I've been visiting a lot of blogs lately and one of the things that clear to me is that there are a lot of mothers out there that are caring and concerned parents. Willing to laugh about their children and joke about the joys and challenges of raising them, but teriffic moms by any standards.
It makes me wonder how we come to be that way. My own mother was not overly moved by motherhood and thus when I became a member of the club, I really wasn't equipped for the job. My resume lacked skills, background, education.... I was destined to
suck underperform. I had even professed to my husband early on that it might be better to find another drain on our finances hobby because I didn't think I could parent at all. Certainly not the creative, relaxed parenting that I see on Undomestic Diva or Pioneer Woman or The Park Wife. Each of them excellent in their own way.
With a competetive spirit however, I set out to master this mystery with each pregnancy. My mistakes were legion, but my success gave me confidence to keep trying. By the time I had my 3rd daughter, and realized that she had significant developmental issues, I felt invincible. I knew how to pick a battle, rally the troops and celebrate a victory. I learned to accept defeats and look for new ways for her to win. Although I was already on my way to being a decent mom, she made me a success across many platforms.
Because of her, I was unafraid to help others. Because of her, I learned that leaving the corporate world to make a contribution was the right thing for me to do. I learned that I not only had enough compassion to work for a disability agency but enough strength to leave the job at work everyday. I could contribute without becoming a victim of my compassion. It is a life lesson I value.
I also learned some smaller lessons; that the love of parenting doesn't stop when the child is grown. And this love for smaller beings I think opened the door for the
madhouse Chihuahua Festival that I currently live in. I never cared for little dogs before... in fact may have said unkind things about them. But having Madeline and Cassie completes the circle for me... From incompetent, bumbling, uninterested mother to loving, giving, nurturing being.
I get Madeline because of her issues; her fear of her food dish, fear of the kitchen floor, fear of the front walk, fear of bells. I know what that's like because I went through those anxiety and sensory issues with my daughter. The most delightful thing to me is that my daughter gets Madeline. In her snotty, teen angst, tough girl attitude, she says Maddie loves her more than she loves Maddie. But she's the first to pick her up and sooth her. She who was once so terrified of dogs gives Maddie another human to run to, another set of arms to provide comfort and love. I love watching my daughter nurture as she was nurtured.
For me it's all connected... this path to learning to do things you didn't know you could. To excel, to help others, to provide comfort. I'm really grateful to the people that showed me how to do it! And to Madeline for giving me a much needed outlet for years to come.