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Identity, Motherhood, and Why My Revolution Will Not Be Televised

5 years ago

1914 words

Quote of the Day: “Revolution begins in the self, of the self.” Toni Cade Bambara

I’m trying not to be a “mommy blogger.” I don’t know what I am. I don’t even know if I want to identify as a “blogger.” I’m a woman who is writing about her experiences, and more and more, I’m finding that there aren’t a lot of women out there who see the world as I do. That’s not a terrible thing, though it is an intimidating one. It is a lonely internet world out there. So on Wednesday, I caught up on some of the reading from my other friendly blogs. My first stop was Faking Picture Perfect, an amazing blog that you absolutely should be reading. She wrote a beautiful article about patience and presence, something that every mom thinks about at some point in time. I appreciated her reflection (as always) and wish I could emulate that in my own parenting and writing. She was inspired by a blog called the Hands Free Mama. I didn’t have time to read the lengthy post about yelling, but I did read the blog’s blurb on the side of the post. I frowned. There was a lot in that little blurb, and while I wanted to agree with it, there was something about it that rubbed me the wrong way.

So I went to her about page and I figured it out. There was a self-righteousness about what she was saying that left me sour. My objection  isn’t necessarily with the woman who is writing the blog, nor the decisions that she has made for her life and the way that she has chosen to raise her daughters. My objection is the idea of  her decisions as a “revolution” of thinking. That there is “revolution” in fully surrendering all of yourself for the sake of raising your children. There is something that is actually very old in the notion of fully surrendering the self in order to raise children. While she is certainly garnering a lot of attention, and writes beautifully written, albeit a bit long, super reflective posts about very conveniently profound “every day” conversations that she has with her daughters, I felt myself frowning as I read. Her profound reflections and statements ended up feeling superficial to me. And yes, I’m wondering out loud if she’s more trying to write a book than she is about being a better mom and making other moms better, too.

These ideas about rethinking the way we parent, about starting with a profound life-changing reversal of our thinking and behavior, these “journeys” that some of us have been undergoing and bring others along on, all wrap up into what we think “motherhood” is. Is motherhood a lifestyle? Is motherhood an identity? Is motherhood exclusive to all other identities? Are there degrees to this identity shift or is dichotomous: You either are or you aren’t? Have we, as a society, given too much power to the idea of “motherhood” or have we, perhaps, given too much power to a certain kind of motherhood? (or maybe a certain subset of mothers?)  This website makes it seem as though being at home, dedicating a daily 24-hours to your children, yet retaining some of your earlier goals, aspirations, passions and connections is not good enough. We must, somehow, release even those things. Give up the e-mails and the committees, the playdates and the lessons, the social connections to community that enrich both parent and children. That these things are “distractions” in the course of childhood and motherhood. “Less is more”, is being preached. Listen more, drive less. E-mail less, sing and dance more. In other words, surrender. Surrender all that you are for the sake of a profoundly happy child.

I question this idea. I’m mortified by the idea. While I do believe that motherhood, especially full time motherhood, comes with a set of frustrations that can be handled in right ways and wrong ways, and that we have become an over-booked suburban society in some cases,  I don’t think that being connected to this computer or taking on leadership roles in my community somehow diminishes my time with my sons. Indeed, I worry about what I am teaching my sons by being so fully engaged in every waking moment of their day. I don’t want them to simply see me (and by extension, women) as only available for their immediate comforts and well-being. I don’t want my little boys to turn into young men who think that “woman” equates to “cooking, cleaning, and sex.” There are a lot of young men who think that way in the world. I don’t think that stay at home mothers to little boys are the reason why young men are sometimes pigs. I’m saying that I do not want to raise my boys to think that way. I can’t let the guilt that I sometimes feel after I’ve said “no” for the umpteenth time to get in the way of the larger picture: I’m trying to raise intellectual, reflective, compassionate, independent, curious and happy young gentlemen of color. That’s the mission, that’s the goal, that’s what gets me up in the morning. There are many paths to get to this goal, but the one that I’ve chosen at the moment, I think, is the right one for us. 

I had an evolving and complex identity before I became a mother. Even before studying to be a teacher, I had a passion for integrated communities and the relationships between race, class and gender. I wanted to create programs designed to bring students in segregated communities into integrated spaces and dialogues. I studied the history of our country, the thinking of feminists, the consequences and intersections of poverty, race, class, gender, and politics. I learned to teach and someone was fool enough to let me teach early American history to a classroom full of impressionable 8th graders for 4 years. I made connections with people who are doing so many profound things in the fields that I’m interested in, and I keep in touch with them and converse with them on the landscape of education in our country. That’s just part of my identity. Nevermind the writing that I’m pursuing, my passion for faith, my passion for community building, for government and politics. The fact that I look at a new recipe every day and I’m becoming more of a baker with each passing day (I’m about to go from home cook to amateur chef up in here. You betta watch out!). I was a dynamic human being before I became a “mother.” Scratch that. I had many intersecting and profoundly built identities before I added “motherhood” to the mix. Indeed, my “motherhood” identity has enhanced some aspects of my personhood while diminishing (positively and negatively) some of the others. I am a dynamic human being.

And I should be a dynamic human being as a mother. I think that some women who choose to sit down and write about motherhood forsake the other aspects of their personhood in their blogging. It is incredibly unhelpful to the greater narrative and dialogue about motherhood, womanhood, and women’s place in American society when there are women out there who write about motherhood as if it is the only identity left after you procreate. It does feel that way from time to time, as it is a part of life that is certainly consuming, but it is  not our only definition. It cannot be our only definition. If we choose to make motherhood the largest, most profound and indeed, the only identity of adult women who decide to include children in their lives, then we choose to degrade the importance and larger life contexts of the before and after in a woman’s life. A woman is a significant and profound person before she chooses (or doesn’t choose, but that’s a different discussion) to become a mother. A woman is a significant and profound person after children leave her home. 

Because, as much as we want to deny it, motherhood ends.

No, you never stop being a mother. But children grow. Their needs change. They become independent and they leave. That really is the point of all of our efforts. The literal fruit of our many labors. Eventually, children leave. And if a woman chooses to wholly lay down her life, her identity, her passions and aspirations for the fullness of childhood in order to give their child the most profound experience possible, she is going to wake up after so many years and feel really lost.

