I’m raising two boys. I won’t have the mother-daughter relationship that so many women wish for, and I’m okay with that. I’m a boy mom through and through, and my life doesn’t feel less fulfilled because I don’t have a daughter.
But there will be some things that just won’t resonate with my sons, such as the experience of being a mother. No matter how child-rearing responsibilities are shared between parents, the bonds and experiences are different for a mother and father. My sons, if they choose to have children, will have a different experience as a parent than I did. I’m a mom, and no matter how people want to slice it, motherhood is different from fatherhood. And I hope I remember that.
If I’m fortunate to someday be blessed to hear sweet little voices call me “Grandma,” I hope I remember what it was like as a mom of young children.
I hope I remember how little I slept and how unbelievably exhausted I was. ALL. THE. TIME. I will be gracious and kind to a freshly minted mother and expect nothing more from her than to take care of herself.
When I see young kids running circles around their mom and bouncing off the walls, instead of saying, “Wow, you have your hands full!” I’ll ask, “How can I help?”
Instead of asking why my family has to leave so soon from a visit, I will understand what it’s like to have a cranky, tired baby and thank everyone for making time to visit, no matter how brief.
Instead of expecting new parents to entertain me while I fawn over the new baby, I will shoo them off for a nap, or throw in a load of laundry.
Instead of responding to their parenting guidelines with the roll of my eyes or a flippant “Back in the day…,” I will listen and oblige, knowing times change and we all want what’s best for our kids.
I hope I remember how overwhelming it was to be a mom to littles, and how it seemed that there was never enough time in the day or hands to get everything done. I hope to remember that motherhood is challenging and far from perfect, or what you will expect it to be. I hope to one day pour my daughter-in-law a hot cup of coffee and tell her my story and how she doesn’t need to be everything to everyone.