How do you define a Mom? What does the term mean to you?
I’m a Mom. What does it mean to me? Have I ever sat down and thought about what being called Mom really means? I don’t think so. Maybe I’ll ponder it here if you’ll allow.
Mother, Mom, Ma, Mommy, Mum, Ma-Ma, and many other terms can define the same person.
For me, being called Mom means that I am fortunate enough to be raising children. To have an integral part in someone else’s upbringing and nurturing. Being a Mom means that I have the ability to make a difference. My life, my days are no longer my own. I have someone to answer to, to be accountable to. It’s a 2-way street. It’s give and take; as with any relationship. The bond between mother and child is one-of-a-kind. Should I want my children to be responsible, to be accountable, to be genuine and be respected and respectful I have to teach them that. The best way to teach those traits is through example. Does that mean that being a Mom is just that easy? Hardly. Much the opposite in fact.
There are no qualifications, there is no job description, there aren’t any manuals or YouTube videos on “How to be a Mom”. So where does one learn how to be a Mom? In my small, insignificant 15 years experience I have come to the conclusion that there is no easy answer to this question. It’s like an experiment.
You start off with a question (How can I be a good Mom?). You begin to research the possible answers to this question through experience, through gathering information, through interviews and other means. You form a hypothesis or an educated guess that will help answer your question and them you test your hypothesis out to see if your experiment worked and then you analyse the findings to see if your hypothesis was true or false. Finally, you report your results. Easy, right? Hardly.
After 15 years I can’t explain to you how many times I have proven my hypotheses false. Not all of them, mind you, but a good many. Being a Mom, I have come to learn, is an on-going experiment. It never concludes. We prove some hypotheses, we have to go back and perform some experiments again using different methods and others will never be solved. There are just no cut-and-dry answers. Then, just to make life a little more interesting try being a Mom to more than one child. You will very quickly realize that any hypotheses you proved true with your first child are not necessarily going to hold the same results with any subsequent children. And oddly enough, depending on the subject matter, an experiment that failed for you may be the greatest success for your neighbour. There are no constants associated to the term Mom. There are no common variables, there are no controlled environments, there are no precedents.
Simply put, being a Mom has to be one of the most fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants occupations in the world. While there are definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to being a Mom I believe intuition is mostly responsible for getting us through.
As a Mom we go through the highest of high’s and the lowest of low’s with our children. Our hearts can explode with pride and break with hurt ~ sometimes all at the same time. We see our children come to us with their successes as well as their challenges; we see our children pull away from us and attempt to gain their own identities of self. As a Mom we are often the first person to hear of the good and the not-so-good that our children experience. We are also, many times, the first to be hurt when our children are hurting. We are the easiest to lash out at because we are the safest. It’s quite the emotional roller-coaster when you think about it. When our children are attempting to put into practice all the lessons in life that we have taught them, Mom’s are many times the subjects of the experiments conducted by our children. Trying to prove their own hypothesis on life as being correct.
After saying all that, I guess I define being a Mom as much by my children as by my own self. I am Matthew and Marcus and even Emily. I am one person trying every day to be the best example that I can be. It’s a work in progress. A never ending cycle. Some days I smile and some days I cry all depending on what’s going on with my children. No matter the number of smiles or tears I will never stop learning, teaching and growing. I will never stop being Mom.
My words for all Mom’s reading is simple. Always be you, always go with your intuition and never doubt for one second that everything you are doing is making a difference in someone else’s life.
My words for Matthew and Marcus are more simple. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me what being a Mom is all about. I may not have it all figured out and I may not (ok, do not) have all the answers, but with your help we’ll all take one day at a time ~ together. There is no one accomplishment that I could be more proud of. I love you both to the moon and back and couldn’t be more honored to be known as your Mom. And to my special Angel-girl Emily, I thank you too. Thank you for continuously watching over your brothers and me guiding us and helping us through this thing we call life.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Until next time…