The Goal of Motherhood

Motherhood is full of conflicting responsibilities.  At the same time, we protect and encourage independence.  We are here to teach our children and to let them learn from experience.  We want to instill our values & belief systems while letting our children develop their own opinions.  Motherhood is like two ends of a tug of war.  We need to find the place in the middle of the rope that allows our children to have the best of both extremes. 

Being a mother is unlike any other relationship.  My boys are my legacy.  They are the piece of me that will live beyond my lifetime.  No friendship, no extended family and no pet will ever play that role.  Our children carry our love, our stories, our history and our mistakes with them just as I carry those of my parents.  When they are young, we encourage them to try new things and do well in school.  We practice tying shoes and writing the ABC’s.  We agonize along with them as they learn hard life lessons.  We are happy with their success and are sad when they are disappointed.  Eventually, they leave us.  From the time they are young, we need to work toward the end goal of independence from us.  As my boys go out into the world and build their own lives, I realize that for all those years there was really one great gift that I could give them.  If I could put it in a box and tie it with a bow, I would hand them the ability to cope.

When we are raising our children, we need to be examples of handling both good and bad times.  They need to see that life is a journey that takes us to amazing places filled with joy as well as times clouded by stress, disappointment and sorrow.  Children need to see that through tough times, there is still love, faith and ways to get to the next great moment.  They need to know that they are capable.  They can make decisions.  They can change the things that they do not like and make their lives better.  They can embrace the joyous moments and get through the rest.  They can cope.

Once a year, mothers have a special day marked on the calendar.  I will wish my mom a Happy Mother’s Day and my boys will wish the same for me.  That day in May is not, however, the one that fills my heart.  My heart is full and I know I’ve done well as a mother when I watch my boys accomplish difficult goals, help people in need, stand up for what they believe in and comfort others in times of sorrow.  I know I did a good job when my son calls to say he had a problem but he solved it.  He knew I would have listened and helped but he was able to do it on his own.  I hope I am here for a very long time in case they want to talk about it first but, someday, I know they will be able to solve their problems and they will walk with grace through this world.


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