06 May Motherhood Redefined
Motherhood is an interesting phenom. Sometimes when my memory returns to the beginning I recollect the force of love so strong it completely blurred the lines of where I ended and they began. Time was also full of sleepless nights and runny noses and I remember thinking how much money I would save once they were out of diapers. That season has passed and now I mother a group of young adults that astonish me systematically with both their brilliance and lack thereof. One constant remains: the ebb and flow of instinctual protection and mind-blowing love.
I’ve accepted that change is inevitable in my life and most days even embrace it. Currently, I’m engaged in a business re-vamp and rather enjoying the creative flow of it. This, in conjunction with an impending Mother’s day, reminds me of how often in my life I have redefined myself as both a mother and a human.
There was a day when I was the young mom picking up kids at pre-school. Life was sippy cups and stretch marks. Backpacks outsized my child and I spent more time driving then I did sleeping. Things changed.
It was somewhere between a lifetime and an eye blink and they were in grade school. I was a good mom because my children went to school with their teeth brushed. I averted crisis by stocking up on extra birthday gifts for the times when I forgot to run to Target for a child’s party and most days there was enough healthy food in the fridge to warrant a packed lunch. I knew I couldn’t compete with PTO mom (clipboard in hand) and would admittedly avoid eye contact when I passed her during school pick up. But I was Ok. Did I mention that my kids had brushed their teeth? I was OK.
Cancer was another change and without giving too street cred to that catalyst it cemented fierceness in me to move onward with a new direction. Considering what their lives might look like if I wasn’t around reminded me to be not only a good mom but also a role model. I needed to continue to live for them but also for myself. I changed.
I threw attention at yoga, and teaching yoga, and my businesses began to grow.
There was a school switch. And a grade school graduation. Swim team replaced sippy cups. More driving. I was exhausted but really happy. They changed.
Enter teenagers. One day I woke up and realized that my children were smarter than me. I knew this because they told me. Facial expressions had morphed from adoring glances to stink – eyes. They argued between themselves before they drove to school together and my mind imagined a terrible car accident because they weren’t paying attention to the road. When was the last time I had their tires rotated was a thought circulating in my mind for hours without pause. My best intentions and training for those stressful moments as a yoga teacher, teaching the value of breath work, was futile. I knew that morning panic was deleting my adrenals but I accepted this was a part of my current parenting season. Sometimes I didn’t care if they brushed their teeth.
And just like that, change.
One went to college. And then another. Here I am. I really like them again because they are sending me research papers via Google Docs to proof, legitimizing that they are considering me half-way intelligent again. One in High School and one in Grade school means diminished driving. I have the cars on a tire rotation schedule. It occurs to me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and change will carry me through this season too.
I am the old mom at pick up now. Clipboard mom still intimidates but I have become a master eye contact avoider. Last week when I picked up two little boys ran to one of the young moms with her arms outstretched. She was beautiful. Pang and longing seeped in because no one seemed truly excited to see me that day. Then I remembered that I get to grocery shop alone.
I value my life and every proverbial curve ball that change has thrown me. My role as a yogi and a businessperson are very rewarding. But motherhood is still the role that defines me. Is it possible that this is my one constant?
Happy Mother’s Day to every mother in my life.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
~ From Socrates, a character in The Peaceful Warrior