The Motherhood Experience
I've been a little absent on social media this past week. Mother's Day this year had me feeling all kinds of ways and I needed a minute to process. I certainly don't have a problem celebrating my mama. I could do that all day everyday. In fact this post is leading to that. I think my feelings had a little more to do with so many other girls that were on my mind.
There was the mama who birthed and lost twin boys a few years ago. Can you imagine? Maybe some of you can. Those of you that can identify with that type of loss, you were on my mind. There was the mama who expected motherhood to be one thing and it took a drastic turn. I know life is full of expectations and drastic turns, but growing a human is a sacred thing. By the time a mama gives birth she has plans. A lifetime full of plans. Sometimes the "drastic turn" can snatch those plans from you in the blink on an eye. To you mamas who have traded in your big plans for a life of care-taking, I see you. You were on my mind. There were my many friends who struggled and are struggling with infertility. To you girls who are on this journey, I long for you to hold your own child in your arms one day. Y'all were on my mind. There are the many mamas who have found their happiness through adoption. Maybe you are working through trying to find what your new family dynamic will be. Maybe your heart is with the mother who gave up the child that you now deeply love. Maybe sometimes things are bittersweet for you. You mamas were also on my mind.
There are so many different walks of life and they are all so very important. My very best friend has been on a motherhood journey that is so different compared to mine. We have had completely different experiences, yet we can relate on such an emotional level when we talk about them. That's what motherhood is to me. An experience. We experience easy days, hard days, meltdowns, days we feel defeated, days we are defeated, days we conquer, days we feel blessed, days we want to just give our kids away for an hour, etc. I could go on and on about how motherhood makes me feel. What I couldn't do is come off of a week of pure defeat and share on social media how motherhood fulfills my being to it's greatest capacity. It doesn't.
I may sound awful for saying that, and I'm ok with that. I am obsessed with my girl. She and her daddy are my EVERYTHING and we are blessed beyond measure. It's a dang hard job though. To be clear, my infamous week of defeat had less to do with my girl, and mostly to do with the actual jobs that come with motherhood. Anybody else SO over tending to the dog? Me too girl. Me too. So let's all raise our glasses. I'm not even gonna ask what's in them. I propose a toast to the motherhood experience. May we all remember that we will face many events, but they are all part of the experience. May we remember the women in our lives who are facing the hard things. May we remember, when we're 80 years old, to look back and be confident that we conquered this motherhood thing.
Speaking of conquering motherhood, let me tell you a little bit about my mama. If you want to get technical she is actually in the middle of round two. We'll call it "Conquering Grandmotherhood." I owe so much to her. Most of the things I inherited from her I'm really proud of. The high cheek bones. I used to hate them, but then as I got older I learned to love and appreciate them. My legs. Let's just be honest about the fact that she will always have the best legs, but she shared a fraction of those genes with me and I'll take it. A couple other things like my temper and voice tone also come from her, so I'm told. I've also been told those things need some work, but I think Mama and I would agree they're just fine. My favorite things are the things she's passionate about. She shared those things with us and I became passionate about them as well. I'm so thankful that she didn't stop doing what she loved because she had kids. My favorite memories are moments we shared doing what she loved.
Did y'all know we were a band of family dancers at one time? Oh yeah. We were part of a group know as the North Florida Appalachian Cloggers. We have performed all over the Southeast with my mama and daddy leading the way. My mama loves clogging. She started us in clogging lessons when I was 7 years old. I was a little embarrassed at first, because to my friends it was a lot like square dancing, and that wasn't cool. I'm not sure clogging was any cooler now that I think about it, but we all grew to love it. Now I'm pretty sure my friends are the ones that are embarrassed when we're out dancing and I pull out the ole clogging moves. I just can't get enough. It's ingrained. Eventually we grew up and life got busy. We aren't part of a group anymore, but Mama still pulls out the clogging shoes and we dance right there on her carport. I wouldn't wanna dance Old Time Rock and Roll with anyone else by my side.
Traveling is another one of Mama's favorite things. Do you know how cool it is to be in your 30's and have your parents sending you pictures from an amazing location that they traveled to? On their motorcycle! I love her sense of adventure. I love that she hasn't let go of her desire to see new things. She's still making marks all over her roadmaps. When I was 14, we took our very first "national tour." I don't wanna share details because we want to podcast that later. Just know that it is still the most memorable trip that I have ever been on. We traveled constantly, and to this day I still love nothing more than to go and see. Trust me when I tell you that my husband surely gets sick of hearing "Did you see that? I've been there." Thank you Mama for making me look out the windows. Thank you for teaching us that it is truly the journey, not the destination.
I can't end this blog post without mentioning the countless nights Mama read to us before bed. I'm not talking about a mama tucking in a 3 year old girl and reading a quick nursery rhyme. I mean Mama read chapters of books to us for years. There are two series that will forever hold a special place in my heart. The Little House series and the Mandie books. I will never forget those nights and begging Mama to read just one more chapter. My girl loves books and I hope that one day she will sit and listen to me read my childhood favorites to her. I believe my mama gave my sisters and I a love for reading through the countless hours she spent reading to us. We are always sharing what we're reading and trading books. Read to your kids! They are never too old and that time spent together will make a lasting impression.
If you ask me about my mama I will tell you she conquered motherhood. I often wonder why I can't navigate this journey as gracefully as she did. I only have one kid. She had three. Now we send our kids to her so they can make their own memories with her. I bet if you ask her she'll agree. Ain't no experience like the motherhood experience.