The Truth About Motherhood
Oh sure, in the first days or weeks when the bustle of a busy household gives way to eerie calm, we feel somewhat bereft. But the realization that this amounts to early retirement from one of the toughest jobs on earth hits pretty quickly. As one Boomer put it, "Now the fun begins!"
You will forever be psychologically tethered to your kids.
On the other hand, just because the kids are out of the house doesn’t mean that your stint as a mother is really over. For the rest of your life, you will bolt out of bed when the phone rings in the middle of the night, certain that something has gone wrong with one of your brood. Likewise, you will somehow find a way to help your adult kids financially if they are in need. And you will turn your life upside down if your daughter wants you to travel halfway across the country to help when the baby comes or your son sounds depressed and lonely after his divorce. You will also agree to take in your kids' dogs and cats if your grandchildren turn out to be allergic. Once a mother, always a mother.
You will compare your kids to your friends' kids long past the sandbox years.
At first the competition was at the level of who cut teeth the earliest, or who walked at nine months, or who had the biggest vocabulary for a pre-schooler. It escalated from there to grades and extra-curricular activities and, yes, physical attractiveness. (We said we were going to tell the truth!) But the urge to measure your kids against someone else's gets even more intense as they become adults. You read with chagrin on Facebook that your pal Midge's daughter married a millionaire and is an M.D. in her own right or that Gretchen's twins both have PhDs from Harvard or that Lorraine's son is running for governor. You swallow hard and try not to wonder where you went wrong.
And yet you will love your kids fiercely your whole life long.
The strength of your love isn't dimmed by the difficulties of being a mother and it doesn't lessen as time goes by. This may come as a surprise to Jill and her readers while they struggle through the childrearing phase of their lives. But we know without a doubt that it's true. Happy Mother's Day!