parenthood | necessary moments with modine


i'm not going to preface this post by saying how beautiful motherhood is or how much it's opened my heart to a world of feelings that i've never known possible before marlo was born. if i did butter you up and say those things, i'd be bullshitting the hell out of you. y'all know me better than that, i'd assume.

do i love my kid? oh my god, yes. i'd kill for her. and i do mean that quite literally, not figuratively. has motherhood changed me? in some ways, a little. in other ways, a lot. it's healed a lot of wounds but, also, opened others that i thought had been put behind me. but i'm pretty much the same person now as i was before. well, i drink less liquor and go to bed far earlier. but i'm still a woman with her own thoughts that have nothing to do with her kid or husband. do i enjoy being a mother? sure. well, i do most days, at least. but am i madly in love with motherhood? i think that the verdict may still be out.

here is what i will tell you that many mothers won't because they feel that they shouldn't: the reward of parenting isn't always so obvious. it isn't immediate and it wouldn't even qualify as delayed; rather, it's more like postponed indefinitely. for me, the reward of parenting is somewhere unexpected, way down the road when you realize that you raised a really decent human being. you helped cultivate an addition to the world's society who is empathetic, curious, courteous, and gentle with their words, actions, and thoughts, but big in their impact. i believe that the reward of parenting comes when you really want to be around your adult child, not because you claim them as yours, but because they are the kind of person who makes you feel good and makes you want to be better.

instead, what i have are fleeting and rare moments; moments when i'm shown that i'm doing something unbelievably right in raising this little girl. as long as i make genuine effort to be aware of them in between the exhaustion and the frustration and the i-have-no-fucking-clue-what-i'm-doing doubt, i'm given a moment to see who my baby girl is becoming, who she is supposed to be, and i'm proud, of not only her, but of myself.

early this morning, before breakfast had been prepared, i was given one of those moments. she was quiet and out of our sight and since she's never quiet for more than mere seconds, joe and i walked in and saw her sitting on her nursery floor, reading a book to herself about baby wearing around the world (thanks, sarah!!). she was sitting on the hardwoods, half-naked, wearing her moccasins, with some spectacular bed head. she simply sat there for a while, pointing to every child on each page. with every point, she'd say, "beh-bé" in that throaty voice of hers in that odd southern-french dialect she has going on. (it's weird, we know. but so is she. therefore, we love, love, love it.)

it was one of those moments. it was simple and beautiful. it was marlo being our sweet modine. it was necessary and it was cherished.

and i'll never forget it. ever.


Lucy said...

So, we don't know each other, but I'm commenting on your life, so this is a bit weird. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated this honest account of parenting. I'm not a parent (yet) but I have many friends and family members who are, and very rarely do we (non parents) ever get the real idea of what it's like. I KNOW it's not rainbows and butterflies most of the time (ever?) and it's nice to finally hear someone be honest about it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You're not alone. There are days (and it's frequent - like right now as Liam spits juice in my face) when I wonder what I'm doing wrong because being a parent just doesn't feel right. Much of it is because there are few people in my life who are honest about parenthood and what really happens when we bring those little beasts into the world. So thanks for keeping it real.
I think I drink more liquor and go to bed later since becoming a parent, so I'd say you're winning on that front.

tina bumblebee said...

I feel so similarly. I feel like I wrote this post myself. Every word.


© the things i want to remember All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger