I had the privilege of reading the first posts by my daughters Kristin Speak and Lauren Tuculescu in their new mommy blog entitled Minute For Mom. The subject matter was familiar of course, since I have raised four children, but the depth at which my two oldest children plunge to discover their highest potential as mothers made me so proud.
I remember the trials and tribulations, joys and successes of motherhood like it was yesterday. I remember feeling like no one could possibly understand what I was going through or how I felt. Little did I know in those early years that each new phase brought its own set of challenge and celebration. Looking back now I can see the transitions through each developmental stage and how my children reacted so differently yet so similarly to the experiences. My reactions were equally varied based of the atmosphere at the time.
My first two were born during my first marriage, which was fairly traditional and conservative, and while he was a good father and husband I was not the dutiful housewife I think he had hoped for. This made for an explosive relationship that was not conducive to a peaceful environment for the children.
By the time my second two children came along in my second marriage, my oldest two were ten and twelve with baggage that they certainly didn’t deserve or ask for. These two wonderful preteen daughters were supportive and loving of their new siblings and when I became single again a few years later they were exceptional in their co-mothering duties. I leaned on them for so much, knowing that this was the norm for many families all over the world, but feeling guilty all the same.
As my three daughters grew and we all dealt with identifying and eliminating the baggage, the day came when I could see a metamorphosis that has truly been one of life’s greatest gifts. Watching my damaged little fledglings find healing and happiness and proudly spread their wings to fly away has lifted my heart like nothing else.
The oldest two are now mothers, having blessed me with a grandson and a granddaughter. I watch as they navigate the mystery of motherhood to baby number one and am reminded of my own experiences. Fortunately, these beautiful young women have a bright, confident countenance that drives them to achieve their highest potential as mothers. While their pursuit of perfection may also drive them nuts at times, their children will never doubt the love and security that will be a solid foundation to build from.
The greatest gift a human receives is the opportunity to raise a child. My wonderful husband Mike will tell you that though he has no biological children, the feeling of parenthood is deep and emotional for him. The greatest achievement is to watch your child grow into a better version of yourself, with all the traits you treasure most and non of those you have worked to bury. Love is at the top of the list. Unconditional love that is palatable and becomes the life ring that keeps one buoyed in the most treacherous of waters.
I no longer feel guilt, regret or disappointment in my own mothering because I know that like my own mother, it is a trial and error experience that is affected by many outside influences. The most important thing we can do is Love, and I did that…I am still doing that. Add to that my immeasurable pride in all of the beautiful children that I’ve had the honor of raising and I can feel that i have come full circle in my most important task for this lifetime.