Of all the jobs I’ve had in this lifetime the most difficult one (by far) has been motherhood. I have worn many hats throughout the years from kissing booboo’s to holding the hand of a little one while in a hospital bed. My children have challenged by intelligence, freedom, choices, and perceptions a million times over. They have taught me how to be compassionate when I’ve wanted to snap. They have taught me patience when I wanted to fix things immediately. They have taught me to pick battles from one moment to the next. Indeed, the most challenging job in the world is parenthood. The FBI has nothing on motherhood. It is M.B.I. (Mother Bureau of Investigation) and it requires being on-call 24/7.
I love hearing from other parents who have small rambunctious children. They make the comments, “Thank God it gets easier as they get older.” I laugh. I used to think like that as well. It DOES NOT get easier. It gets productively more challenging with every passing year. The more intelligence and scheming they acquire the more you are being pushed to test your parental skills. Some days my IQ drops several points. Other times I feel like Albert Einstein.
The hardest task as a mother is letting go while standing your ground. Boundaries are never easy. Kids will test, pull and push them to no avail. One day I am the best mom in the world. The next, I am the worst parent out there. It comes with the territory. I’m not here to be liked. I am here to support, love, and have a safe haven for them to return when the world comes down on them. They don’t need another BFF. They need a parent to hold their hand when they hurt. They need a shoulder to cry and be heard. As I say around here, “You need a shower and a good meal. Everything’s gonna be alright.” I am here for the long haul with a great bathroom and a home-cooked meal.
Children are a breed of their own. I believe that around twelve years of age (especially boys) a spaceship comes in the middle of the night, swaps your child with an alien and you don’t see him until around eighteen. I can recall with most of my kids when they turned seventeen or eighteen standing in the middle of a conversation and saying, “Ahhhh, you are back, my child! I’ve missed you so much.” Just like that they return to being pretty normal. They begin to hug and kiss and converse with you like no time has passed.
I woke today with heaviness about being a good mother. This week has started out rather challenging. It’s okay. I get the ups and downs of this job. I understand the rejections, avoidance, blame game, and so on. I comprehend the state of hormonal imbalance passing through a teenager. I also get that “mom’s not always right!” What do I know? I am living on top of a mountain escaping from the real world. I also know that I shut down and don’t speak for days when I feel judged or ridiculed by my children. The pain is never easy. This is part of investing time in making sure they are safe. It only takes a laugh to get me back to normal. I just require some time to let ego take a backseat to the stupidity of an event. I am always questioning my sanity, but I’m still here.
With each passing year (and child) I am learning that love is beyond reason. It is a boomerang that returns time and time again when they need it. Ultimately, I am their mother. They might not like my rules or my opinions but they all know I am here for them. They also know I give them the space needed to experience life through their own eyes. I don’t have all the answers. I only have one for sure: I love them more than anything in the world. They might not like me from time to time but unconditional love has passed on to them. Witnessing the way they love others is the best return on this investment I could have ever imagined. This makes motherhood priceless!