i am a mama. this is a huge part of who i am. while i view myself in various ways – woman, wife, friend, daughter, sister – and while i have plenty of passions – art, writing, hiking, yoga – each morning i rise from the previous night’s slumber as mama. it’s a natural way of being for me…it is my daily work. and, side by side with my husband, parenting brings me great joy.
the other day i journaled about what it means to be a mama. i generated long lists of words that sprang to mind as i considered the word mama…a list of verbs, a list of nouns, a list of adjectives. i considered working through the eight parts of speech, but stopped with these three.
i was most struck by the dualism of my notations. i hug and kiss daily…i receive hugs and kisses daily. i make rules and set boundaries…i encourage freedom and exploration. i do laundry…i create laundry that needs doing. i play…i set tasks. i speak of truths to my children…i listen to the truths of my children. i lead…i also follow.
life is full of dualism. this brings balance, no? while i might wish for happiness every day…would i really know the true expanse of happiness if i did not also know the depths of sadness? one necessarily informs the other.
so while i teach my children various things, i also allow space for them to teach me. and while i mediate a fair share of arguments, i also attempt to allow them to navigate the waters of conflict. and while being a mama means protecting my children, it also means allowing for and encouraging growth, self-knowledge, and passion so that one day they will be strong and healthy adults…out in the world beyond the enfolding walls of our present home, beyond my enfolding arms…
i am a mama. it will always inform my life. some of the nouns and verbs on my list may change as the pages of the calendar turn. i will not homeschool my children for the rest of their lives, i will not do their laundry for the rest of their lives. i will release those items from my list. but some items will remain…giver of love, confidante, supporter…and, yes, protector.
sending a little love your way, m