Saturday, May 7, 2011

Defining Motherhood: a guest post by Sarah

Sarah at For The Love is just about the most stylish mother you will ever see.  I love her blog for so many reasons (her frugal fashion is amazing and her party-styling delightful), but one aspect I especially love is her obvious adoration for her son. I am so excited that she agreed to share her passion for him and the joy that she feels as his Mother--and soon for a sweet baby girl on the way!

When it comes to talking about motherhood, I seem to be at a loss for words. It's not as much a loss for words really, as it is not knowing how to put so many strong feelings into words. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning. I find it to be an incredible concept that someone as average and ordinary as me would be trusted with God's sweet, and innocent human beings.

I remember talking to my E while in the womb and saying things like "are you sure you want to make your way into this scary, scary, world?" I distinctly remember worrying about the many ways I personally could screw up this sweet, sweet, child  and wondering how I was ever going to be able to live up to the responsibility of raising a successful adult human being amongst such a complex and fast paced world. There would be daily difficulties and so many ever changing outside poisons that I knew would be impossible for me to protect him from and help him avoid. It seems that for me the title of Mother immediately follows itself with a significant feeling of inadequacy.

In the first couple years of E's life, I learned that self forgiveness is a beautiful thing. I love being a mother with all my heart, to the point that I nearly choke up every time I talk about the subject, because it's just that precious to me. Even so, I have still spent a vast amount of time worrying about how I rate as a mom. Worrying about my responsibility to help shape this little one into the kind of person I think he should become. Somewhere along the way I believe I learned something profound. At least it was a profound discovery for me. I had spent so much time worrying about my ability to shape this little boy into eventually a good man, that I neglected to realize something. More recently it dawned on me, that he has been shaping me.

I've learned so much about myself and the person I want to become through my daily interactions with this little human being who wasn't even a part of my life just 2 years ago. He's taught me how to love more fully than I ever have, he's helped me find happiness more fully than I've ever found, and he's helped me find patience and strength that I never thought I could muster.

Sometimes when I obsess over the way I should discipline, or when and where I should send him to time out, I realize that I'm learning how to practice self discipline, and self control. So it seems that if I focus a little less on how much I can teach him, shape him, mold him, and a little more on what he has already taught me, I feel a sense of equality between us. It helps me remember that we're on this journey together, and if I spend more time listening to him, observing him, and soaking in what he has to teach me, the rest falls into place much easier.

That's the beautiful thing about motherhood. It's really more about what we learn together as mother and child, and what we teach each other rather than how I rate as an individual on the parenting scale.

I am eternally grateful for the lessons I have already been taught, the example my little E sets for me on so many levels, and my hope is that I will never lose sight of what he might be able to teach me.


Mary Seals said...

Beautifully said. We learn so much ourselves along the way.

Tara said...

Beautiful post!!!

A.Co said...

Love this girl.

Sar: love what you wrote about teaching EACH OTHER, I've never looked at it that way and it's so sweet and insightful.

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