It’s impossible to write a story like Dear Kane; what I wish we would have said and not talk about being a mother. This story is about being a mother, and to be honest, she is not a very good one.
Being a mom is beyond hard. Some make it look so simple and they seem to have it all together. I’m sure people have said that about me. I’ve got two children, not by choice. It just seemed that after five miscarriages I should focus on the lives that I had. So I did. We had the most fantastic time being a family. We still do, even though my sons are college students we make it a point to be together as a family.
Is it easy? No. I’ve done things as a mother that I never thought I would. When I took a first aid & medical self help class in college did I ever think I’d use it to set my son’s broken finger? No, I never even thought I’d have children. My siblings were doing a great job repopulating the planet all on their own. I was going to be single and wild and free. I was going to have adventures wherever and whenever I wanted.
Life happens just when you’ve made your plans; graduate police academy, police officer, detective, retire and live as a hermit in the mountains. The perfect future for me, until I met that one human being who would screw it all up.
I’m a wild child but still a bit of a traditionalist, marriage first and babies second. That’s how I was raised and that’s what I believed. So that happened and as wild as I was I became the most content mother ever. It might have been the loss of so many pregnancies, or it could have been the complete spousal support, but whatever it was I was all about raising my boys to become strong kind men just like their father.
What’s the secret? I never said no.
I’m sure you’re thinking this is crazy but there is a catch. It isn’t that our children got everything that they wanted, it was that our children came to understand that there was a reason for everything and that actions had consequences. As an example, if our son asked for a cookie before lunch, I didn’t say no, I said “If you fill your belly with sweets before lunch you won’t be hungry for the chicken I’m making.” That was what we did and Nick would smile and go play with trains or lego until lunch was ready. Was it always that simple? No, but they learned that there was a reason for why they couldn’t have what they wanted when they wanted it. I was a teacher and they were my students, learning to be respectful human beings.
Did they have tantrums? Yes they did. Did I walk away from them in the middle of the grocery store? You bet I did. The lesson always being that you will never get what you want if you can’t earn it and ask for it with kindness.
Our house wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Teaching children to respect boundaries is complex and no mother is always patient. I’ve lost my shit many many times. I’m sure my children would tell you that the four days they could not access their playroom was the longest of their childhoods, it was long for me too. They learned respect and they learned that you have to earn what you have. I learned never to give a punishment that you won't enforce. Children smell weakness like a feral animal smells blood. Four days was a long time but lesson learned all the way around.
There isn’t a thing I regret about being an at home mother. I wish I could lock them all up and keep them here forever because we have had the most fun together. I know parents who are so grateful when summer comes to an end so that they don’t have to entertain their kids. That would never be me. I will always look back with gratitude at the foamy bubble tea parties, the lightsaber duals and the duct tape suits of armor. Playing with my children, making these moments made my boys into kind and loving men.