My life forever changed when you were born. I’ll never forget when you, my dear oldest, were born. You were three weeks early and stubborn. I hadn’t wanted a C-section, but after more than 24 hours of hard labor, it was decided that was the safest option. I’ll never forget being in recovery alone, just wanting to know how big you were and if you were okay. Already my concern was for you, not me.
Then you, my wild child second born. I was so scared to add a second child to the family. I was also scared of losing you as I had just had a miscarriage. Then the pregnancy was high risk and you came five weeks early. An ambulance ride, another C-section, and a week in the NICU is how you entered this world. And again, my concern was for you, not me.
Both of you mean so much to me. I can’t imagine my life without either of you. I would do an awful lot for you. I love you both with my whole heart. But you aren’t my whole world. I wouldn’t “do anything” for you.
There is more to me than just your mom.
You see, I love being your mom. So much. Being your mom is a huge part of my identity, but it isn’t my entire identity. I’m also a writer who would love to go from only blogging to having a published book someday. I’m also an independent woman who love coffee, reading, movies, and a good double chocolate milkshake. I’m a woman who loves to go out and have fun with her friends sometimes. I’m a woman who has her own interests beyond children.
Sure, I love seeing you grow, learn, and develop your own interests and personalities. It makes me so proud of you and proud to be your mom. You will forever be my “sweet girl” and my “baby love.” You will forever be part of my identity. Someday you will be grown and gone. Whether it’s just you or you have a family of your own, you won’t be my little girls anymore. So, there needs to be more to me than “mom.” I need to have my own accomplishments to be proud of, too. Someday you will see that having a strong, independent mom who took care of you but also took care of herself was good for you, too.
Which brings me to why I wouldn’t do anything and everything for you. You see, you are both growing up. You are going to need to know how to do the basic things like cooking and cleaning. I know you hate doing chores, my fun-loving older child. You want to do anything but make your bed and put away your laundry. What you don’t know is that someday, you’ll be responsible for all of the household chores in your own home. You are learning skills beyond what you can see. It isn’t your ol’ mom being mean, it’s your mom teaching you important life skills. Yes, laundry and cleaning are important life skills.
Oh, little independent toddler. I know you hate that Mama makes you sit down in chairs and won’t let you beat up on your big sister. You are learning more than just safety. You’re learning that the world does not revolve around you. This is an important lesson that will serve you well in high school, college, and beyond. Your future teachers and husband will thank me for this.
If I do everything for you, my dear girls, you’ll never learn how to do things for yourselves. You will not learn how to be responsible, productive adults someday. I love you too much to not teach you some hard lessons and some valuable (but boring) life skills.
One day, I hope you realize that allowing myself time to be just me and feeding the other parts of my identity beyond mom has been one of the best things I could ever do for you. The example I give you is as important a lesson as what I actually teach you. I hope one day you understand that I “forced” you to learn how to cook, take care of the pets, and clean up after yourself so that one day, you wouldn’t need me. So that one day you would be strong, independent women who know how to take care of themselves and their families.
Your independent, loving Mama who wants you to be strong and independent someday