Motherhood + Being Enough
As our friend, Julia, headed home from visiting the other day, I carried Tad inside for his nap, changed his diaper, and began to answer a few notifications on my phone before we headed into the bedroom. A cartoon was playing softly in the background, so he crawled into my lap, and we sat there together on the floor. As I hurriedly finished up, I peered down to where he sat, and he was asleep. In my lap, sitting up, head nestled into my breasts. I mean… come. on. I scooped him up and carried him to our bed, where I decided to sit a few minutes longer, cradling my not-so-tiny-anymore baby and rocking.
I was suddenly brought to the children’s book, Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch. If you haven’t read it (which you should, it’s a classic) the mother rocks her son throughout his entire life until she becomes too old, and the son eventually sneaks in and rocks his mother to sleep. It really just makes me cry so hard whenever I read it, so I try not to even open it. But I still thought of it in that moment, sitting there, holding my sweet boy.
I began to wonder if I was good enough, was I doing a good enough job. It crosses my mind sometimes, especially when I feel that I’m doing something wrong. I’m not afraid to be honest; I do things wrong a lot. We probably watch too much television so I can get some uninterrupted work done - that’s probably my biggest worry. Sometimes I’ll flip a cartoon channel on and see that over an hour has gone by of my son sitting in front of the screen falling into a program hole. When Tad acts up for the fourth or fifth time, I’ll raise my voice and give him a spank on the bum, watch the tears well in his eyes, and feel like the most pathetic and miserable human on the planet. The thoughts constantly running through my mind, am I doing the right things? Is there a better way that I can be doing this?
Then I see him do so many unexpected, wonderful things. Like handing Julia his favorite toys and not asking for them back, just hoping to get a free smile from her. Or quietly playing with his toys and making them talk to each other, hug each other, giving them hugs and kisses. Or when I receive a random snuggle while he’s been playing for sometime, just because. It’s then that I realize I must be doing something right. My son, though extremely active, stubborn, motivated, and generally exhausting, is a good human being already. He is kind, patient with other children, and plays well on his own, smiles for the sake of a smile, and shows affection.
As we sat together, me mesmerized by this new step he had just taken, falling asleep without my help, made me question everything I had been doing and realize that, Yes. I could do things better, I always can, but I am doing okay. This journey that I am on, motherhood, is a whirlwind. For most, it is terrifying, and though I sometimes lose my way and do things that I am not proud of, I find it is more fulfilling and good than not. Maybe it’s because no one (save my parents) has ever stuck around long enough for me to put my entire heart into them, for me to love them the right way, and this baby of mine is here for me to love no matter what. I hope I can teach him to love others with abandon, to forgive others when he gets hurt, because that’s something I struggle with. People are strange, but I want him to accept and understand that others around him are simply human, just like him. It’s the best we can do.