My boys know that I love them. They know when I’m frustrated just as much as they know when I’m cuddling with them. They know when I’m looking at my cellphone just as much as when they see me preparing their dinner. They know it when I’m scrubbing the bathroom and can’t play just as much as when I’ve got them both in my lap and I’m reading them a book. They know it when I choose to write an e-mail to a friend just as much as when we take a special field trip to the Public Garden. I cannot and refuse to feel guilty for being a woman and being a mother. I know that my sons have a rich life, filled with every love and need that they may have. Along the way, they are getting a lot of wants, too. They don’t live in want of a more devoted mother. When my sons are in their 20s or 30s, I know that they may look back and say “sometimes, mom was distracted by her computer.” I hope that they will then remember the trips to the park, of the favorite book that I read just right, or dancing in the rain, or getting muddy on a rainy day. I can do that and still be hands-on and plugged in.

I get it: This time goes quickly. These seconds with our children are precious. I understand that more than most. I understand that being home with my children is a privilege. That’s why I’m spending less time worrying about saying the right thing or not yelling too much or all of the other things that we all think “scars” our children. I don’t have time to worry about that because I don’t know when this amazing ride is going to end. If you want to aspire to something, some ideal goal, may I suggest a thought? I try every day to aspire to be the best model of womanhood I can be for my sons. How can I make sure that I embody the best of what represents womanhood every day? I will admit to my mistakes when I make them. I’ll be goofy and funny and happy whenever I can. I’ll show my emotions when it is necessary, and let a tear fall when the situation calls. I’ll be alluring and yet fearsome. I’ll be productive and  profound. I’ll be intelligent and inquisitive. I’ll be warm and combative. I’ll be human

Because I’m more than the sum of my parts, or what my parts brought into the world.

and I’m better when I’m hands on and plugged in.

And my revolution will not be televised, because my revolution has to start within me and of me.

Articles referenced (links) :

Faking Picture Perfect (such a great blog!)

Hands Free Mama (the blog that I’m critiquing)

137 Replies to “Identity, Motherhood, and Why My Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

  1. Can you move to Utah and be the rational friend I need?! I love this post!! We often get so consumed with motherhood we forget that there is way more to us than just that!!
    So so many good thoughts here.

    1. Friendship knows no miles or boundaries. I can be your rational friend all day every day!

      And thank you for nominating for Freshly Pressed! They chose me!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!!! My first Freshly Pressed!!!! All because of you. I’m so freaking crazy pumped!!!

  2. Oh, well, this is just beautiful! Thank you for the insightful post. I’ve been working on a series in my own blogging life called “My Bi-Vocational Life” about mothers just like you (and me and a lot of other people, I think). And thank you for the great blog rec, too. You are both just GREAT PEOPLE!

    1. Thanks for dropping by and reading my little post! I’m intrigued by the idea of your blog, and I can’t wait to head over and start reading! Best of luck with your crazy awesome idea. I feel like we should choose to empower women to be whoever they want to be, however they want to be it! 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Super Sar and commented:
    It seems the Bi-Vocational Mom community is bigger than I’d ever imagined and even coming to the forefront by being “Freshly Pressed.” I am so encouraged when I come across another articulate, beautiful, HONEST mom who chooses to be more than that by accepting the fullness of her identity in her every day life.

  4. Great post!!!
    One thing though: motherhood never ends. It continues and ‘grandmotherhood’ will eventually be added to it. Not necessarily but probably. Expectations will shift. And rise. And if we do not make sure that we reserve time for ourselves, pursue our interests and set goals for us other than the happy faces at the end of yet another family dinner that took hours to prepare, we will end up frustrated and sad.
    Oh and yes, children do leave. But they do tend to come back. And not just to ask how we are 😉 .

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and reading. And thanks for the reminder: I know that Motherhood doesn’t truly end. I even recognize that it remains a very active part of life, well after children leave (or don’t!!). I just think that we moms in these early years, “in the trenches” as I sometimes describe it, sometimes lose sight of the forest for the trees.

      I hope that you’ll stop by and say hello again soon!

  5. Well, I’m not sure that anyone would think their children will grow up to be happy adults if they neglect their social lives. And don’t children always take on some degree of their parents’ set examples? I must say, after breezing through your article (single motherdom leaves little time for in depth reading ;)), that I am very inclined to agree with you.

    1. Thank you for taking a small moment in your busy day yo breeze through my blog! I appreciate it!

      I agree with you: Parenting is about setting examples, and I think that we can set good examples of being social and yet being dedicated. If we don’t show our children that we are well rounded, dynamic human beings, then they may not aspire to do the same.

  6. My mom is only identified by “Mom” to me, and my brother. To the rest of the world she’s known by her first name, Pat (don’t call her Patricia unless you want a black eye). I agree this laser-like focus on motherhood is leading people over the edge of sanity, and producing spoiled-rotten egomaniacs (and not just the kids). This push to identify as mothers first and foremost is regressing women back to the fifties faster than a toddler can get into a drawer of sharp objects.

    Talking about your kids does not make you just a uterus that bakes anymore than talking about your car makes you a race car driver, or talking about work makes you the owner of the company; so women, keep giving us your tips and tricks to make life easier. But don’t act like motherhood eclipses all other hoods. It’s just a part of the human life cycle – glorious to be sure, but not all-encompassing (although it probably feels like it some days). And it’s never a free-pass for queue-jumping.

    Great piece. Thanks for getting this out there. And no, you are definitely not alone in your thinking.

    1. Thanks so, so much for stopping by and reading my post! Thank you for your comment, too! Isn’t it odd that blogging is supposed to be liberating and connecting, and yet, I feel like mommy blogging can feel very much like an echo chamber and a bubble.

      I don’t think that all parents and mothers behave this way. I just think that is dangerous that the most prominent blogs out there are the ones that seem to be the most conservative about the concept and identity of motherhood. We have to expand the definition if we seek to be supportive of women in our global society. I’m so grateful that there are other people out there who agree with me!

      I hope that you’ll check in often and say hello!

    2. Great article. When I read that one sentence about motherhood ending I felt a sudden sense of dread as if I were about to be diagnosed with terminal cancer. I wonder if it’s that knowledge that causes so many mothers to be overly involved in their children’s lives.

