This Mother's Day weekend I'm contemplating the good, the bad, and the ugly of Choice Motherhood.
Let's start with the ugly.
Some of us are struggling to become mothers. Some of us are struggling after motherhood. Financially, emotionally, physically, logistically. This is not an easy journey.
I know Choice Moms with strong salaries and secure jobs, who are extremely stressed trying to juggle work obligations while also being the mother they want to be. And, of course, I know Choice Moms who have lost jobs, whose bank accounts are strained, who are dealing with taxing health issues.
This is not an easy job to do alone. Keep reading the "support network" keyword posts on ChoiceMoms.org for insight. Every one of us have bad days....months....stages.
In my case, I am now working two jobs (since this Choice Moms work doesn't pay much!). Maintaining balance has been difficult, even as I rejoice in being able to pay off credit card bills.
As my kids curled up with me in bed to watch a Netflix movie together -- and I thought about the fact that I haven't talked to my own parents for two weeks -- I realized with a major thud how short-lived this parenting chapter is for our kids.
Every day they march step by step to the door. Gad, my nearly 12-year-old daughter has even now told me my penchant for Aerosmith and Blind Melon and Jimi Hendrix is "old" and she takes her musical influences from friends, not Mom. Ahh. Shook me to the core. Her Hip Rock 'n Roll Mom is already Square!
Think about how eager we were to spread our wings at age 18. How birthday celebrations stopped being something we shared with parents. So many holidays I spent with friends in New York City while my family was in Minnesota.
Because I am the age that I am now, though with much younger children than most of my contemporaries, I see how they are attempting to refashion their lives After Kids. And I remember a friend telling me how sadly my dad reported to him long ago: that after I left for college I never came back home again. (Interestingly, the summer after my daughter was born I DID come home again; spent three months with them while on maternity leave, and we've been closer again now than we were for about 20 years pre-kids.)
And this is where the Good comes in. The yin and yang of Motherhood. However long the struggle. However much the stress. When we focus on becoming and being a parent, we are opening up a doorway that will forever change the arc of our life.
Whether we conceive with IUI or IVF...whether we find a fellow Choice Mom friend to share embryo donation with...whether we adopt, or use a known donor, or a donor egg...this process of becoming Something More Than We Are Alone is to be cherished.
Whether you are currently a Mom, or preparing to be one in the future, take time this Mother's Day to honor yourself. You are on a sacred path.
Happy Mother's Day!