When I think back to when I first became a mom I never thought I would be embracing motherhood as much as I am now that my kids are older.
No one ever plans for the ever changing range of emotions that comes with being a mom. Let me break this down:
Baby Stage – My child relies heavily on me. I am her lifeline to survival. I need to make sure she is clothed, fed, bathed, and safe. I have this huge responsibility that no one ever prepared me for. Sure, I took Home Ec in school, but having a real, breathing baby is no comparison what so ever. My emotions are all over the place from love & happiness, pride, excitement & fear. Nowadays, the fear of what the world will be like when she is older takes over. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, but right now, she is helpless so I pray for her future. I am excited because there are so many new experiences she will have; walking, talking, eating solid food, her first smile, her first bath and so on. It’s an exciting time! I am so proud of her. She is the light of my life. She is my pride & joy. She can do no wrong. I am overflowing with love and happiness just from looking at her. I embrace motherhood right now because soon as soon as I figure out how to raise this little bundle, she’s a toddler and I am on to a whole new set of emotions.
Toddlerhood – My little boy is starting to express himself. He is starting to explore his personality. He is starting to know what he likes and what he doesn’t….more so what he doesn’t and when he finds that out, he makes sure that everyone around me knows too. He doesn’t like anything other than chicken nuggets. His self-expression tests my patience. He plays with the boundaries I set up and often pushes them as far as they’ll go. I am filled with anticipation, hesitation, love & admiration. I anticipate him finally leaving the terrible two, threenager, fierce four and *fucking* five stage. He’s driving me absolutely insane with his ever changing moods. As a result, I have so much hesitation when it comes to even leaving my house. Yet, my heart is filled with so much love for him because he’s my son. I admire his obsessive need to be tenacious. He’s going to be a strong man one day. But first, we have to get out of this icky kid stage.
Tweenhood – Just when I thought things would get better! HA! What a joke. People warned me about this stage. They told me, “prepare yourself, girls are the worst”…and they are. This was the first time someone told me how hard embracing motherhood would really be! This is the stage where I want to run from my home screaming…. I quit! I couldn’t stand the fluctuation of emotions that the girls would express. One minute they loved me, one minute they hated me and there really was no in between. I was no longer their number one person. I had been replaced by friends and I had to really start letting them go. It wasn’t something I was prepared to do but it was something I was forced into. I had been with them for 10+ years and now they don’t, *gasp* need me? The fact of the matter was, they did need me, they just didn’t know they did. I learned that there is a proper way to approach them for information. I didn’t grill them when they first walked in from a long day at school. I waited patiently and then just nonchalantly started to ask one question here, one question there and little by little I’d piece things together. From time to time when I would confront them on something, they would ask, “How do you know that?” to which I would just reply, “I’m a mom. I know everything.” and change the subject. It was all strategy. While this is my most hated stage of embracing motherhood, it was also a time for growth. Not only for my children but for me too. Seeing them all blossom into little people with their own minds, their own behaviors, their own beliefs made me so proud of myself. I helped to mold these tiny creatures into the amazing young people they have so far become. My heart was filled with love and a whole lot of laughter. But nothing, and I mean, nothing prepared me for the teenager stage!
Teenager – This is the stage I fear the most. It has made my blood pressure spike on more than one occasion. This is the stage that you have to know and understand your place in their lives. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed as much as I do while I’m in this stage. When they enter high school it’s a game changer! At this stage, I just hope and pray that everything that I’ve taught them takes center stage and they let their own minds guide them. I have heard so many stories of what goes on in the hallways and in the school bathrooms that it makes me cringe with fear. I try to hold it all together. I tell them to just keep looking forward and stay out of other people’s way. I pray that they are not at the wrong place at the wrong time. They start driving. I pray that they are safe on the road. I pray that they don’t text and drive. I pray that they aren’t distracted. I pray that they are aware of their surroundings. They get their first job. I pray that they handle themselves well under pressure. I pray that they get to and from work safely. I pray that they show good work ethics. I pray that they enjoy their job. They are distracted with school and work and boyfriends/girlfriends, drugs, and alcohol. I pray that they stay the course and continue to do well in school. I pray that they don’t let outside influences alter their plans for the future. I pray that they know they can come to me with any problem for support. I pray that I know my place in their lives. I pray…a lot during this stage.
No one told me that having a baby turned teen would be so stressful. I was not prepared for embracing motherhood when I first became a mom, but now that my kids are older, I embrace it every single day. One day they will be gone from my home and I will miss them and all the stress.
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