The Lessons of Motherhood
Can I make a confession? I actually really love my kids. I probably joke about not liking being a parent more than I should, usually just to get a laugh by finding a common connection with other tired, worn-out parents.
But hands-down, 100 million percent being a mom is not only the most rewarding job I have, it has helped turn me into a woman I love. Someone who looks outside herself and someone who is actively trying to become the best version of myself so that my children have someone to emulate.
Have I become the perfect parent yet? Of course not. I don't expect to, well, ever. But is being perfect the goal? I don't think so. My goal is for my children to look back on their childhood, on what I was like as a mother during their formative years, and say, "She loved us completely and without hesitation." I want them to feel my support always, to know I love them fully and completely exactly as they are, and that I showed them that because I love them so much, I actively chose and worked to become my best version of me.
There are times when this process of bettering myself is happening minute by minute. Each minute, I'm recommitting myself to be more patient, be more forgiving, be more playful. Just be more. It is definitely not easy, and it is definitely humbling. The amount of times I've had to say sorry to my children is numerous, but those have been some of my favorite moments. Moments when I have shown my kids that life expects you to be humble, vulnerable, and honest. Moments when I explain through word and example that mistakes are a part of life, that we all require forgiveness, that we are fallible, and that's OK.
And there are times when, even though I am fallible, I really nail this motherhood thing. When I am everything my children need. And those are the good moments. The times where everything feels right. Like we are all exactly where we need to be, loving each other exactly as we should. Those are the memories that make the difficult, humbling moments survivable.
I write all of this not to say that being a parent is for everyone, or that this will be the experience that everyone has if they are a parent. I just write this because this is what motherhood has shown me. It has shaped me and is shaping me into my favorite version of myself, and I hope I never lose sight of the privlege it is to be a parent.
(Header photo taken by my cowboy, boatbuilding photographer husband. Follow him on Instagram @dustin_jay)