Mother's Day is coming - it's inescapable. I've learned in the past to try to ignore it, but last week BB1 asked if he could take me out for dinner this Sunday, so this year at least I can acknowledge the day. I am honoured that he asked.
|Yes, they're cousins - born 20 years apart|
Every TV ad. Every radio conversation. Every other blog post I read seems to be about mothering/Mother's Day right now. They sing our praises, extol our supposed selfless-ness, encourage the purchasing of jewelry and spa treatments to repay us. Mostly they make me aware of how much I am NOT that mom in the ad. But I am a mom, and as content with that as I am with my other flawed identities.
I began a comment this morning on 'Diary of a Mad Woman's post 'On Being an OLD Mom', but quickly realised that the comment was morphing into a post of its own. This post. I could go on and on about what it's been like for me being a 'young' mom - or a mom at all - but the job isn't over, so the story has no end.
I was 20 when I got married, 22 when we welcomed BB1 into the world, and 42 when he and his brother left home simultaneously. For 12 of those years, it was just the 3 of us. We had the best of times, and the worst of times, and my daily prayer is that those two extremes balanced out.
My first-born sister was 44 when she had her one and only - the light of his parents' and (now properly grandparent aged) grandparents' eyes, not to mention a complete joy to his mostly adult cousins and rested-enough-to-enjoy him aunts.
What I've observed and experienced is, being a mom is hard and delightful and the most confidence building and confidence shaking experience a woman can have. That was true when I was 22 and taking BB1 home from the hospital. It was true when I was 30 and the youngest mom in our middle-class middle-school. It's true of my high-achieving executive sister who I've only ever see really question herself at the thought of doing motherhood 'wrong.'
My sons are adults and I still spend sleepless nights worrying about if I'm doing enough. Or too much. Or the wrong thing entirely. We all do our best, and that best varies from day to day. We all learn as we go. We all stand - and sometimes cry - on the shoulders of those who've come before. We all light the way for those who will come after. And we all fight to be acknowledged for that job and still retain some sense of ourselves separate from the 'Mom' identity.