      1. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. 🙂

        I hope that you don’t feel dread when thinking about the end of “active” or “24 hour” motherhood–think of it in the way a senior thinks about graduation: It’s a culmination. A moment of great pride. We do all of this hard work and then we send our children out into the world. My sons are my solutions to all of the world’s problems. They can’t solve those problems unless they leave me. They can’t leave me if I have them constantly shackled to me!

        I hope that you’ll think of that change in life not as an ending, but as a beginning. A beginning of their lives as the adults and contributors that you’ve dreamed of them becoming. The beginning of your return to whatever trajectory you were on before children became your larger priority…

  7. Thoughtful post. The important thing, no matter what either the mother or the father decide to do, is that the children know that if there is a crisis, they are the top priority. They need to know that they will be the number one concern if they have an urgent need. Parents can do this if they work, of if they are at home. But I don’t think it’s healthy for children to believe that they can shove all of their parents’ interests aside on your average day. How can children grow up to be well-rounded people if they don’t have well-rounded parents? My husband and I chose to have a parent home with the kids. It happened to be me. I cherish the time I had with my kids. They got to watch me write, volunteer with several different community groups, and spend time with friends, while I was doing that.
    Finally, I think parenthood (never mind motherhood – fatherhood, too) ends if a parent ends up being the one needing care instead of the other way around, but not before then, really. Our children are always our children, they will always be my top priority in a crisis.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Arlene, and thank you for taking the time to comment. I totally agree with you: Children need to feel secure in knowing that they are the top priority in times of crisis. I think that this can be communicated in a way that makes them secure in their personhood, validated in their needs, but also doesn’t smoother them in our own insanity. We can give our children love, attention, affection, and priority–and we can do it in a way that doesn’t diminish who we are as adults. At least, that is what I’m striving to do.

      I hope that you’ll come back and say hello. Thanks for contributing to the conversation!

  8. As someone on the brink of motherhood, I very much appreciated this discussion. When she is grown, one of the descriptions I would like my daughter to think of in relation to me, her mother, besides nurturing, supportive, loving, is “interesting and self-fulfilled.” If I “surrender” my own identity (or pretend to, as I’m not sure this is even possible) I will likely become in the best case boring, and in the worst case, resentful. Not good. I wish my own mother had attended to her own interests and needs more when I was growing up . . .

    1. I completely agree Lisa! I too felt so saddened growing up to watch my mother stop growing in her interests, career, friendships, etc. Not in the sense of “ditching” me (she did enough of that just raising my dad…) but in the sense of modeling and showing me that she was her own, self-possessed, happy person (which she was not). As a feminist, I literally had to break away in order to formulate my views and orchestrate my life differently. I am grateful for other sisters on the journey! 🙂 – Cassandra

      1. Thanks for visiting, Cassandra. I feel the same way–we have to be the best examples of well-rounded people as we can. I’m grateful to know that there are other women out there who are feeling the same way I am! Thank you for taking the time to post!

        Please visit again! I’m so grateful for the discussion!

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa, and congratulations! I think that your reflection and thoughts will help you succeed in your goals. I think that they are also important ones, ESPECIALLY for our daughters: We have to teach our little girls that motherhood is PART of our lives and PART of our narratives, but not ALL of them.

      Best of luck to you as you start your journey. I hope that you’ll stop by often to continue to talk about these things!

  9. Our children become what they know. I certainly would not want my daughters to think that raising them limited what my life has been, nor do I want them to think that children of their own will limit what theirs can be. Balance is hard, but it’s hard for everyone, doing whatever they do, not just for parents- I think it’s important as hell that my kids know they are a bonus to my life, a gift in many ways, but that they also know there is more to their mom’s life than being a mom. I want them to see that life can be an adventure whether they are parents or not. That it is up to them to make the life that feels right for them, whatever the circumstances. I hear what you are saying, and I agree 100%.

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post and for your awesome reply. I agree with your agreement! We can do this and still be US. We can do this and still be the best people we can be. I’m glad that there are other people out there who agree with me. Sometimes, reading other mom blogs, I feel alone!

      I hope you’ll come back often to continue the discussion!

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and reading my little post. I appreciate you taking the time to say hello. I’m sad that there are so many people who are looking for more multidimensional discussion on motherhood. More mothers need to fill the need!

      I hope that you’ll stop by often and continue the discussion!

  10. Thank you for providing a different view of motherhood. In the Albanian community I’ve observed as with my own mother that there is too much nurturing involved in raising children. Usually the young boys are more nurtured which in my opinion leaves them with a lack of appreciation for woman and not prepared to be self reliant.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading my little blog today. I agree with you: There is a fine line between nurturing and smothering. I admit that I don’t know exactly where that line is. I think that every mother needs to make a choice, but I think that mothers need to deeply consider when it is time to lean in and when it is time to pull back. I really wrote this article because I don’t think that some of the other mom bloggers out there do enough to present all of the sides of motherhood. We have to do more to be truthful about what this is and what it is about.

      I hope that you’ll choose to visit my blog again. I’m so grateful for the discussion!

  11. As a stay at home Mom of a toddling little boy I strive to do it all. I love your post it spoke volumes to me on so many levels. I look forward to reading more but for now the little guy is starting to stir from his nap.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by during your busy day. 🙂 That you would choose to spend this precious little time on my post really means a lot.

      I’m glad, too, that my post struck a cord. The beauty is that we can all make a choice. I just want to make sure that all of the details are out there.

      I hope that you’ll stop by again. I love being able to discuss these things!

  12. I have this grand idea that because I have done almost every configuration of mothering you could do save for single mothering (not yet, at least) that I can offer a very fair opinion. I have been a WAHM, a SAHM, a full time working mom, part-time working mom, mom with a nanny, mom with kid in daycare, mom with dad taking care of kids. All in 10.5 years! The one constant throughout it all for me — the single piece of advice I can and will give — be mindful. Be aware of what you are choosing. Be aware of which type of parent you are being and why. Be present to this time in your life and theirs, and give both your kids and yourself what you need right now. And always be open to change… (and being wrong.)

    1. Thank you so much for this, Jen. I am awed by your experience and I’m grateful that you chose to share it! I try to be a present and aware parent, I try to watch my tone and my activities. I know that some days I do things spectacularly, and that at other times, spectacularly wrong. I’m grateful that children are forgiving, that they give us the opportunity to make mistakes and correct them. I look forward to being able to share my trials with my sons some day. I think that men, too, have to learn about the multiple aspects of parenthood.

      I hope that you’ll come back often to share. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with you!

