Monday, June 28, 2021

A Letter To Myself On The Anniversary Of Becoming A Mom

Dear Momma, 

It's been thirteen short, long years since you became a mom. In fact, right around this time thirteen years ago, you were being prepped for an unexpected surgery. It became your first lesson in how to embrace the unexpected. Thirteen means you're a mother to a teenager now. The "little years" are gone. People no longer stop you in a store or a park or walking along the street just to tell you that you have your hands full. Now they expect you to have your shit and kids together. The truth is, you have your shit together just as much today as you did not much. The trick to parenting is hiding it well I guess.

The years have been long and short, joyful and distressing, and everything in between. Parenting is a mixed bag and you have been here for it all. It's easy to forget all the shit that's been pulled out of the bag because all of the good things that come from it outshine the shit. It's why moms decide to have more than one child. They forget all of the aches, pains, sleepless nights, the troubles. The smiles, laughs, firsts, all outweigh every bad day. 

There are days in parenting that stick out more than others. The day you fell in love with each child, the day you first raised your voice to one of your children, the days you made their dreams come true. All of it has happened within these thirteen years. They've been the most significant years of your life for a multitude of reasons, but it can all come back to motherhood.

The next few years will likely be the most important. Your children become young adults. You can only hope that you've given them the lessons needed to have a steady head, but you will continue to guide them. You've literally made a career out of guiding young children, now you must figure out how to guide them into adulthood. There aren't parenting guides to reach for any longer. There's plenty of self-help books that can guide one into being a better parent sure, but there aren't the same parenting books that one would find for toddlers. Perhaps one day, if this all goes okay-ish, that will be what you write about.

For now, you sit and wonder. You wonder how long it will be until they no longer want to participate in Family Fun Days, let alone be seen in public with you. Right now, at this moment, while you're not their entire world, you're a big part of it. They still talk to you about anything and everything. You know part of growing up is losing some of that and you wonder how you will parent without it? 

I'm here to remind you to keep calm. No matter what happens during these teenage years and beyond, love them. No matter what is said, don't take it to heart. Love them harder. Show them what to do through your actions. Don't lecture, let them lead, as you have always done. They will change, just as you have changed throughout the years. But you know who they were and remember to embrace who they become. Be the guide, the person who walks beside them, who will pick them up when they trip on a crack in front of them. Don't be the leader in their life. Lead your own life with mild abondon, care, and happiness and know they will pay attention. Continue teaching by doing. 

You hope for many things for your children, but most of all, you hope you have given them the courage to be independent, to love new things, to not be scared of the unknown. You have the same hope for them that you did the day they were born: to know happiness. The most difficult part of parenting is knowing when to let go. When they were younger it was when to let go of them wearing the same pajama shirt to school three days in a row or let go of their weird shredded cheese obsession. As they age, it will be letting go of their childhood. I'm here to remind you to not be sad about them growing older. Be happy that they are living full lives, because these means they are growing. Just as you had embrace the unexpected thirteen years ago, embrace that life is forever changing. Take the moment you need to take it in, then live in the moment, and move on. Enjoy every step, share what you learn, and in case you haven't gotten your own message, embrace it all.


Me/Mom/formerly known as Mommy