“Once a Mother, Always A Mother” is a series that will remember the different stages of being a Mother. This is the first in a series of three. If you are thinking that you do not have children and may not need or want to read this, well, I challenge you to read on with hopes of learning a bit more about the woman that brought you into this world. And, if you are a male thinking there is no reason for you to read this, well, the challenge to read on is even greater for you. If that is the case, my hope is that your eyes will be opened, in a different way, to your own Mother, and who knows, perhaps even give you a bit of understanding to the partner/Mother that may be in your own life. Whether you are a biological Mother or any other type of Mother, I hope you will find something here for you.
For women, becoming a Mother did not happen when we brought an infant into this world. It began the moment we knew we had a living being inside of our bodies. For nine months we got to have this “tiny human” inside of us, all to ourselves, without having to share with anyone else. It was also a time we prepared, physically and mentally, to bring our child into the world. We tried to eat the right foods, get the right exercise, and as for getting enough sleep, we didn’t have a choice, we fell into bed and got enough sleep.
Then the day came and the next thing we knew, we were taking a small infant home. We began sharing our new baby and yes, we became the kind of Mother that most people can actually see, the kind where the child is in the world, as opposed to inside the body. This is where the hard stuff began to happen.
For the next few years, we changed many diapers, we attended many pediatric doctors appointments, had sleepless nights, taught our child to crawl, walk and talk. We spent our days in worry and learning…(and still do). We did not have a manual. Besides, who had time for that?
The next few years were then spent teaching and preparing our child for what would occupy the majority of their time, and ours, for the next twelve years…school. We taught ABCs, colors, watched the latest and greatest children’s television shows, maybe Barney (after 5280 views, I wanted to choke that pink dinosaur) or Sesame Street, taught them how to ride a bike and poured our love all over them. And we did these things, all while putting our child’s needs before ours. We were determined they would have the best of what we could give them.
Then our baby began school. We walked them to the classroom, choking back the tears so our child could not see us. It was a day we thought would never come and it seem to come overnight, it was their first day of school. We waited in the car rider lines, participated in classroom events, attended parent/teacher conferences, kept every single piece of paper they brought home, (see box in attic), made sure the homework and class projects were complete and oh so much more. We attended tee-ball games, drove to dance lessons, attended soccer games, paid for the piano/drum/violin lessons. You name it, if it was in our will, we did it AND we were there for it, even if we had worked another full-time job that day.
Motherhood takes varied levels of energy. During this first phase, our energy is spent teaching, preparing, worrying and everything in between. We were tired a great deal of the time. We wondered if this phase would ever end and looked forward to our child becoming a bit more independent. All the while, we did not realize it was happening before our eyes.
Before we knew it, we were smack dab in the middle of adolescence