to do with how well we formulate letting go of control.
Sometimes, it is difficult for us moms who have experience in exactly the area our children are struggling. But, sometimes, letting them proceed on their own is the way that will give them the personal satisfaction necessary for them to become evolved.
I remember years ago watching my children in martial arts class. I recall clearly when one of them would get punched and look for me while considering whether to cry. I very distinctly disappeared from view. My goal was not that they become macho, although a little tough skin is a good thing, and all beings should understand personal self-reliance, but that they learn there are times for nurturing and other times for learning to stand through the lesson of the moment from the teacher in front of us. Nurturing is not part of every lesson.
The important thing is to remember to let go. When we do, we give up the nature to be part of everything because we know best. It is sometimes difficult to step back, but sometimes, it is the right thing to do. Whether to input our opinions/lessons/directions or to stand by as our children make their own decisions based upon what we have taught them to do; we want our children to excel on their own. Letting go is an import step toward this excellence.
In conclusion, motherhood is grand. Our experiences vary greatly. We each have different priorities on our list of traits in common. However, all of us care for our children for the long haul. We always nurture them, even when we hold back for their good. We always root for them, even when we walk away. Why? Because we are mothers. That’s what we do.
FREE CONSULTING SESSION CONTEST
Because this is our Mother’s Day issue, we would like to give away a consulting session.
All you have to do is answer one question to be entered in to win a 20-minute consulting session worth $75.
Please leave your comments below.
DIANE GOLD, AUTHOR
Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music and stress expert and a dedicated mom. She believes that writing can free us. She says, “When we write, we purify ourselves. And what we write can help others. For all the mothers of the world, let us connect through writing and sharing the words of experience.”
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