There were many nights, that I lost sleep. I would stay up all night thinking about the mom stories. These realities—the loss of career dreams, the embracing of a new life as a mom, making new important mom friends and evolving with old friends who became moms like me. How we are the same and how we’ve changed. How, when the curtain is pulled back, there are messes everywhere. So we soldier on.
I wrote— a mom’s code!
The code incorporates the importance of laying it bare. Because we need to. It’s cleansing and a relief.
It incorporates the notion that the end doesn’t justify the means when raising children. Because all the ‘means’ added together make up the fabric of my children’s character at the end of the childhood journey.
Moms undermining other moms cuts at this, makes the load heavier. We have too much in common to tear each other apart.
My children didn’t come with warning labels. Open heart surgery, a different learner, one who keeps breaking bones, a non-sleeper, an irascible arguer. My children, as imperfect as they are, have stretched my heart and increased my ability to love and embrace life.
Most of my powerful memories are moments of extreme joy or pain. A lot of the rest is white noise. I remembered one night, when I was lying in my son’s bed trying to get him to go to sleep. He grabbed my face with his hands so I was looking at him, “Mommy I need a tiger!” When I asked him what (in the world) would we do with a tiger, he said, “Name him Ripper and feed him bullies!” From the top bunk, his older brother said through closed eyes, “Unicorns and pink fairies have to go too.” I had been asked about 327 questions that day, fended off wars over a one armed doll, warded off a hunger strike because I served broccoli, and collected all the electronics they wanted to sneak into their beds. My daughter entered the doorway and asked, “Does Winnie the Pooh even know how to read? Does he have to do a reading journal? It’s not fair.” I smiled, thinking there is no place I’d rather be right now.
Sometimes my children say hilarious things, accomplish something remarkable, hug a sibling spontaneously or, believing no one is watching, run with beautiful abandon.
So it’s worth some introspection, for all of us and for them. It’s worth telling the truth. It’s worth considering a mom’s code. Or else, we’re going to have to get a tiger named Ripper to eat the mom bullies or teach Winnie the Pooh to read.
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