On Mothering

The last twenty some weeks of mothering have offered me joy and moments of pure  ecstasy along with the ever looming “can’t do it all” ghost, but this week is different.

Balance has always be a struggle for me. I find myself often overindulging. One is never enough.  

After 3 days teaching kindergarten, I have renewed sense of purpose in my mothering. 

Today, I make a case for mothering. 

Whether 5 or 6 or 66, we all need a mother at points throughout our years. This week, I saw young children needing mothering in a very real well. Granted, the ones that are desperate for it have non-traditionally absent parents or just absent ones altogether. The mothers who think it is a 5 year olds responsibility to remember his lunch, backpack, books, and socks are little different from the ones who cannot be bothered to get out of bed to come get their sick child so they send a relative stranger instead.

Today we suffer from both too little and too much mothering, with all the talk of millennials and helicopter parents, we know it goes both ways.  I would, however , argue that there is a huge difference between mothering and smothering which is what I would define as a parent who cannot allow their child to succeed or fail on their own or without involvement.

To me, mothering is care. Mothering is patience. Mothering is putting my damn phone down and looking my daughter in the eyes. I am not great at all of these, but they are the core of connection. Connection, attention, safety, love is what each child craves and needs in order to learn, grow, discover themselves. 

Today, we could use a little more mothering, a little more care, a little more time payed to what our thoughts and fears are. 

Yesterday a child who is often treated like an after thought, drew a picture of a rose for his momma and wrote how much he loved her. I cried. I was angry. How could she not see the perfect love this little boy had for her and return it ten fold? It didn’t matter. Regardless of her mothering, he was going to love her fully.  

I hate to judge but when I see children being hurt by blatant carelessness, I take it personally. Maybe that is why I became a teacher. Maybe that is why being a mom has been my biggest dream.  

I try not to get blinded by the love. I want to support my daughter and help her develop the skills that will take her running from me and into her future. I want to teach her to be a good person as well as a good student. I want her to question and love with out boundaries. 

She cannot do any of this with out love.

So today, I beg you, love your kids. Put your phone down when they are around. Look them in the eye. Put a damn pair of socks on them before they leave for kindergarten. Maybe then you would see the blisters on their feet, the cracked open sores, the love in their eyes when you notice them: this is the case for mothering. 

*photo by Misty Crites  

 

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3 thoughts on “On Mothering

  1. Society’s expectations of child worship are nothing short of propaganda designed to establish a culture against parenting. I actually love being a dad, it doesn’t restrict me at all — and I don’t worship my kids. My relationships with my kids are the deepest, truest bonds in my heart. But in day to day life, they do their thing and I do mine. Our paths cross often. When they get off the bus. When they need help with schoolwork or something else. When they want to show me something they’ve done, or something they’ve rehearsed. At holidays. When we go out to eat. Vacations are the absolute best. Birthdays. Quite often at meals. While cooking. Playing outside in the summertime. My kids and I have a lifetime of memories and the hope of a bright future for all of us. But I still do’s my thang. They got a real dad ain’t no fake azz dad. I pop bottles. I’ll start shit with somebody. I’ll stay drunk for a week if I damn well choose. All summer me and their mama up late and loud having parties, loud music, strobe lights, often till sunrise. Party season can extend into October or November. I hope their teachers don’t feel sorry for them because their upbringing is non-traditional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes someone is always looking to judge! Children have become objects of worship, delicate China dolls, and world reorienting “objects” and that is what I would call smothering. It is a HUGE disservice to them. We have to exhibit the lives and people we want our children to become. It would be wrong for me to neglect myself and loose myself in mothering. It is wrong to pull away from a partner or to subjugate that relationship to a back burner. If I want my daughter to have a healthy committed communicative partnership on day, then I have to live that now. She is only 5 months old but she is out in the carrier as we hike along. Life cannot be altered but must be shared. I am talking about the parents who don’t provide a snack for their kid. I know that sounds so judgemental but food, come on man…give your kid a snack. I was talking about the parents who never stop to say “hey let me show you my passion.” Or listen when their kid shares his or her own. It is definitely not about smothering children, but giving them the attitude that they matter but aren’t in control. I just would love to see more parents like you who have something unique if yorself to offer your children and aren’t afraid to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. We are human. I am a huge fuck up. But I want to grow, learn, have fun, and enjoy the love we made in our daughter. To me that is what being a parent is all about.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It saddens me so much when I see neglected children. They are young and fragile and depend on their parents. So be a parent, stay nearby ready to help them to get up after a fall. But let them explore. Let them discover and build their own character. Don’t put an electronic device in their hands so that you can have 2,3,4 (more??) hours of time for yourself. My believe is that I helped a truly unique soul to enter this world and it is my responsibility as a parent to recognize its likes and desires and nurture it and teach it right from wrong and prepare it for the journey we call life.

    Liked by 1 person

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