This lesson is on repeat!
Each year as Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey of motherhood and the beautiful lessons it teaches me.
I acknowledge that Mother’s Day can be both joyful and painful for people. Our relationships with our mothers and with our children can be complicated and difficult. Some may be mourning the loss of their mother or longing for a better relationship. Some are mourning the loss of a child. Some are in the difficult journey of wanting to become a mother but are unable. I send love to those who find Mother’s Day a challenging day.
I also feel pulled to share my authentic experiences as a mom right now. One theme in particular keeps emerging on repeat.
The longer I spend in my role as a mother, the clearer it becomes that motherhood is a journey of letting go.
When we first have babies, it’s about letting go of our former selves and our former lives.
It’s about letting go of having our lives in order.
It’s about letting go of the desire to control another being – because they let us know from the very start that we are not in control.
Then when our kids are little, it’s about letting go of the child that we thought we might have – and learning to accept the ones we have.
It’s about letting go of how we wanted them to behave and learning to adapt to how they are.
Then as they grow, it’s about letting go of the versions that they have been so that they can grow into who they’re going to be.
As they become teenagers, it’s about letting go of being the one in charge.
It’s about letting go of being the center of their world.
It’s about letting go of our need for certainty and safety as we let them become more independent.
It’s about letting go of being in the know all the time and letting them have more freedom and more privacy.
It’s about letting go – again and again – of who we think they might be – and allowing them to become who they authentically are on their own.
From the beginning of my struggle with infertility until today, 20 years later, I continue to learn the lesson of letting go.
I know there will be many more layers of letting go. I’m certain I will find each layer challenging in its own way.
Sometimes I catch myself wishing I could go back in time and hold a specific version of my kids. I wish I could hold my infant, hear the giggles of my 2-year old, listen to the voices of my toddlers, cuddle with my 5-year old, read books with my 8-year old and play games with my 10-year old. When I get stuck feeling nostalgic, I remember that the version that they are NOW is no less unique or special. Each age has its own gifts and its own joys – and my task is to stay here in the present with the versions they are now.
I catch myself still wanting to grasp and to hold on, but motherhood continues to guide me differently. My invitation is to be in the present, to accept the beings in front of me, to let go of my expectations and my need to control, and to trust that they are unfolding as they should.
Whoa. What a beautiful, heartbreaking, soul-filling journey.
Over to you. Are you in a season of letting go? In what ways are you being invited to let go? Is it difficult for you too? I’d love to hear about it!
Love and light,