Why Growing Up is Hard as a Mom

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Today my daughter went to my girlfriend’s house to play with her twins and be watched by their nanny. She hadn’t gone in a while due to scheduling conflicts so I was worried she would cry pretty hard this time. I prepped her that I would be leaving and she would reply with ‘bye mommy’ and I said ‘yes, but I always come back to get you, right?’ to which she would sweetly say ‘yes’. I braced myself for today because leaving my crying child, even if it’s just for a few hours, breaks my heart. I know she’s okay, not in any danger and completely safe but it’s still tough.

When I told her it was time for me to go she said ‘bye mommy’ and blew me kisses. She didn’t cry or pitch a fit. She was okay, in fact, she was more than okay! I turned around and walked out so fast because the tears were streaming down my face. As I drove home crying a smile hit my face and I realized with great joy and some sadness that my baby girl is growing up. She’s growing up so fast while at times I feel like I’m standing still (even though the grays in my hair and stiff muscles in my body tell me otherwise!).

I never thought being a mom would actually be so emotional. I didn’t realize the incredible love and joy I would have for this little person. I still feel like I can’t fully put it into words. But what I do know watching her growing up is hard as a mom. I am proud yet fearful, excited yet nervous, happy yet sad and with every joy comes a little sadness as I see how independent and amazing she is becoming. God gave us the beautiful gift of life and we get to watch and help mold our children to become something incredible all the while knowing one day we’ll have to let them go. One day we’ll have to set them free and hope everything we ever taught them sticks.

Every other night I read my daughter ‘On the Night You Were Born’ and try my hardest not to cry. She’s too young to understand these feelings I’m having and I don’t think ever will until she has children of her own. I finally get all the things my mom had told me for so long now that I have a little one (I love you mom!). I have visions of the future and think about my daughter getting married and how at some point during that special time I will read again to her or somehow incorporate ‘On the Night You Were Born’ so that she knows heaven truly ‘blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born’.

I love every moment I get to spend with my baby girl and wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. She is happy, she is safe and she is SO VERY LOVED. Growing up may be hard for me as a mom, but watching her is one of the most incredible gifts I will ever be given.

Why I’m a Damn Good Mom

We_Can_Do_It!.jpgAs a mom, how many times a day do you question what you’re doing? Ten? Fifteen? A million?

I feel like I question everything. I am constantly wondering, worrying and driving myself crazy with concern over my parenting skills. And why wouldn’t I? I’m molding a child that I hope and pray will one day grow up to be a good human being. And it’s hard to be good these days. It really is. 

I mean who can our kids look up to anymore? Miley Cyrus? The Kardashians? Pathetic. No thank you. Well, I guess that leaves us as parents so I pretty much need to have my shit together 24/7, which I don’t. And that’s the thing about being a role model, no one is perfect, however these people we call ‘celebrities’ are so insecure they’re actually vain and completely devoid of being anything real so I’ll gladly step up to the plate. At least I can always teach my child what not to be. Sorry if I sound judgy, it’s just hard for me to take people like that serious.

So back to why I’m a damn good mom. Well, most of the time I feel like I’m not. I don’t know what I’m doing. Heck, I’ve never done this before! There is no manual. There is no barometer or scale to rate me. The only way I’ll know is once my child or God willing, children, are grown up. I’ll know then by the person they turn out to be. So for the next 30 years I get to worry about that!

But seriously, moms don’t give themselves enough credit. We think we aren’t doing enough when we are. We are because we care. We care so much that we would literally do anything for our children and that’s what makes us damn good moms. You read and hear about story after story of child abuse and neglect and just downright bad parenting and it’s a reality check that hey, guess what, you’re an awesome mom! Sadly it shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately that’s how the world works. Do you know that every 10 seconds a child is abused or raped (and that’s only reported incidents)? Think about that. It’s hard to, I know. It disgusts me. Mostly, it makes me cry so I honestly try not to think about it. There are parents in the world who having a dying child and would do anything to save him/her and we have this shit going on in the world.

I was talking to a girlfriend on New Years Eve about being a good parent and how do I know and she said to me, “You know what? When you go first take your child to Kindergarten or Preschool or any sort of school and you see other moms who don’t care, I mean literally do not give a shit about their kids, you know you’re a good mom and you’re doing a damn good job. And that’s sad to say to make such a comparison but it really opens your eyes to how much you do. ” And she wasn’t saying this to boast about what a great mom she is or how other moms aren’t as great, but went to say that the fact I care and worry so much about being a good mom means I am a good one.

I never knew what a tough job this would be. What a selfless, all-giving, all encompassing job I would be taking on, but you know what, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There is nothing in this world that you could offer me to replace my daughter. There is no greater joy. This is it. This honestly is the most joy I’ve ever had because despite all my days of doubt and fear and stress and anxiety, I get this little bundle of joy. I get her. I get to watch her grow and learn and change and become independent and confident and remarkable! I get to do that! You get to do that! I will quote my favorite book I read to my daughter almost every day:

So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for the geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)

Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely… it’s whispering your name again!)

If the moon stays up until morning one day,
or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
it’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…

For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

~Nancy Tillman, On The Night You Were Born

This is what we feel for our children. This is what love is. And this is why you are a damn good mom.