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Motherhood: my take

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Motherhood by Lynn MacDonald

When I was asked to write a post describing my feelings about Motherhood I found myself stymied.  How could I possibly describe all the many different feelings I’ve had over the years? I suppose some of the following words would sum it up although I’ve felt each of them at different times during my 23-½ years as a mom:


I’ve felt: joyful, delighted, overwhelmed, enthused, dismayed, powerless, amazed, confused, guilty, melancholy, elated, calm, relieved, intrigued, hopeless, depressed, curious, confident, and disappointed.


Let’s not forget: anxious, happy, worried, scared, rejected, horrified, embarrassed, concerned, panicked, nervous, frustrated, exasperated, grumpy, annoyed, envious, weary, bored, insecure, disgusted, insulted, ambivalent, exhausted, alienated, hostile, outraged, and even at times, defeated.



To me, motherhood is an entire amalgam of emotions and feelings all battling to win out at any given moment.  The saving grace is that you never feel any one of them all the time so there’s a balance.


I always knew I’d be a mom.  I grew up around kids, I babysat and I always enjoyed them.  It wasn’t a question of whether I’d have kids but when I’d have kids and that really depended on finding someone that I wanted to spend my life with.


Was I prepared for what motherhood was? No, I was not.  It’s both more joyous and more stressful than I ever could have imagined.  Having a child achieve success is far greater than when I achieved success myself and I both love and hate myself each time it happens.  I love it because these kids are mine and I (along with my husband) both created and nurtured them so where they are today is not only their success but mine as well.  I hate myself because I despise people who live through others and I have found myself at times doing just that.


My kids have not been the easiest to raise; I’m sure most moms will say that but we’ve experienced more than our fair share of health concerns.  All three of them had ear problems and Andie had severe asthma requiring constant attention and vigilance.  Then Daniel, my youngest, was booted out of preschool and was diagnosed with Asperger’s, which, at the time, I had never even heard of.


I never realized how much work I would need to actually put into mothering.  Yes, I knew about making dinner and teaching them their letters and what right and wrong was but I never considered therapy and the constant interaction and attention that Daniel necessitated as something that would be an integral part of my life.


Stress was my constant companion and I learned to take solace in the small victories, a day without a fight or one more year allowed in school.  When we finally made our way through all that there were social things I heard about that I was expected to help with, things that I never shared with my mom when I was a teen.  Because I was so close with my kids, I knew every hurtful thing that happened in their life so while it was great that their accomplishments were my accomplishments; their pain was also my pain.


Then, when we were finally on track Keely, my eldest, got a tumor.  By now she was in college and I had thought we were home free so to speak.


So what I learned then, and now, is that motherhood never leaves, it never goes away.  Although my day-by-day interactions as a mom are in the past, my kids will always need their mom.  They are all three quite independent and successful in their own right but just as “no man is an island” no child who is close to their parents ever completely leaves the nest.


And you know what? That’s just the way I like it.


So motherhood has been the most fulfilling experience of my life and very frankly, finding something to replace that constant adrenalin rush has been difficult but I’m still looking.  I loved being a mom, even when times were rough and I look forward to the future with my new role as “friend.”


When tough times roll around, in the words of the great Barney Stinson of “How I Met Your Mother”, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

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