The Mother Load.

November 29th, 2011

“I don’t want to be a mother” she announces quite decisively while standing in the doorway of the laundry room. Yes, she nods to 9 year old self, she seems quite certain.
“Why” I ask, as I shove dirty undies, stinky socks and crusty jeans into the washing machine.
“Because I don’t want to do all those horrible jobs you have to do everyday.”

Yes, she does have a point I admit. Let’s see, there are the obvious horrible jobs, such as cleaning mold from showers, taxiing kids from once side of town to the other, scrubbing unidentifiable patches you hope are mud from the family room carpet.

But let’s not forget the lesser known jobs, such as chasing the runaway toddler through a parking lot leaving your full shopping cart to ram into a passing car. Or trying to fake like you have a clue regarding your 8th graders geometry question. And then there are all the times when you have to eventually say “no” after a million “maybes” just won’t cut it anymore. Or the agonizing wait for that scary temperature to come back down as your child lies limp in your lap. And then there’s the job of having to choose whether or not to run a forgotten homework folder to school -Yes, as any mother will agree, there are plenty of horrible jobs.

So my mind turns to how I must respond to my daughter in this moment Ahhhh, I think to myself, how on earth do I play this one out? I could go in various directions, my mind begins to spin as I feel the weight of my response –this being the crucial life altering conversation it surely is! A loaded answer could mean the difference between me bouncing a grandchild on my knee or having to save another rescue dog.

So I consider my following options:

Option 1. “Oh darling it’s a true pleasure looking after my family! I love being a mother and taking care of each and every one of your needs. I live to serve you.”

Option 2. “Yes, I hate it! Every part of my being wants to scream in rebellion and run to the hills.”

Option 3. “Well maybe your kids will actually clean up after themselves once-in-a-while”

But upon further consideration I decide to choose a fourth option that went something like this:
“Yep, there sure is some horrible stuff in my day – no denying it” Deep breath.
“And yes, I could certainly do with a lot less of it.’
Dramatic pause….
“But after careful consideration I would have to say that when I do eventually clamber my way to the top of it all, the view ‘aint bad!”

She shrugs disbelievingly, eyes her brother’s boxers in my hand, and mumbles something about how the view had better be amazing! I stop what I’m doing and look at my free spirited daughter. In that moment I feel rather happy that I have truthfully navigated my way toward such a beautiful view.

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  1. donna says:

    Wish I’d done as weel when it was my time to answer those comments, but alas, I just said, “We’ll see.”  Both my daughters are very excellent wives and mothers and probably don’t even remember those early commitments to not go there :)

  2. Kelly LaMore says:

    I guess I have never really had to “answer” that question or statement.  My daughter has always wanted to be a wife and mother.  As she has gotten older (22 now) her most recent sentiment on the subject has been one of relief that so many women are waiting to get married and have families until they are in their 30′s and 40′s.  She graduates college this year and is ready to get on with her life/ career choice.  She now says that she wants to get married and have kids, someday.  And that is fine with me.

  3. meg says:

    That’s great Kelly and Donna. At the end of the day I just hope my example of motherhood is positive even when I’m standing knee high in laundry. I guess that as long as our daughters are strong, capable, caring women who are happy with their life’s path, we can all pat ourselves on the back!

  4. donna says:

    Yes Meg, I agree!!!

  5. Libby says:

    Hi Meg
    This is the first time I’ve commented since we met at the CCPC Conference. I enjoy the seeds I brought home, and read you both often. Thanks for all the many postings. About parenting, I certainly agree that including both dark and light in an overall YES is a lovely place to arrive…..again and again. From the perspective of 71, I see it getting easier and better and wondrous.
    Libby

  6. Meg says:

    Thank you so much for writing Libby, appreciate you connecting here. I’m sure 71 years brings all kinds of perspective, looking forward to being able to step back a bit :)

  7. aspen says:

    I have a 7yo who has a beautiful imagination! Her free spirit takes her to places where she’s a mother, a doctor, a teacher, a nurse,  and a variety of other important roles that she perceives to be significant.  My trials as a mother are an open book to a certain degree.  I do my own little role playing.  Therefore, without effort on my part, she has seen how I make mistakes, and witness how I resolve my inner conflicts as a mother.  I’ve shown her that I also have a soul, and that regardless of what route she takes, she will make the right decision when the time comes.  I have not had to face this “talk”  with her, but you can tell by looking into her eyes, she knows innately that no matter whether she becomes any of the roles she plays while enjoying her childhood, she will find a way to make herself happy.  I would love grandchildren, in the “future”, but because I ‘appreciate the children that I “have” raised on my own lap’,  if that were to make her unhappy, I would not want her to think it was mandatory.  the whole purpose of being a free spirit is to allow for self-molding.  I understand that what we say/do affects them tremendously, but no matter what you say, if your child is “free” he/she will be able to come to terms with their own happiness in the end…. : And we should remain happy for them.

  8. Crystal says:

    Great response! I don’t know what I’ll say when that day comes with my kids, but I trust that God and the Angels will guide me to the right response to teach them that it’s truly an honor & blessing to be a mother/father.

  9. Motherhood is certainly not for the faint-hearted. I think sometimes we allow the fear to get in the way more than we need to. I was one of those young women who said for many years I would never want to be a mother. When I was emotionally ready for the challenge, I became a mother of two.

    Parenting is a challenging journey, but it’s also a journey that has transformed me and caused me to mature so much more.
     
    Coach Theresa Froehlich
    http://www.transitionslifecoaching.org
           

  10. Sarah HI says:

    Well, kids or not, we all have to scrub our showers, do our laundry, make food, clean up the kitchen. Granted, all of that was A LOT easier and less of it before I had kids. We tell our daughter that chores are just a part of having a home, wearing clothes, and eating food. She’s not convinced, but she’s only five. 

  11. Virginia Urbach says:

    I’ve been emailing your blogs to my daughter-in-law because she’s at a breaking point in her life. Kids, work, partner, finances all have her at a standstill. I hope I can help her in this way.  Thank you for your blogs.

  12. Margaret says:

    I find that the depth of love I have for my children, and for their children, is like the rock of my life, the substance, the challenge, the whole environment that sends me into the world exploring, learning, expanding, pursuing goals, discovering and always finding hope and renewal. To my children and grand children, Namaste 

  13. Eileen says:

    My daughters (and sons) appreciate and love me being home to serve them.  They know the value of work and that less can mean more.  Nevertheless, two are in college and pursuing degrees and one has her mind set on nursing.  These careers are important and instill in them the mindset to serve others.  While they are young it is important to make sure they know the value of work and serving others…no matter what role one takes on.  Furthermore, the role of a parent who chooses to stay home to be with their kids is one of the most honorable roles a person can live out for entire families and communities…even though it is hard work and there is no fame and fortune.  This was taught to my children while they were young.  If they said they did not want to be a mom, they are free to choose the life that is best for them.  None of them ever said this…but I’m sure there were times they saw my hard work and suffering.  They appreciated it and saw the value in it.  Even though your daughter says this now, you never know what road she will travel down.  I used to be afraid of little kids growing up and now I have five of them.