"Hey baby, how was your first week?!" She asked.
"Mom. I am so tired. I have so much housework to do. Piles of laundry. We have no groceries. And all I want to do is sleep! I don't know HOW in the heck you did this all, plus two more jobs, as a single mom. I can't handle one job and no kids!"
|My mama and me, Mother's Day 2005.|
Completing my first week of 7:30am-4:30pm M-F work was the beginning of a new level of understanding and appreciation for my mom. In my teen years, I "knew everything" and thought my mom was "sooooo lame." Much like every teenage girl in America.
I pulled out of that funk in my second year of college. I realized, hey! I don't know anything, especially about life. My mom and I started to hang out and became friends. I appreciated her advice and enjoyed our conversations. And after that first week of work, I began to realize just how much *work* it getting everything done is.
Fast forward nine years. When my water broke at 36 weeks, my mom was the first person I called (sorry hubs, you were third, after my OB). My mom got on the first flight she could from Georgia to Dallas. She stayed with us for six weeks to help us out as we adjusted to our new life. Talk about a woman who isn't scared of some work, huh? In that time, we had some great conversations (and wine! Oh, I could have wine again. The joy.)
"So mom... I think I understand something now. You had no idea what you were doing with us, just like I have no idea what I'm doing with Henry. You just made stuff up as you went, didn't you?" I asked.
"Yup. Use some common sense and try things until you find something that works." She replied.
"How come it always seemed, and still seems, like you have all the answers?!" I asked.
"Oh honey, I don't know. Just speak with authority and like you mean it, and people will listen to you and respect you. Admit when you're wrong and try again. There aren't mistakes in life, just opportunities to learn." She said wisely.
"Hmmmm..." I nodded my head in agreement as I poured us more wine.
So mama, I now know how hard you worked. How tired you were. How you didn't have all the answers, but you gave it a damn good try. That you didn't always get it right, but you recognized it and tried again. You raised us to be curious and responsible.
Parenting and motherhood is all about work. It's also guesswork. And I hope my guesswork of parenting is half as good as yours is.