Mothering: [muhth-er-ing] verb.
- The protective behavior of a mother towards her child(ren).
I am fully and wholeheartedly convinced that Mothering is the hardest thing that I will ever have to do in my lifetime.
As this Thanksgiving has just come and gone, I can't help but think of the Thanksgiving we spent together a couple of years ago as a family of six. Of course things were not perfect then, but at least we were together. I don't know which is better; together amid chaos and fighting, or separate with quiet and stillness and void. I don't know if I'll ever know the answer to that question.
The only thing I know today is that I love ALL of my kids and I want them to be good people. Mothering 2 separate age groups is a huge challenge. My older boys may see my love and my protection for them as an invasion of space and privacy. Their feelings may have blinded them to the important things in life and have allowed them to let go of a relationship with their Mom. I hope to God this is just a temporary blindness. I have to believe that it's temporary and that one day they will realize that they will ALWAYS need their mom. Whether they are 15 or 51, they need their Mom.
We didn't get to be together this Thanksgiving and thinking about it makes my heart and chest heavy with a commotion of feelings. I don't know when we will be together again, the six of us. I am struggling with so many thoughts and emotions and questions. When you're Mothering, you only want to do what's best for your children. Admittedly, I have no idea what that is. I don't know what's best for them and I don't know what's best for our family as a whole.
See, I'm not just Mothering 2, I'm Mothering 4. I need to do what is best for all 4 of them, but the answers are contradicting. There is no perfect solution or situation. I am afraid I am failing at this Mothering thing and I am scared of the future my older children may face. I know that I didn't do everything right, but I also know that I made sure I was teaching them and preparing them for adulthood. That's what you do when you're Mothering. You protect and prepare your kids from and for the world.
One thing is for certain, Mothering never goes away. Even when your kids aren't living in your house under your roof. I feel like I am this body in the middle of a huge sea of water on a stormy day, barely keeping my head above the waves, while grasping for my children and trying to keep their heads above too. But tied around their ankles are heavy weights made of iron that are dragging them away from me below the water. To save them I must sink.
Mothering is a never ending body of water and I could really use some floaties right about now.