Being a mother is many things. It is a full-time job, it is frustrating, it is exhausting, it is exhilarating, it is the best of times and the worst of times. For most moms one is enough, maybe two, if you stretch it three. I am working on number five. Nine, six, four, two, and a newborn arriving in two weeks. Most days I don’t know up from down. Most days my nerves and patience are non-existent. Most days I have to literally talk to myself to keep from going over the edge.
Motherhood doesn’t come with a handbook, there are no instructions or guidelines on how to do it just right. Of course, there are people who claim to be experts but what I have come to realize is that every child is different. Kids are not one size fits all.
One thing I wish I did have is the ability to seek advice from my mother on being a mother. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a child and hopefully, I never will, but losing a mother is life-shattering. My mother died three years before my first child was born, people say time heals all wounds but if I’m being honest I must admit, for me, that’s a lie. My wounds are not healed and I don’t think they ever will be, I have just learned to live with them.
So my biggest struggle has been how to love my children to full capacity all while feeling that the foundation of my heart is missing. I am very aware that every day, every moment, every decision I make will ultimately impact the people they will become. How they will deal with pain, confrontation, trouble, defeat, and even love.
I keep a picture of my parents by my bed, and one by one, as my kids get old enough I have to explain who those people are. Now don’t get me wrong I am not in a constant state of depression, but on those days when I’m feeling overworked and overwhelmed when nothing is going right and I feel like I’m drowning, those are the days when I wish I could just pick up the phone and hear her voice on the other end. Hear her stories about how she has been where I am and it gets easier. It’s one thing to know it, it’s another to hear it from someone you know loves you without limitations.
So I’ve come to realize it all goes back to my mommy mantra if you will “be real with your kids, show them your human side.” Janiah being the oldest understands the most that sometimes I get sad, sometimes I really miss my mom and my dad. I don’t try to hide it from her because I believe she needs to know death is a part of life.
I honestly do not know how I’ve been moming without a mom for the last nine years, and then it hit me. Maybe I haven’t been, maybe she’s been there beside me, inside me the whole time. My strength for the course, my guardian angel. I guess perspective is key.