  13. Love this. And Jen’s advice to “be mindful.” Putting that in my back pocket. I think you’ve begun a wonderful discussion here. And now I’m going to read everything you’ve ever written. Well done, you!

    1. Thanks so much, Britt. I just stopped by your blog and I’m kinda like “where have you been all my life?” Can’t wait to delve further into your blog! Thank you for dropping in!

        1. That’s freaking awesome. 🙂

          And you should know that the Hub has grown on me…slightly… in these 8 years that we’ve lived here. Though that last winter made me rethink all of my life choices. Of course, I’ll go back to loathing come football season, but during these summer months, Boston is kinda an ok town…

  14. You are right, you’re more than the sum of your many parts. We all are. Speaking for myself, I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a wife, a writer, a mother and a grandmother. It’s those experiences that make me what I am. Same for you. Being a mother does not define who you are rather it’s another notch in your CV. It’s your job, however, to be the best mother that you can be whatever it takes, in the same way that you were probably the best teacher that you could be and will be again. Children have the right to expect no less of their parents. PS I’m fond of saying that being a parent is like belonging to the mafia, you never get to resign from it.

    1. Thanks for reading my post, Mary. I totally agree with you: You can never resign from this job. I feel like if I can retain a large chunk of myself and keep myself interested in the wider world, I won’t WANT to! 🙂 (Though, when my youngest was getting me up 4 times a night at one point in time, there was a temptation to consider…)

      I hope that you’ll be back to continue the discussion soon!

      1. You can’t ever lose that large chunk of yourself, it’s part of who you are at this instant and your boys are benefitting from it. But do begin preparing now for the day they leave home. That’s advice coming from hindsight rather than experience. 🙂

  15. What a great post! There really is much criticism for each and every parenting style, it seems its the only job almost anyone can do, without prior qualifications, yet everyone else says how it should be done! Like you said, you are an individual person and your kids need to see who you are for what you are. I love my son more than anything, but I too have my own life and aspirations (I recently wrote a blog entry called ‘the umbilical cord, to cut or not to cut basically talking a little about the dangers of creating mummy’s boys). I’m gong to have a look at the two blogs you’ve posted links to. Keep writing, don’t worry about defining yourself as a mummy blogger or not, just do it :):)

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lissyann! And thank you, too, for stopping by and reading my post! I, too, worry about the “Mama’s boy” aspect of raising my sons, mostly because I am very concerned about their independence and functionality when they leave home. I feel like manhood is a complex and dynamic thing that I won’t be able to fully grasp and teach on my own, but at least I can make sure that my sons can cook, clean up after themselves, do their own laundry, and stand tall in the world as independent entities. I feel like we can find a way to nurture our children, love them unconditionally, give them everything they need (and maybe even a few things that they want) without totally taking away their natural inclination to stand on their own two feet.

      And I’ll try to keep writing. I don’t even know what to do with myself now that I’ve been Freshly Pressed! It’s like, where do I go from here??? What cool thing could I POSSIBLY write about now!?!?!

      Please come back to my blog soon! I’m grateful for the discussion!

  16. I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m a stay-at-home mom raising two boys and a girl, and although I love them dearly, I need my own thing. And they need to not expect to be waited on hand and foot. They need the space to hatch their own plans, have their secrets and dream their own dreams. I agree with the values you are trying to instill in your boys. I try to teach my children through my example, that although I may be at home, I am doing interesting things with my life with and apart from them. I’m teaching a class, writing stories, volunteering, participating and an important member of my community. And a mom, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

    1. After writing this post, I wondered if I would feel the same way if I had daughters instead of sons. The more I thought about it, the more that I decided that there would probably be even MORE urgency on my part to have a life independent of my children. I feel like you and I are setting good examples when we choose to put our hearts and minds into other projects. How else will children learn what passion looks like? What service looks like?

      I love your blog. So cool! Can’t wait to really explore it more!!!

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and respond to it. I hope you’ll be back soon!

      1. I agree — it’s even more important for daughters, because they are modeling themselves on us, and will take our examples to heart. I don’t want my daughter to be folding some man’s socks and hauling all the laundry for 5 people up and down to the basement for most of her life. I teach my kids that everybody helps, the work gets done, we don’t live in squalor and then we go play. I’ll be back. I like you fine!

  17. I love what you’re saying here. Being at the beck and call of your children all the time and depriving yourself of who you are does not serve them well. I always believed that my role as a parent was to raise independent human beings and model what you wanted them to learn from you. Congratulations for being freshly pressed. I look forward to following your blog from now on.

    1. Thanks so much, Lynn, for stopping by and reading! I’m grateful for your follow and for your thoughts!
      I don’t know what happened, but somewhere along the way, we lost the nuance of nurturing and turned it into something darker. I think that some of it comes from our own fears–of the world that we see around us, of the inadequacies that we see in ourselves–but whatever happened, someone decided that the only way to mother is through unabashed and unrelenting servitude. I don’t think it’s every one (indeed, I think it is a small minority) but I was finally sick of seeing only THAT side portrayed over these internets. I’m grateful that you agree with me!

  18. Great, honest post. I don’t know any mothers who don’t benefit from a little time away from their children. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love them or enjoy being around them, but that we love ourselves, too!
    Also, I think we’re doing such a disservice to children in today’s society by doing everything for them. If they are to grow into productive members of society, they need to learn how to do things on their own, including how to entertain themselves and make themselves happy.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Thanks so much! Being Freshly Pressed is so overwhelming! I’m so grateful that you and so many others have stopped by to read my little post!

      And I totally agree with you: Somewhere we forgot that children are capable of doing magnificent things. Without us. Because they need to and because they WANT to! I just feel like we need to have more moms out there who are putting out that image of motherhood. It isn’t fair that the only narrative of motherhood seems to come from the most stringent among us!

      I do hope that you’ll come back to visit my blog in the future! I really enjoy the discussion!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, and thank you for stopping by and reading my post! I’m glad that I’ve found more people who think the way that I do–very heartening!

      I hope you’ll stop by again soon! I’m so grateful to discuss these things with other people!

