i began as the mother of babes.

and i mean that, for i was born then, too.
all of the me that had begun,
the wonderings and wanderings of my first three decades,
melted away in the faces of those new babies
and i was born anew.

i spent the next decade tending.
and tending, i did well. it was my thing, apparently.

i grew into it, and i loved every minute.
you know that to be a gentle lie.
there were quite a few minutes of awful. of anguish, even.
and so much comedy, uncertainty, dishevelment.
you know.

but now…
some of my babes are almost grown.
do not kid yourself about how quickly that happens.
do not kid yourself and do not miss a second wishing those
wonderfully intense, delicious early years away.

for it happens even as you are watching them.
they grow.

and as much as you need to lose yourself to care for those newborn babes, those littles-
when they have grown to your size almost-when their feet may be as big!-
it is then that you need to find yourself again.
you need to grow.

for then, as they come upon ten; at twelve maybe…fourteen certainly;
then you must find yourself in order to know how to guide them. you must be the you
that you want to be,
so that the you they are growing up against and alongside, is the you that you want them to know.

for here’s the thing:

in the end,
what you want for them most of all is to leave you.
to leave your house to become who they will be.
and when they are gone
who do you want to be left with?

my wish is that my own answer
is the me that was born out of mothering them.
and the man that’s loved me all along the way.


Originally posted on Soule Mama in 2011 HERE

Photo by Tara Thayer

2 Responses

  • I love this. Bypasses the common misconception of ‘losing’ oneself in motherhood. Life as a mother is full of extremities… A tipping scale. So I have always thought that ‘having it all’ (the job, the home presence, the social life) was the most torturous media induced frenzy women tend to put themselves in. The advice I have for women now is enjoy your role as a mother, however you do it, and have faith that you’ll come back around to yourself better than before because you were a mother, but each day with your child is a gift that only comes around once.

  • This is so beautiful, and true. On the cusp of 11, my daughter and I are growing alongside each other again. Not nearly as gracefully as I hoped, but this brings me back to the right idea.
    thank you.


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