Friday, April 3, 2015

Musings on Motherhood

     When my children were wee tots, I struggled with all of the insecurities that every mother of young children I know struggles with--impatience, exhaustion, not being able to break the laws of physics in order to chase children who have taken off in different directions... I worried about not being able to give them everything they need.  I worried about how I defined what they need.  I worried about putting expectations on them that didn't fit them. I worried about ruining everything. I worried about ruining them.

     It never ends, being a mother.  I continue to worry about all the things I didn't get quite right, the things I flat out blew, and the things that I simply cannot--could never--control. It is a relief to realize that I haven't made a complete mess of this mothering business. Each of my children has their shortcomings, but overall,  I am so proud of them. They can read, write, speak, and compute with above-average competence.  They can cook. They can clean (I said they CAN clean).  If pressed to, they can each put together an outfit appropriate for a job interview, a wake, or a wedding. They know how to behave in church, at the theater, and in a sports arena. They can eat out at a 5-Star restaurant without acting like they are at a barbecue joint. I count it as a sign of success that they all still want to hang out with their father and me. Most of all, they are kind, generous, and accepting in their dealings with other people.

     What has been keeping me up nights lately is knowing that each child is really suffering right now--Thing 1 has some ongoing physical health issues, Thing 2 has his mental health issues, the Evil Genius has teenage angst issues--and there is absolutely nothing I can do to fix any of it. It is especially difficult to have to let my oldest two manage on their own. I know it's the natural order of things. They are in their twenties, so need to make their own choices, find their own solutions, come up with their own coping mechanisms. To stand by and watch them struggle so, though, is just so very difficult to bear. Gone are the days when I could say, "Abracadabra-wallakazoo, make this boo-boo good as new," and bring my children relief.

     There is so much out there to help care for our youngest children: books and magazines and expert consultants and tv shows and workshops and specialty products.  Where is the support for the mothers of grown (or nearly grown) children? Because I could really use an expert consultant and some snazzy specialty products right about now.

photo courtesy of Jason Marzini


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