Motherhood: A Story of Perseverance
Everyone’s going to do a motherhood blog today.
Well, I’m afraid I’m not interesting or original enough to avoid the popularity pitfall. So here we go. Jumping on the bandwagon. Telling you exactly what everyone happens to be saying and sharing with their mom today. I —
— have not always gotten along with my mother.
Wait, sorry, is that not what everyone else is leading with today? I’m afraid for me it’s true. We have not always gotten along terribly well.
By the way, if you’re reading this mom, stop hyperventilating and finish the article before sending me a bunch of angry texts and voicemails, please? Because, spoiler alert, I absolutely adore you. I’m even going to say so, by the end.
To me, you are the Earth itself.
Just hang on a second.
I don’t wish to generalize, of course. All families are different, and that’s a beautiful thing. But all the women born to my family, even extended, seem to be more than ready to throw some tough love your way.
Perhaps it has something to do with giving birth. Children come into the world screaming. It can’t be pleasant on you, but it’s not pleasant at all as a mother.
In addition to that, a lot of the women in my family are more often left with the childcare, married to husbands with more serious, more demanding jobs. And we can get into my mixed feelings on that another time (and my very mild disappointment that I seem to be the the only non-heterosexual). Whatever the reasons, the result is a set of women who know full well they can’t be the “good guy” all the time.
Sometimes you have to yell at your kids, if only to stop them from walking into the road.
The hardest part about tough love is that it can be hard to justify in the moment. We all want everything and everyone to be nice all the time, to just simply be pleasant.
But watching kids is like shepherding tiny drunks. They don’t always have the capacity to understand, even if you explain it slowly or repeat yourself when they forget. Sometimes you have to tell them “no more juice”, even if they cry about it.
Because life isn’t’ fair. I’ve met or even dated people who so obviously expected to have a “mama” by their side all their lives. They expected to be coddled, clothed, and fed. Worse, they don’t hear when someone tells them they’re in the wrong. They don’t have that secondary conscience, not just the angel or the devil on your shoulder, but the quick, sharp whip of an angry tone speaking your full, entire name like a slap upside the head.
The mothers in my family know, even drugged up, in pain, and exhausted, holding their baby for the first time after giving birth. Even in that magical moment, they know they will eventually have to yell at that miracle child who they love so much it hurts. Even then, they have the foresight to give you a name that sounds good when yelled out all together. So when you hear that first, middle, and last, your blood goes a little colder and you stop in your tracks.
My mother and I did not always get along, because sometimes we all need a little tough love, to tell you when you’re wrong and make sure you really listen. We’re all wrong sometimes, and it does little good to sugarcoat it. Making sure a child grows up healthy, safe, and right is quite a lot to handle. When done well, it’s a real showing of everything humanity can be.
The reason my mother and I did not always get along is because I did not always appreciate that.
It can be hard to see, in the moment. If you went back to my childhood, particularly the teenage years, and got me on the wrong day, wrong moment, wrong time, I may have said some nasty things while I was all up in my exaggerated feelings. My brother was a difficult child, throwing tantrums and always ready to fake cry, but I was a difficult teenager, depressive and anxious tendencies not mixing well with the initial puberty hormonal rush.
But I’ve been told I turned out pretty alright, so, there’s proof if you need some to know I was wrong.
My mother was the one to most often scold us. With the hours of my dad’s job, she was the one more often around to tell us no. She listened to our stories, took interest in our days, but that meant having to tell us when we’d made a wrong choice.
When I was diagnosed with diabetes, she was the one to give me injections, so that I’d live to speak to you now.
That is one of the few things I have thanked her for, so far.
Today, on mother’s day, I’d like to thank her for the rest.
The only time I’ve thought that mothers had it easy was when I was been a huge, know-it-all brat. Raising me could not have been easy. The first sentence I learned to string together was “No, I don’t want to.” And I only got more hard-headed from there. As the recipient of tough love, I did not always appreciate it, which is understandable, I think. But thinking my mother enjoyed it either was a mistake.
Thank you mom, for making sure we did not always get along. I’m a brat, even with the best of your guidance. It could not have been easy. But thank you.