  19. Hi, loved reading your thoughts. Made me feel a bit crappy though!(not a bad thing!) I’m starting out again, trying to work out who I am…back to being a full time Mommy and have moved continents. Thought I’d make it as a writer…asked for what to write about…a friend asked me to write about ‘motherhood and how it changes us.’ (she’s a new mom) I feel like i sold out. Thanks for bringing me back! I’ll be following…please check out my sell out of a post and feel free to be honest (that would be refreshing!) http://frangipaniblossom.wordpress.com/ called second thoughts. Your stuff is seriously what i needed this morning. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. While I’m sad that I made you feel bad, I hope that I was able to give you a boost in some way or form. You can never sell-out as a mother. You can only make choices. Most of them, thankfully, are reversible if they happen to be mistakes. It’s a journey no matter what.

      I’m excited about stopping by your blog later and I’m sure that I’ll enjoy reading your narrative. Thank you for sharing the link!

      I hope that you’ll come back often. I’m so excited to be able to discuss motherhood with you!

      1. Thanks for taking the time to have a look…Like i said, it’s not a bad thing to reflect sometimes…motherhood and identity are big issues, throw in race and it’s a whole other ball game 🙂 Thanks again….xx

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I’ll look forward to visiting your blog and joining your community! I hope that you’ll be back to continue to contribute to mine!

    1. Thank you for stopping by and taking a moment to comment. I’m so grateful that you found something in this little post.

      I hope that you’ll stop back again to continue the discussion!

  20. Honestly, I’m a bit shocked to hear that there are actually people in the modern world who believe in the idea of a mother existing only for her children. What does that teach your kids? That they are the only important thing in your life? That you will be right by their side to fix every problem they ever come across? That doesn’t sound like a healthy, happy kid to me. That sounds like a kid who will ever be permanently dependent, useless to themselves, and unable to fiction without mommy nearby.

    For the past year my family has been a bit unconventional. I, the mother, travel across the country for work. I am physically 3500 km away from home for two weeks out of every four. My husband is (at least temporarily) a stay-at-home-dad. At this time I have my career, and he has the household and his hobbies. Neither of us is 100% dedicate to our 2-1/2 year old. And you know what? I think she’s better for it. She’s healthy and happy, fun and affectionate. She’s smart and independant. She is fully potty trained, cleans up her messes, sings the alphabet perfectly, and counts to 20. She is well rounded. And I do believe that at least a part of that well-roundedness is that we DON’T dedicate ourselves exclusively to her. We play with her, we teach her, and then we LEAVE HER BE so she can learn to rely on herself for some things.

    It’s my personal belief (and experience) that parents who dedicate themselves fully create kids who are spoiled and entitled, who don’t bother to learn and grow because they figure out pretty quickly that mommy (or daddy) will do everything for them anyway. So what do we end up with? Kids who can’t function on their own, and parents who just spent a huge chunk of their life purposely making themselves miserable to achieve this unfunctioning child. What kind of a revolution is that?

    1. You and your family sound amazing, Tracey! I feel like you are like many families—we’re all just trying to get along the best we can. Indeed, I’m sure that you are raising a wonderful and independent (and whip smart!) daughter. I feel like we can be both hands on AND hands-off at the same time…and those moments when we allow our children to navigate on their own are actually far more powerful than when we micromanage every little part of their day. I agree with you–we run the risk of creating self-important and entitled children when we choose to micromanage all of their choices and validate all of their wants (instead of their needs).

      I hope that you’ll come back and continue to discuss motherhood with me. I’m grateful for your perspective and discussion (though I realize that you are one busy lady)!

      1. Honestly I was quite excited to stumble across your post! I know so few parents (to say nothing of mothers specifically) who seem to share my viewpoints and often I find myself biting my tongue so hard that it bleeds! lol

        I’ll definitely be stopping by your blog again, believe me. It’s very refreshing to here some honest, intelligent views on motherhood and family life. 🙂

  21. A very well written post. I think we all have difficulty knowing how to handll the hats we have to wear. The idea of having to feel guilty for my son *seeing* or *knowing* about my other hats…is beyond the pale. I completely agree with you that I want my son to see women as multi-dimensional humans with aspirations and goals, some met, some still pending.

    Can’t wait to read more from you.

    1. Thank you so, so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I’m so glad that I’m not alone out here–reading other mom blogs was really starting to make me wonder! I’m out here trying to keep all of my hats on my head (and maybe a little of my hair, too!) right along with you. I’m so glad that you’ve decided to contribute my community and I look forward to continuing to discuss with you!

  22. Beautifully written post. And while I don’t know anything about being a mother (I’m 17 and therefore haven’t even reached the ‘leaving’ stage), it sounds to me like you’re doing a pretty good job of it. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Miriam, and congratulations on your youth and your prospects. 17 is a hard age (“what do you mean I can’t really do anything?”) but it is also a fun age (“yeah, but when I CAN do everything, I’m going to paint the world red!”) While I hope that you’ll consider adding motherhood to your endless horizon of prospective awesomeness, I hope that it is a little ways off. There is so very much ahead of you and all of it is incredibly exciting!

      I don’t always write about motherhood specifically, so I hope that you’ll pop by my blog again soon and say hello! As a former teacher, I’m always happy to discuss with the youth of the world. I think that young people today are absolutely amazing!

      1. Thanks for such an encouraging reply! A lot of people are ready to dismiss teenagers (or patronise us), but seriously, the number of teen writers alone I know proves that teens actually CAN do anything 😀

    1. Thanks so much for popping by, and I am making “Simpatico” the word of the day. 🙂

      “Mommy blogger” can be such a funky label.It’s not that I don’t LIKE writing about motherhood, and indeed, it lends a lot to write about. I just don’t want to be a mommy blogger who only puts out a particular SIDE of motherhood. So maybe I want to be a Reflective “Mommy Blogger” or something. I’ll come up with a label….

      Anyway, I do hope that you will consider coming back to my blog often. I’m really grateful for the discussion and perspectives!

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging me, Regina!! I’m pumped to visit your blog in a bit and I hope that you’ll consider returning to mine in the future!

  23. Wonderfully written and well spoken. My sentiments exactly, but you express it far better than I ever could. I’m new to this blogging journey and still finding my voice, yours is an inspiration. Thank you SO much for this, as I really needed it this morning.

    1. Welcome to the blogging world and congratulations on starting your writing journey. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and continuing the discussion! I’m sure that you will find your voice and that it will be strong and pure. I’ll look forward to watching you develop it!

      I hope that you’ll stop by often to say hello. I’m grateful for all of the discussions and perspectives on motherhood, womanhood and life in general!

