It was a fairy tale. Prince Charming and a white horse sweeping me off my feet, we would go off to college, get degrees as teachers and buy a house. Then we would have a slew of beautiful children and grow old together stealing light kisses, having romantic dinners planned and spend our golden years under the starlight in Spain.
Then I woke up. I was thirty five years old and a single mother of six kids. There was no Prince Charming; there was no white picket fence or nights coming home to the house smelling like chocolate chip cookies and a man smiling at me with a cheesy apron on.
I came home rushed, calling the older children out to help bring the babies into the house. I unpacked clothes, repacked them for the next morning, reconnected with my older children while I threw together a dinner (not always as healthy as I desired). Talked on the phone while feeding a 9 month old baby and wrangling a 20 month old toddler into her high chair. I fought illness through diaper changes and wiped my tears on cloth diapers while folding laundry at 10pm.
However… I found myself within these moments, I found the mother I was always supposed to be and I have learned more from them than I could have ever learned married.
~When I went to bed at night, I always went in and checked on them all, even now with the oldest three being teens, I make sure they are warm and safe.
~I found my blissful moments wrapped up in a homemade salt bath after all of the kids were asleep.
~I have learned about neurons while searching the web for videos to teach my son about science.
~I know that my oldest daughter has a dimple right under her left eye, just like her 7 year old sister. I watch my youngest daughters fall in love with their 13 year old brother, and know that he’s the one who will protect them all their lives.
~I have a prima donna, a bi-sexual artist, a sports freak, a princess and two little ones who are still gaining their personalities. It just proves, when you raise independent children, they are so colorful.
~My oldest is the age I was when I got pregnant with her, and I know that she will make different choices than me, not better… just different.
~They are respectful, honest and caring children, and when I sit back and watch them, I realize I did an amazing job with every one of them.
~There were so many mistakes to be made, and still more to try and apologize for, however, I know when they raise their own kids, and they will understand everything I did for them.
~It is the small things like, dancing in the first rain storm of the season, racing sticks in the gutter water and stomping in mud puddles that remind me to be a kid with them; they need to have fun, and so do I. We do this every spring.
~I have been told I am the “strongest woman” a “wonderful mother” and a “great friend” However, nothing compares to the words from your teen when she says; “I don’t know why so many kids hate their parents in school. I love you so much.”
Trust your gut, be honest with them (they can handle our weakness), tell them you love them, kiss them and hug them. Show them your tears and your happiness, they will feel like they are allowed to have those emotions as well. We are human… let them know they can be as well.
Love… as a woman, as a mother, as a friend
(See Mommy Letter for more information)