The MOM Thing

Last Saturday's blog >WIN, LOSE AND LEARN

I've been trying to figure out the Meaning Of Motherhood thing ever since I got into this business (circa 1999).

Being a MOTHER is one thing. And being a MUTHA, of course, is something else. But the MOM thing... It's Mind Over Matter before Meeting One's Maker. 
And looking back, I think the thing begins to happen as the bliss of MOTHERhood shows signs of wear and tear. Say, around the 2nd weak week after you bring your beautiful new child home and realize the phrases, "I don't know" and "God, help me" now have cosmically profound meanings. 
Other MOMs see the thing start to peek through when, at an extended-family event you break down into a snot-bubbly mess and publicly declare to the woman who raised you, "I am SO SORRY (gurgle) and THANKFUL (sniffle) and I LOVE YOU (waaahhhh)!!!"
Yeah, there are countless incidents that crack and peel away the preconceived notions of how a MOTHER should handle childhood. But there's no preparation for the split-second decisions that must be made after bodily fluid blowouts, vulgar outbursts, cute but inappropriate actions, well-meaning (?) but irritating advice etc.
Naah. It's nothing like TV. It's nothing like I read in my favorite books. It's nothing like I saw growing up. It's not like any of what I thought it would be because you can't suppose it, observe it or even work toward it. You have to BE it. 
And it took me a long while to understand that about this MOM thing. My career, go-with-the-flow way of doing things and idealized view of my body at a certain age all took a hit after I crossed into MOTHERhood. And except for the body thing, I'm not mad at -- and even needed -- the children's impact on my life. What got me, took me through the whole range of emotions and had me stuck for the longest was: "What kind of MOTHER am I supposed to be? I don't want to mess them up." MOTHERs do this and they act a certain way and they handle that and this other thing doesn't happen and... 
Shiii 
I don't even know if I can put into words how friggin confused and TIRED I made myself. Just like many other MOTHERs before me, I was trying to make it look and feel right to me, to the kids, to my husband, to my friends, to our families, to strangers... ALL OF THE TIME. 
But then it happened for me, the thing broke through. The layers of 'supposed to be' and 'ought to be', which first appeared polished, finally rubbed raw and gave way to my thing: A very basic understanding that this isn't about picture-perfect scenes of clean and quiet hand-in-hand giggles and self-assured guidance. It's also not the opposite of whatever I just described. 
It's about Managing One's Madness and Maintaining Our Magic through a chaotic Mess of Moments until it's time for the Move Out Mandate.
Yep. This MOM thing is about Mostly Out Maneuvering the unrealistic traps of perfection. Understanding that you will yell and laugh from the gut. You will cross your heart in hope and cross your eyes in exasperation. You will look for any manner of escape and check in every moment to see what's gonna happen next. And if you needed someone other than your parents to talk to help you figure things out at some point in your life then it's OK if your kid does too. That's just how it is. 
There's no real balance when your life is on the metaphorical see-saw. Quit looking for it. Just do your best to keep it moving, with love. 
It's the MOM thing, a lifetime of: "MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM.""MOM."
And backwards or forwards - it's all good. 

Comments

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  • FANTASTIC!!!! So, SO TRUE!!! What great advice and out forth with LAUGHTER! Love it! Happy Mother's Day to you and all you great moms out there!

  • In reply to anitarudite:

    Hey Anita! I appreciate your feedback!
    And yeah, at this point, humor is the only thing left on this ride...my tear ducts are drained (smile).
    Have a wonderful Mother's Day! Enjoy every moment!

  • Please don't ever worry about being a perfect mom. There really is no such thing. Sure, we can always find something to improve on, but to seek perfection is to drive yourself insane. Even in my case, I struggle all the time (should take my own advice, huh?) with thinking that because I stay home with my kids (who are older now) that my kids should somehow be better off because of it. They still do stupid things all the time and sometimes I blubber over it and other times I let everyone know that we ALL make mistakes and no one is perfect.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Jackie - Ain't that THE TRUTH! Thank you so much for reading this blog. Thanks even more for sharing your words of wisdom.
    Enjoy your weekend and STAY ENCOURAGED!

  • I think you have just written the words so many feel in their hearts, I know I did/do. I still worry sometimes am I being the best mom I can be, the mom that my kids need but I then say of course I am, beause I am. Not perfect but perfect for them as we were made for each other. I love love love your word play mama. keep up the good work. and eventhough I know you do not need outside acknowledgement, I acknowledge the great writer, woman, and definately mom you are.

  • In reply to Assata:

    What beautiful and encouraging words, Sis! I pull my inspiration from Moms like you.
    Thank you. THANK you. Thank YOU. THANK YOU for your support.

    I love how you put it "...of course I am, beause I am. Not perfect but perfect for them as we were made for each other. " It is Magnificently On Message!

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