From the moment children come into our lives, we are never the same. Life as we once knew it changes. Our days are no longer filled with self-satisfying whims and luxury gift items. We are not sleeping in or pampering ourselves. We are pampering somebody’s behind but it is not our own!
No, quite the opposite. Our days are filled with satisfying our children’s each and every want, need, desire and what they think they want, need or desire. This changes suddenly and frequently, without warning. Our nights are filled with hoping we get our favorite pillow before it is drooled upon or just a smidgen of the king sized bed we are sleeping in before it is suddenly taken over by the flopping of a little child’s arms, legs, head or feet.
Raising Taylor has been no different for me. From the moment she has come into my life, it has changed. Life as I once knew it no longer exists. Now, I am a mother. I am Taylor’s mother. For two years, she has molded me into the mother I have become. Good and bad, I have learned it all.
I have learned that I can be very patient when I desire to make a five minute errand. Soon, my five minute errand has turned into an hour. We have to explore the bugs on the ground, the birds in the sky, the school buses going by and the “motor cycle-cycles”. We have to stop by the park to climb high into the air, slide down really fast, and swing with the wind in our hair.
Most of the time, we have to take a step back. We are not in control and we have to allow our children to grow into toddler-hood. We have to be brave enough to allow them to do things, “Myself!” as my daughter would cry out. Even if those things done, “myself” are hard. Independence is learned through trying and doing and we learn by making mistakes. Letting your toddler make mistakes, watching your toddler cry in frustration, and then carefully and gently doing what needs to be done, is all a part of the lessons I have learned over these past two years.
I have learned that sharing is caring and sharing can be fun but certainly sharing is not for everyone. I have learned that when we hurt, it can hurt the ones we love and a kiss on the “boo-boo” can always make it better. I have learned that pride comes very early in life.
Once our childhood passes us by, few people ever think about experiencing this part of our lives again. Those with turmoil and hurt in their childhood, especially, do not. But, having a child can bring such a magical and fortunate experience to the table. We can experience childhood again. This time, we can make that childhood whatever we want it to be. We can bring out the fun in areas we did not have much fun in. We can re-write our stories again. We can make happier beginnings and happier endings.
As the mother I have become, I have learned that I have such power. It is frightening in some ways. I have the power to shape and mold my daughter’s personality. I have the power to create the vision she will call “life”. I have the power to bring tremendous happiness, joy and security.
With that power, comes responsibility. I have the responsibility to make sure she understands between wrong and right, equality and prejudice, riches in material items and riches in personal growth and I have the responsibility to teach her about love. This is awesome power and responsibility. There is no job more powerful or important.
My daughter has definitely molded me into the mother I have become. I find myself laughing more, caring less about my appearance, or the worldly things in life, and more about the little things that mean so much. I definitely stop to smell the roses, watch the birds, wonder at the racing river water, play out in the rain, catch the snow on my tongue, and feel the grass between my toes.
Raising children can be tough. It’s no joke. It truly is a lifetime commitment and one that I cherish and treasure. As I am raising my daughter, she is molding me into the mother I am becoming and I am. I am no longer the same person I was before her. I am better. I am stronger. I am more loving and I am happier.