Mother’s Day is approaching, and it seems like an obvious time to talk about motherhood. Although, every day of my life is about motherhood. Like most moms I know, every business decision, every social event, every endeavor is tied to being a mother. It’s that integral to our identities. And yet, talking and writing about motherhood is really difficult.
The struggle, as always for me, is about how much time I work vs. how much time I’m with my kids. I feel like I’m shortchanging both, almost all of the time. Another Listed Treasures Mom said we should stop calling it work/life balance, and start calling it what it really is: a juggling act. Keeping everything, and everyone, afloat at all times, coupled with the fear of dropping something, is so exhausting. It’s hard to remember to put everything down, assess what all is in my hands, and give myself credit for even attempting the juggle.
I started to think about how I struggle with motherhood, and how I can feel guilt, pride, joy, and, yes, resentment, all from the same role.
A friend suggested I put together a Mother’s Day fill-in-the-blank, sort of like a MadLib. I found the questions made it easier to think about what being a mom means to me.
Would you please fill it out, too? I would love to hear about your experience as a parent–dads, too! Maybe if we share these answers, it will get less difficult to talk about this big part of our identities. And, we can celebrate each other more! Mother’s Day isn’t just for my kids to make me breakfast and homemade gifts (though that’s really nice). It’s also for me to celebrate the other mothers in my life, my business, my community.
So, print out this blog and take the following questions with you to your next book club or girls-night-out. Ask your friends with kids these questions. And listen to your mom friends. Really listen. I’m listening, too.
Here are the questions and my responses:
1) What did you think motherhood would be like vs. what it really turned out to be?
I saw myself as a football mom with a bunch of rowdy boys on some sort of field every day. I saw myself as the “hot mess” mom type which actually came true, because that’s been me all along. That I ended up raising two little girls has been the biggest and best joke the universe ever played on me and I’d never change it for anything.
2) What’s the hardest thing about being a mom? Easiest?
The hardest is having to be the bad guy when I know it’s for their own good. My girls are super good kids so coming down on them stinks, but it is necessary at times. Also, being attentive when I’m just plain exhausted. The easiest…..well, I don’t think there is much that’s easy, but when they wrap their little arms around my neck or find heart-shaped things and hand them to me for the hell of it, it makes it feel easy.
3) Complete these sentences:
I’m proudest of myself as a mom when...other parents compliment their behavior or character.
I’m proudest of my kids when they….do hard things, or choose the right thing under pressure when no one is looking.
I want my kids to understand that I am….trying as hard as I can.
I try to make our home safe so that my kids can feel secure to be themselves, ask questions, and seek our help navigating through life.