Saturday, May 10, 2014

On Mother's Day, No guilt, No Perfectionism - Just Motherhood

Every now and again, these lines from Breaking Bad pop into my head:
I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And, I was really... I was alive. 
I know, I know... what in the world could a couple of lines from Breaking Bad have to do with motherhood or Mother's Day? But bear with me.

Sometimes I feel guilty when moms around me are comparing notes, essentially one upping each other with anecdotes illustrating how hard they have it. How being a mom is the hardest thing.

Heck, I've even participated in these conversations because if the media has taught us anything that is what moms do when they get together. Complain about husbands, kids, life, and everything.

And oh my gosh, people... you do not even understand how much I love fitting in.

Frankly I kind of wish motherhood was the hardest job in the world because it would mean that my job was easier and that would be awesome to have helping support my family be this easy thing I do on the side.

If I were to find out I had only weeks or months or some small number of years to live, I would certainly regret the future I'd miss. A future of watching my little ones grow and grow and become adults and screw up and and succeed and put together their own families by reproducing or creating a tribe and then watching their hair go gray and their faces turn into maps of lives lived.

What I wouldn't regret would be the moments missed because I have not missed those moments. I've worked, yes, and P. has spent plenty of her best hours in childcare, but I've more than made up for it in adventures and books read and cuddles savored.

I've breathed in more than my fair share of new baby smell by anyone's reckoning. I've laid staring at my sleeping children, their breath hot on my skin, for hours and hours.

Projects have gone undone. Scheduled enrichment, too. Knocked off the day's schedule by us so we could walk outside and fill the birdbath with what will soon be muddy water and turn the playhouse into an ocean liner sailing for Brazil or maybe Berlin or both.

And walks... how many steps did I walk with P. in her stroller before she cared about looking at anything but me? How many with her facing the world? How many with her at my side, toddling slowly like Bo does now.

So many songs sung - at night or in the middle of the night or in the middle of the day. Dance parties numbering in the thousands.

A million trips to the zoo and the beach and the playground. A million strolls down the street to explore every inch of the sidewalk. 

I can't go back in time, but I will never forget the feeling of a four pound baby resting on my shoulder light as air as I swayed around a pitch black bedroom. I will never forget the moment Bo latched on so soon after birth.

So many memories. So much yet to come.

Maybe I'm just smug or maybe I'm deluding myself, but today of all days I have no regrets. But back to Breaking Bad. The quote above may be completely unrelated to motherhood but I've always related to it personally.

Here's me coming clean. I have no complaints. I have immersed myself in motherhood and savored every minute of it.

I had children for me, and I like it. 
I'm good at it. 
And now more than at any other time in my life, 
I feel alive.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! No regrets!

(I just HAD to put this here after my girl Rebecca Hains so lovingly made it for me! Can't you just smell the MySpace aroma?)

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