The Big Three and the Best Version of Me
Being Mom is hard. In my case, being Mom also comes along with being Wife, which means that being Mom is not an autonomous journey. Making joint parenting decisions isn’t always the easiest task. I have a blended family so parenting my oldest involves 3 people. Some interesting dynamics come along with biologically sharing one child and not the other AND involving another person in the decisions of one and not the other. Holy smokes – the whole thing makes my head spin sometimes.
Today is Mother’s Day. I’m the first person to milk this day. I warn my family weeks ahead of time that I expect the day to be special. I want gifts, I want to be pampered, I want it all. I naturally have high expectations for just about everything, so today is no exception. I’ve learned that if I express my expectations, my chances of being let down are not as great and I am not above being a big fat baby about it if my Mother’s Day isn’t special. When I walked downstairs to get my coffee while everyone was still sleeping, I saw a big present and several cards so I’m pretty sure my sweet little family is going to deliver today.
But here’s the real thing. Every Mother’s Day, for the past 14 years, I’ve woken up in tears. It’s kind of a blend of happy and sad tears. These tears are filled with gratitude as I think about my own Mother and also how much my kids mean to me. And then I get a pang of sadness when I think about loosing any of it.
So this morning, I started thinking….what does Motherhood really mean to me and I realized some important points.
I’m a pretty intense person. Every strength I have, can also be a weakness. I see a lot of these qualities in my daughter as well. I am constantly reminding her that all of her passion and energy can help her achieve greatness OR can really get her in trouble. It’s no different with me.
Before I was a Mom, the consequences to my decisions didn’t hold as much weight. I just didn’t care as much about the outcome of poor decisions. Getting reckless every now and then was pretty ok in my book. Invincible or not, I didn’t hesitate much to do some flat out stupid things.
And then Noah was born and suddenly every decision I made had him in the center of it. It took me a few years to really morph from that semi-responsible person to the uber responsible person I am today, but it started happening the day he was born.
And then I met the love of my life and suddenly every decision I made had 2 other people in the center. And so I morphed a bit more.
And then Charlee was born and now every decision I made had 3 other people in the center. And the mother butterfly fully came out of her cocoon.
Yes, now that I am Mom and Wife, I see myself as a butterfly because I am now the best version of me.
Having these 3 people in my life means that I no longer just think about me with every move I make.
If I want to get drunk or do something non-productive to just escape, I don’t because that’s not how I want them to handle escaping.
At work, I don’t give 50 or 75%, I give 100% because I know that it’s not just my financial needs at stake, its’ theirs too.
When I want to bite someone’s head off because I’m angry, I (usually) don’t. Instead, I try to respond with kindness because I know my kids are watching and that is how I want them to respond.
When I want to just give up – on anything – I don’t, because I want me kids to witness perseverance.
Anytime I want to be reckless, misbehave or just be a jerk – well, I have 3 big motivations now to just not.
I realize now that motherhood has catapulted me into being the best version of me, because I want nothing more in this world than for my children to be the best version of themselves, and I know, they are watching my moves every step of the way.
So all those hard things about being a Mom? I will take them and then some. I understand why I cry every Mother’s Day. In being a Mom, I got the greatest gifts of my life, my big 3 – two beautiful children and the best version of Me. Without the journey into motherhood, I have no idea who or what I would be.