There are those who call me… Mom?
It still blows me away that my body made people. PEOPLE. Right? Some people call it “a miracle”, I’m just blown away by the impressive biological processes. And, to me, there’s nothing better in this life than being a mom. “Mom” is my favorite name that people call me, but only two special people are allowed to call me that.
When I was a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t even know what my hobbies were. The problem was that my skills and interests were so varied that it took years of experience and hindsight for it all to coalesce into a clear picture. But there was one thing I knew for as long as I can remember: I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to have kids.
Though I had only moderate experience dealing with babies and little kids, I thought I had a pretty good idea about what it would be like, being a parent and a mom. I know, a lot of people say that and then reality turns out to be much different. But for me, reality aligned pretty well with my expectations. I didn’t get all of the specifics right, but I knew how I would feel as a mom, I knew how much I would love my kids and how much they would love me, because I’d experienced such a close parental/child bond with my own mom. I knew what it felt like on the other side, as a daughter, so I extrapolated.
When I was growing up and even well into adulthood, my mom and I were extremely close. We still are, but our busy schedules keep us apart more often than we’d like. But when I was a kid, she was my confidant. She was the one who could “make it all better,” or would at least try. She was the one who I could count on to be there for me, at least trying to help in a way that I needed. Then, as an adult, we still used to talk on the phone almost daily.
But I digress.
When your kids are babies, they just look to you to take care of their needs and to comfort them from the big scary world. As they get older, toddlers look to you to set boundaries and limits for them. Don’t see it as the terrible twos. See it as an opportunity to teach appropriate behavior. As they get to be school age, kids continue to look to you to model the way to be. If you’re kind, consistent, and logical, they will learn to be so as well. If you yell and spank and punish the behavior rather than trying to address the reason behind it, they’ll learn that from you as well. But addressing the reason behind the action is key to establishing trust and understanding. It’s a hard thing, constantly being the best possible version of yourself. But when your kids are around you, it’s vital.
Now my kids are in the junior high and high school years. There are definitely still days when they look to me for comfort and basic guidance, but those times are slowly decreasing, and helping my kids make sense of a much larger world is becoming more my role and focus. The outside world is a scary place too, even sometimes for adults. So I make sure to love them (easy peasy) and to help prepare them to adult.
Adulting is hard. Even for adults. You might think you’re faking it and have no idea what you’re doing, but when you spend much time around the “newly adult” people, you do realize that you actually know what you’re doing pretty well. As you age, you slowly gain experience and confidence in your actions and place in the world, and eventually things become okay. This makes it even easier to parent.
I am Mom. Best thing to be in the world.