  24. I loved this post! It’s the first of its kind I’ve read. I also don’t know what kind of blogger I want to be. I do write parenting posts at times, and yet I get self-conscious when I engage in too much navel-gazing about this whole motherhood gig. The blog you are critiquing is indeed beautifully written, and yet those types of blogs can be guilt-inducing to me.

    I started my own blog as a way of trying to reconnect with myself. Just wrote a post about cracking open a book for the first time in several years, and claiming that time as my own. I think it is GOOD for my children to see me lose myself in a book, or in a complicated recipe, or some other activity that I love. I’ll be happier if I get to keep some little part of me for me, and that will make my family happier too. I think your critique is dead-on. Thank you for writing it.

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad that you found me and I’m glad that this post resonated with you! Congrats, also, on starting your own blogging journey! Retaining our passions uplifts our spirits. We need to do this in order to be great people (and thus, great parents).

      I hope that you’ll stop by the blog early and often! I love having these discussions!!

  25. I think the reason many stay at home mothers struggle with depression is because the identity of “mother” becomes all consuming. I must admit that I too have struggled with the sudden identity shift from my professional life to becoming a stay at home mom. It took me a couple of years to realize that my frustration was from being labeled as “mother” and nothing else, I felt frustrated that that is how I was seen in the world and that I too had adopted that perception of myself. I started writing and it has been liberating for me to uncover my thoughts and feelings regarding motherhood and life that I had not been fully processing or expressing for a couple of years. Anyway, I wrote a blog post http://denvermommy.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/32-flavors/ similar to yours when I finally was able to embrace the understanding that I am “32 Flavors”, more than any one thing or one interest. It was so obvious and yet so liberating at the same time. I’m glad I found your blog on freshly pressed, Kudos to you!

    1. I totally agree with you, and that is exactly why I wrote this post. I think that it is ok for us to look at the realities of motherhood with a reflective and truthful lens. I also think that some of us mommy bloggers need to take up the responsibility of presenting ALL of the sides of motherhood: the frustrations, the glory, the quite moments of beauty, the loud moments of terror and everything else in between. I’m looking forward to reading your blog post and the rest of your blog soon!

      Thank you for stopping by. I hope that you’ll return often to continue the discussion!

  26. Thank you for sharing a much needed perspective on what it means to be a mother and womanhood…I too am a mother of a young boy… And it has been a journey like no other, and will continue to be so, I know…though, as you said, it will end – he will leave – thanks for the reminder to be me – both woman before becoming mama, mama and now woman+mama+ all that I’ve been and hope to be!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my little post and responding to it. Little boys are so precious. I’m so grateful for my little guys! It is a journey that doesn’t END per se, it’s more of a journey that TRANSITIONS. They start to need us less, then suddenly they leave us for the great adventures of life. That should be the goal. That should be ok.

      I hope to visit your blog soon and say hello. I hope that you’ll choose to visit mine again in the future! I’m grateful for the discussion!

  27. I really enjoyed your article. Its seems to me that this long-standing multi-generational injury in so many women that ‘we aren’t truly women until we procreate’ gets out.of.control. in the blogosphere at times. Thank-you for writing so eloquently about how damaging this can be not only for women but for the children we raise – both boys and girls.

    As a woman, whose mother has told me that I can never really relate to her since I have not had children, I know how damaging it can be to personal worth and self-esteem when we imbibe the idea (from our own mothers) that a true & worthy woman = becoming mother.

    I enjoyed your writing and I’ll be back to hear more about life from your perspective. I’ve enjoyed checking out some of your past posts.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and thank you for your comments. I just wanted to present an alternative to what I think is a super stringent notion of motherhood. I’m sorry that there are people in your life who would choose to judge you for not being a mother. I hope that you’ll look beyond the hurtful words and see what is (I hope) some sort of loving encouragement (maybe?). We women deserve to be more than the sum of our parts. We’ve been fighting this battle since the conception of “man” and “woman” and it would seem that now our worst enemies in the battle for identity are our own sisters.

      I’m so grateful that you stopped by, and I’m so excited that you will choose to come back! I hope that I continue to write posts that are worthy of your time.

  28. I don’t know what to say other than, “yes.” Yes, you are right in so many ways. Yes, this was something that needed to be said and I feel so good having read it. Thank you for articulating so beautifully something that I feel constantly and am always trying to get out. I do happen to think of myself as a mommy blogger (although I try to embrace it) and I think that I fall into the trap (the rut) of thinking of myself as ONLY a mother at times. I try to remember that I am a dynamic person and do things that embrace that. More than anything though I agree with this “That’s why I’m spending less time worrying about saying the right thing or not yelling too much or all of the other things that we all think “scars” our children. I don’t have time to worry about that because I don’t know when this amazing ride is going to end.”

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Danielle! I’m grateful that my little post resonated with you!! We all need reminders that we’re people sometimes: Motherhood really can feel all consuming. Especially in the younger years–my days are just FULL of baby-ness…it just seems to go on and on without end. I wrote these words just as much for me as I did for everyone else out there. 🙂

      I’m grateful that you took the time to read my post and respond to it. I hope that you’ll choose to come back and visit again in the future! I’m grateful for all of the comments and perspectives!

  29. This is great! Thank you! I am a mother of two small children. I stay at home with them, but I also write (just recently started my own blog and writing a novel along with a few freelancing projects here and there) and I am going back to school this fall. I’ve been going back and forth between being excited about pursuing my interests outside of motherhood and wondering if I need to back off in order to “fully” dedicate myself to my kiddos, even though I am fairly confident that my mothering and relationship with them won’t suffer from my pursuits. This was an encouraging post.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Brianna! Congratulations on starting your writing journal. I’m working on a novel of my own (I do NaNoWriMo every year. You should totally check them out!!) I think that you’ll make the best decision for you and your family–While I personally don’t think that mothering and personal pursuits need to be mutually exclusive, I do believe that the decisions that we make should be honored as the best for us and our families. You will always make the right decision. I wish you the best!

      I hope that you’ll come back to my blog sometime in the future. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to discuss with you!

      1. I have friends from my novelist group that do NaNo. I will probably do that eventually, but for now, I think I’ve got enough going on. I do want to pursue writing and my college degree, but I need to gradually add things to my schedule so my family doesn’t suffer. I’m planning to do NaNo the first year both kids are in school. It sounds pretty awesome.

