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Happy Mother’s Day

It’s hard to admit, but I remember a time when I wondered if I wanted to be a mother.

 

I thought I lacked the natural maternal desire.

 

It just didn’t grab hold of me with the urgency and excitement I thought I should feel.

 

It didn’t help that I grew up in the women’s liberation era when motherhood was characterized as the most unsatisfying job on the planet.

 

Women spoke of motherhood as drudgery, and the common belief was that there was more to life than just having babies and staying home to take care of them.

 

Who would want the mind-numbing, old-fashioned role of mother when the doors of opportunity for women in the workplace were flinging open, inviting us to experience true fulfillment, intellectual stimulation, and real success?

 

We could “have it all,” so why settle for be strapped down by crying babies with runny noses, ear infections and chicken pox?

 

Surely my life would not be limited to that!

 

But, after I married Doug, I felt like having a family was the next natural step.

 

It just felt right like when you set out on a path and your feet just naturally move.

 

Even though my feet were moving in that direction, I had no confidence in myself as a mother.

 

After Sara was born, a friend asked me how I liked being a mother.

 

I said, “I feel totally incompetent!”

 

She kindly said, “How can that be? You are one of the most competent women I know.”

 

“Not as a mother,” I said. “I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s actually a relief to go to work every day because at least I know what I’m doing in an office. I feel totally out of my element at home with a baby.”

 

As time went on, I became better at it, probably because every time I looked into the face of that baby girl, my heart expanded to a new capacity.

 

Every time I cuddled her, and smelled her powdery body, my worldly skin molted a bit, and my confidence in my ability to be a good mother grew.

 

Actually, my confidence grew because my love grew.

 

After I had Annie, my mom came to stay with me to help.

 

One afternoon, Sara was sitting next to me and I was holding our new little Annie.

 

“Laurie, do you know how much you’re loved?” My mom asked as she watched me with my two children.

 

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“Yes,” I said, feeling grateful to know how much she loved me.

 

“I don’t think you do,” she responded, surprising me. “I don’t think you’ll know how much I love you until you are my age and your babies are grown up like you. Then you will know because you will have loved them for a lifetime. That’s when you’ll know how much I love you.”

 

I see what she meant by that now. Just when I think my heart can’t get any bigger, it does.

 

I’m glad she taught me that while my heart expands to new capacities, it also contracts to new depths as my children experience the challenges of life.

 

When I had cancer, my mom embroidered a pillow for me that said, “Always remember, I am the rock in your garden. You are the blossom in mine.”IMG_2263

 

I try to remember that, hoping to be the rock in Sara’s and Annie’s gardens like my mom has been in mine.

 

I can’t believe there was a time I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a mother because I can’t imagine my life without them.

 

Being a mother has made me a better woman in every possible way.

 

I don’t care what the feminists of my era said, motherhood is the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had.

 

There is a level of satisfaction that comes from career success, but it can’t compare to the joy I’ve felt as a mother.

 

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, I will celebrate being a mother, having a mother, and knowing that the voices of my era were wrong.

 

Motherhood is not stifling, unsatisfying, and unimportant.

 

It is the opposite of all of those words.

 

While I may have believed I lacked the maternal instinct, I found it,.

 

And, I discovered it was more than an instinct, it was a divine part of my identity as a woman. It just got a little buried in the mire of all my other ambitions.

 

It is the essence of who I am.

 

I am proud to say I am a mother. It’s the most ennobling, dignified, and important job I’ve ever had.

English: jkklglh
English: jkklglh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Mother’s Day. I would love to hear your thoughts on motherhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family

Goodbye Summer

Summer 2012.

It’s officially over.

My girls have returned to college.

The house is quiet.

The bedrooms are clean.

The junk food is tossed.

Tonight will just be dinner for two.

My house feels like one of those deflated Snowman decorations at Christmas time.

You know, the ones that stand all puffy and bright at night, and then collapse into a big heap at the end of the night?

It’s not a bad thing.

It just takes some getting used to.

So to cheer myself up today, I’m going to list some of the things I won’t miss…

(Brace yourselves girls.)

  1. “Dance Moms” blaring from the TV.  Who invented this show and what is wrong with them? Who wants to watch a loudmouthed dance teacher yell at pretty little ballerinas and make them cry? And who cares about all the melodramatic mothers that like to fight with each other?  The minute I hear those screeching voices in my house, I cringe, complain and ask, “Why do you watch this show?” Well, now that you’re away at college, watch away girls. Fill your minds with that uplifting, educational program all you want.  I will thoroughly enjoy never hearing those carping voices again…until Christmas, at least.
  2.  “Criminal Minds” marathons. I admit I’m fascinated by crime solvers, and enamored with Hotchner, Derek, Reid and Garcia, but watching shows about sick, twisted murderers for hours on end can be disturbing. And you know the addiction has gone too far when you accidentally come across a quiz online that says, “Find out which Criminal Minds character you’re most like,” and you take it. Just for the record, I’m most like Spencer Reid, who is a genius, just saying.
  3. Sweet Frog frozen yogurt runs. Okay, I really will miss these little outings but it’s time to stay away from that place. A woman my age can only have so much pomegranate or strawberry yogurt with bits of fruit and even bigger bits of candy.

Now that I’ve reminded myself of what I won’t miss, I’m feeling a bit more cheery.

So, now, I think I’ll erase all the programs from the DVR that I don’t like.

I’ll gaze at the carpet in the bedrooms that I haven’t seen all summer.

And, I’ll dream of going to the beach in a few weeks while both of them are hitting the books.

Ah, Carolina Beach Retreat is waiting…

I’ll get by just fine, you’ll see.

Being an empty nester has its good points.

I loved summer 2012, and I’ll miss having a full, busy house.

But when I have those lonely moments, I’ll reread this list and make myself feel better.