Motherhood: Some Possible Unspoken Truths

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Motherhood. There are so many things associated with that one single word. You take on the role of nurturing and loving your child(ren), helping them grow in mind, body, and spirit, and guide them through life with as much hands on or hands off assistance as you like. You are there to kiss boo-boos, help mend broken hearts, and wipe away tears from either defeat or success. And all of this is done without any question. No expectations of thank yous. You do it because you're their mother.

But what about all the times your heart is broken? When you need tears wiped away? Many times as a result of something your child(ren) has done. Maybe it's a low report card. A trip to the principal's office. Watching them head off on their first date. Watching them walk down the aisle. Or, maybe it's something they did or said to you. Little things that seemed to innocent to them, but cut like a knife to you. Things that we maybe aren't supposed to talk about as mothers. Share among one another in case they too have experienced this kind of hurt and didn't have anyone to talk about it with. That's where this post comes in.

I'm a mother to an only child. A boy. And I adore him. He's five, in Kindergarten, smart, imaginative, funny, whiny at times, argumentative at times, and super sweet.....when he wants to be! Like I said, I adore him. After three years of being a "work outside the home" mama, I am now a "stay at home" mama and we spend all of our time together, when he's not in school. We work, we play, we explore, we cuddle, and we argue. Pretty much the same things all mama's do with their children. But, there are times when he makes me cry. Makes me want to scream. Hurts my feelings. All things he has no idea he's done.

He adores his dada and that's a good thing. He mimics him. Shadows him. Loves him. Dada can do no wrong. Yes, Joel will discipline him. Raise his voice to him. Scold him. As a father should. But, he plays with him. Takes adventures with him. Loves him. As a father should. And McKinley thrives on it. And, when dada is around, mama doesn't exist. That's where the hurt feelings come from on most days. As childish as it sounds, there are times where I simply feel left out. Third wheel. Unwanted. Cue the tears.

As mothers, I feel like this subject is taboo. Who actually talks about their children causing them tears? Hurting their feelings? It comes with the territory, right? It's just part of motherhood. But why can't we talk about it? Why shouldn't we talk about it? It's good to get these kinds of things off your chest, right? Or, is it that I'm simply the only mother who feels like this? That could very well be. But since I'm on the subject, I'm going to talk about it.

When the three of us our out, it's already an odd number, right? The best thing about a family of three is that all hands are being held. McKinley is always in the middle so there's a mama and a dada hand to hold. Perfection! Three people fit on the tram ride at the zoo. Three fit on the Safari ride. Three fit perfectly on the swings at the farmstead during a picnic lunch. Heaven! When we head to Worlds of Fun, like we did this past weekend, that's when there is an odd man out and that odd man out is usually me. Dada is always the first choice for any two person ride, leaving me to ride on the rides that make dada sick. Rarely am I picked first for any ride, and usually allowed to ride the second time around, only after Joel has convinced McKinley that he should let mama ride. Not the best scenario, huh? Feeling like the third wheel. Leaving me with hurt feelings. 

Maybe it's a only child thing for me. I'm used to being the center of attention. Never having to vie for my own parents individual attention. And, I don't really ever remember a time where I had to pick a parent. And maybe that's because we never really went to places that didn't allow for all three of us. Places that only allowed for two people, although my mom would never be able to ride any ride for fear of throwing up. We took trips to the beach, went camping, drove to Maine and Colorado, and flew to San Francisco. Places that required hiking, exploring, visiting friends, driving in the car, and simply hanging out. Nothing that had only two seats, could only be done in pairs, or expected me to choice who to do them with. Maybe that's something we as a family of three need to explore. Do more family style things that allow all three of us to be involved. Looks like this mama needs to do a little research!

And as you're reading this, how many mothers out there can relate to any of this? Can anyone relate? Am I alone in my thoughts? My tears? My hurt feelings? Has there ever been a time that your child did or said something that just cut to the bone? Have you ever felt like you couldn't talk about it? Felt childish talking about it? 

And I have a feeling the hurt feelings don't stop here. First, it's the choosing of one parent over the other. Then it's the not holding your hand in public, which I thrive on right now. Then it's not hugging/kissing you goodbye. Crush my soul now! And then there's the day he picks another woman over me. Just go ahead and stick a dagger in my heart! I can't with this and may just bawl at any minute. 

Let's pull this back around to my tiny, baby boy who's only five. My five year old who still asks me to take him to bed. Who still cuddles with me from time to time. Who asks me to read to him daily. Who curls his little hand in mine every time we walk anywhere together. And all of those precious things confirm that he does love me. That he might adore me too. And, that he chooses me. Just not when dada walks through the door......

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