  30. Congratulations on being freshly pressed! So glad I found you. I read the yelling article too after it appeared a few times on my Facebook page and I had a nagging sense of superficiality too (although the point was good to make) thanks for articulating the nag so well.

    1. Thank you Bronwyn! I think that Hands Free Mama’s points are valid and I have a lot of respect for the way that she is choosing to parent her children–I just think that we need to have more voices out there that present a balanced approach to motherhood. Her “about” page, to me, does feel a bit pushy. I think that’s what really bothered me. I’m glad, though, that she has an audience of people who are thinking and working on changing the way they parent based on her thoughts.

      I hope that you’ll stop by again soon! I enjoy these conversations!

  31. I love your post. I’m not a mother yet, but more and more of my friends are becoming moms. Some think the way the lady on Hands Free does. And that worries me. “Because I’m more than the sum of my parts, or what my parts brought into the world.” So true. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post and taking the time to comment! I think that Hands Free Mama has a lot of valid points, and that her view on parenting is a valid one. I just wanted to present a more balanced view on motherhood. Because I worry about the presentation that some blogs give of motherhood to women like you, who happen not to be mothers. I think that someone should take the responsibility to tell you that motherhood doesn’t have to be your only identity once you choose to become one. I honor the choices and views that your friends have. I also honor your identity as a woman who doesn’t currently have children. All of the choices that you currently make that make you feel good about yourself, urge you to strive to be ever better, and help you look at yourself in the mirror and smile do NOT go away when you choose to bring a baby into your life. I hope you’ll remember that. 🙂

      I hope that you’ll choose to return to my blog sometime in the future. I’m grateful for the opportunity to discuss these issues with you!

  32. I loved this post! It made my heart warm and took a weight off my shoulders. I was beginning to think that this ‘ Motherhood as a competition’ ideology was only infiltrating Australian households. I am so sick of feeling inadequate because I still want to retain a piece of me. I was never ‘ mothers group’ material and still feel as though your ranking as a mum is decided by how many activities you can cram into a week (swimming lessons, playgroup, music etc)
    As a fellow teacher, I know how hard we work for our careers. Teaching isn’t a job that you are glad to let go of when you have your own children. I think some women use ‘child rearing’ as a welcome escape from a life time of working in jobs that they loathe…hence why they are so happy to stay at home. I love what you wrote ‘ Motherhood ends’ So true, and I would like to think that the day it does…that I still have ‘myself’ to fall back on.

    1. I’m so glad that you found my blog and that my post resonated with you. Motherhood as competition is something that has taken to new heights here in America. Especially among us middle class/upper middle class suburban moms, this shit gets REAL…really fast! I would love to know more about your experiences as a teacher–I had the opportunity to correspond with some education leaders in Australia while I was working. I really like your approaches to teaching and learning.

      I hope that you’ll choose to come back to my blog soon. I’m really enjoying the discussions that have come from this post!

      1. Thanks for following,I appreciate the time you have taken to reply to everyone… Hard work! Whilst I haven’t taught in the US I have heard there are significant differences in our philosophies…. Still… There is no right or wrong way to teach… Out of a class of children… You will always reach some souls and not others… Am looking forward to following your posts 🙂

  33. LOVED this! And I too love Faking Picture Perfect (though I found you through freshly pressed!).

    I think that we tend to focus on either/or too much rather than on the little word AND. I am fully mother AND fully a beautiful inspired individual who loves a gazillion things AND I’m a devoted wife. Maybe it’s like the mystery of the trinity (how can something really 3 AND 1 at the same time? huh? Or the idea that Jesus was fully God AND fully man? how does that work?) I think that’s the same with motherhood.

    At any rate, those’re my two cents and I’ll be following your bog because you’re awesome. That’s all.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, and I think that your analogy is very insightful and yet quite ironic: Men can be “man” and “father” without any problem while Woman cannot be “woman” and “mother” at the same time. Just as Jesus can’t be “God” and “Man” at the same time to many people. Yet we know that Jesus was God, as a man, who walked upon this Earth. Had he, too, been a father, I wonder what his identity would have been?

      Mind blown. 🙂

      Anyway, I’m so glad that you found me. Thank you for reading my little post and taking the time to comment. I hope that you’ll take the time to come back again!

  34. We are dynamic human beings, I love that. Motherhood is part of us but not everything we are. I have so many thoughts swirling in my head after reading this that it’s hard to be coherent. I don’t think it’s healthy to be absorbed in every part of your kid’s life, eventually they do grow up and then where are you. On the other hand, being free to enjoy the moments of motherhood is a great practice in being present. There needs to be a balance in what we do as women. To immerse yourself so fully in mothering is detrimental not only to self, but to what we’ve worked for as feminists: to be seen as more than a mom. Thanks for writing this post, looking forward to reading some more.

    1. I totally agree with you on all counts! Balance is so important and that is why I write this: I wanted there to be a balance in commentary, too. We have a responsibility to show all sides. This is just too important to be one-sided in our presentation of motherhood, especially stay-at-home motherhood.

      I’m so grateful that you took the time to read my post and respond to it. I hope that you’ll choose to come by again soon!

  35. Agreed! There is so much more to being a mom than just being a mom. You need to show your child that you are many parts of a whole. How am I supposed to teach my daughters to become strong, independent women if I’m not one myself? How am I supposed to teach them the work/home balance if I’m not balancing those things? How am I supposed to show them that they can do anything if I give up everything to become solely their parent.

    I became a mom young and it’s been an experience complete with stumbling blocks and the realization that I’m always going to want to be the mega busy working professional parent. Maybe it’s wrong; but it’s the way I know and my girls seem to be thriving with me as the mega busy working professional mom, so I guess it works. This was a great post and I’m glad I found it.

    1. Mary, thank you so much for stopping by. Your questions are so important and I feel like more bloggy mommies should be focusing on them. I agree–I think that your girls will grow a fondness and respect for the great example that you are setting for them.

      Thank you for stopping by. I hope that you’ll return to my blog in the future!

  36. Thank God I’m not the only one who thinks this way. The idea that being a mother means you have to be a martyr is just plain ridiculous. I think that balance is key to showing your children that you can be a good mother AND a strong woman who has passions of her own, independent of the family. Furthermore, these martyr-mothers are the same women who then sour their relationship with their children down the road because they feel the kids don’t “appreciate” what was given up on their behalf. Some moms just need to stop taking themselves so seriously!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and responding. I agree with you–I think that martyrdom is a thing of the past. We’ve got to do better for ourselves and for our children, giving ourselves without giving OF ourselves. We’re all better for it when we retain our self-worth and intrinsic motivators!

      I’m so glad that you found my little post. I hope that you’ll choose to return to my blog in the future!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. It has been hard to find like-minded women out there. I’m glad that this post has brought more of them to my little corner of the internet.

      I hope that you’ll stop by again!

  37. Wow, what a great, in-depth post to so many of the same issues I’ve been thinking about lately! I feel like I need to reread it a few more times : ) My favorite part was when you said, “I was a dynamic human being before becoming a mother…” We need to remember that we’re still the same people we were before we had babies–“before we added motherhood to the mix.” Thanks for that, need to remind myself of that every now and then when I’m feeling that I’m not enough.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my little post. I think that it can be easy for both Moms and Dads to forget the “human” part of their lives after parenthood. Children take SO MUCH energy–more than I could possibly have imagined. I totally understand how we get lost in the mix sometimes. Every once in a while, it’s nice to pull up, look around and remember. I’m glad that I could write something that resonated with you.

      I hope that you’ll choose to visit my blog again soon!

  38. Well written and beautifully said. I don’t care if you’re a mommy blogger or not. Your blog about being a Mommy spoke loud and clear. There is enough “mom guilt” out there without other mom’s laying it on us. Work or don’t work. Spank or don’t spank. Yell or don’t yell. Eat and give all organic, or eat and give the best that you can afford that week. It’s exhausting! Thank you for your take on all things mommy mentioned here.

    1. Thank you so much for reading my little posts and for your comments. 🙂 I agree with you–Mom guilt is everywhere and it is SO terribly heavy. I can’t believe just how much guilt is heaped onto a woman in her lifetime. It’s staggering to think about. We need more voices out trying to stop the madness. We do so much damage to ourselves and our gender community when we war against each other this way.

      I hope you’ll be back to my little blog soon. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by!

  39. Wow! This is exactly what I wanted to read.
    I had stopped blogging for a while (since I was expecting) and now my son is 7 months so wanted to start again. I usually write about food on my blog, after becoming a mum I want to write about motherhood too. Being a new mum comes with a lot a joy, new responsibilities and a bit a anxiety or so called mother guilt. Reading your post, was refreshing and just what I wanted. I totally agree with you that motherhood is not about “Sacrifising”, its totally about being good role models for your children. Your post is an eye opener to alot of women. Despite the caste and creed in this world, the women face same problems/challenges. This article is to a woman to woman which helps them to become stronger and independent. Kudos!

    1. Super huge congratulations to you on the birth of your son! I hope that your last 7 months have been full of joy! Thank you for reading my little post–I’m glad that something in it has rung true for you. I am so surprised by the reaction that I’ve received for it. I’m glad that there are so many women out there who agree with me.

      I hope that you’ll help spread the message of my post in your own blog. I really want other women who feel the same way to echo their own hopes, dreams, desires, goals in their own blogs so that other women, who maybe don’t have children, don’t get the wrong impression about motherhood. There should be joy, and joy sometimes comes with work and sacrifice, but not martyrdom.

      I hope you’ll pop by again in the future!

  40. Really liked what you said here. I am not a parent, partly because I worry I would lose my entire self in my children. It’s frightening and there’s a lot of pressure put on women to set themselves aside. I almost want to cry when I hear a mom go “well, I used to do that, but then I had kids.” I am completely aware of what a job it is, so … I am still on the fence.
    That said, while I agree with you completely, I also read the previous post. I was yelled at A LOT as a kid and I do believe it’s caused some anxiety. I admire the blogger’s exercise in self control and willingness to admit a flaw. I am a yeller too and would like to improve this aspect of myself. That said, I didn’t read the About Us so maybe I missed the self-righteous tone.

    1. Thanks for reading and I so appreciate your comments. I, too, admire Hands Free for her thoughts about not yelling. It wasn’t really that post in particular that bothered me, it was the idea behind the rest of her blog. That she’s chosen to give up the smart phone and the outside activities and ambitions in her life to fully dedicate that time and energy to motherhood, and further, that her idea is somehow “revolutionary.” I wanted to give a counter balance to her argument. I think that we, as mommy bloggers, have present more truths and narratives about motherhood, and a truth for me is that my ambition makes me who I am. My ambition got me to motherhood, why would I forsake it now?

      Anyway, I’ll not pressure you into motherhood, but I will say that motherhood is and should be what YOU make it. It is the greatest adventure on earth and how you choose to venture it should be up to you and your partner (or not, if you choose to go it alone).

      I hope that you’ll consider stopping by again soon!

      1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. I completely understand what you’re getting at. I don’t think sacrificing everything for your children is always good for them either. But not a parent, so I have no idea. Great advice! I will definitely stop by, just to live vicariously for awhile.

  41. I have felt this way FOREVER! Thank you for artfully expressing it. My mother once told me “I didn’t lose my personality when I became your mother, I am still a real person and I have feeling’s too!!!” Now I am a mother, and I can fully understand what my mother was telling me all those years ago. I am so thankful she raised me the way she did. She was caring, attentive, and loving. She was also a real human being and she had good days and bad days and some days she was too busy to do certain things, (even if I begged, kicked and screamed.) She was a funny woman who was full of life and positive encouragements, but she could also scare the crap out of you when you were in trouble. I am so happy my mother didn’t give up on herself to become my mother. I am so grateful that she was a real person who showed real feelings, because she taught me how to be the woman and mother I am today.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and commenting. I’m so grateful! Your mother sounds like a woman that we should all be emulating. The moms who are graceful, giving, loving and yet fearsome are always that moms that I deeply admire. I think that’s awesome. I’m sure that her lessons resonate with you more by the day. Motherhood is really special that way…

      I hope that you’ll choose to read my blog again in the future!

  42. Thank you for writing this. It was a pleasure to read and in many ways articulated how I feel but have been struggling to express. I think for many years I did surrender but with my elder son now seven I am realizing that I am an “evolving and complex identity” and that acknowledging and celebrating that makes me a better mother and a better person. I think your thoughts also apply beyond motherhood. I am sure there are many people who have found themselves trying to perfect one area of their lives without paying attention to all the other aspects that make them who they are.

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