MamaBlogger365 – On Becoming a Mother (A Letter to My Daughter) By Kate Fineske, NAMC
To My Daughter:
When I was a child I went swimming in the summer, I hid under my covers reading books until the crack of dawn, and my favorite subject was always art or music. I went to school, I passed notes, and my afternoons were often filled with practices for whatever particular sport I was involved in.
When I was little I had silly arguments with my sisters, the occasional power struggles with my parents, and days where I wanted to rebel against everyone’s expectations…
In hindsight, when I was young there was so much I had to learn.
Yet, I naively often thought I knew it all.
And then… years later…
You were born.
And gradually all that I thought was either black and white, became a shade of gray.
Your birth, becoming a mother, opened my eyes to so much, yet also opened a big book of questions – questions that I expected answers to, but soon discovered were often without any clear solutions.
And questions whose fragile answers (if found!) could and would change at the drop of a pin.
Like a good student, I studied parenthood with high hopes to someday feel as though I had all the answers. And like a good student, I was beginning to be disappointed in my failure to “know it all” as your mom.
Until one day.
The one day that I finally realized something that had – until then – remained hidden from me.
I know we don’t always share the same likes and dislikes. I understand that we won’t always see eye to eye.
But this revelation, this piece of advice I want to give you (in my opinion) is universal and applies to all women who decide to take on the hard job of motherhood.
One day, if you too become a mother, I want you to remember these six words:
You. are. not. the. only. one.
Six very powerful words. Six words that when used together, their meaning can make you feel more whole. Six words that empowered me and I hope some day will empower you (my oldest and only daughter).
You are not the only one.
- Not the only one who may have felt the isolation of being home alone, with only your baby in the dead of winter.
- Not the only one who may have had a bad day and said something to your kids that in retrospect wasn’t too “motherly.”
- Not the only one who might have felt the overwhelming desire to get out of your house and away from your kids for just. ONE. evening… but who might also feel the guilt of not being around to say good night.
So I realize, for now, you may think you know it all (like I did in my youth).
You too go swimming in the summer, like to read books, love art and music. You go off to school,
probably pass notes, have soccer practice, argue with your younger siblings, have power struggles with your dad and I, want to rebel…
AND naively think many times that you know it all.
(maybe we have more in common than I thought?)
But one day, if you decide to experience motherhood, I am willing to bet, that you will be hit hard with the same knowledge as I: that all you thought was true – may very well NOT be.
If you experience motherhood, you may begin to realize that there are way more shades of gray then instances of pure black and white.
And if you do realize this, I can only hope that like me, you find your own Mothers’ Center, waiting for you… patiently. To listen, and again make you understand this truth – that you are not the only one.
On the day you were born, began the day of my re-birth.
From childhood … to motherhood.
And Motherhood humbles you, yet also makes you strong.
And this strength comes in knowing… that you don’t know it all…
and that among all your new found ignorance…
You are not alone.
Leave a Comment. What important lessons did motherhood and the support of other mothers teach you? What advice would you wish to pass down to your child if they become a parent?
This post has been contributed on behalf of The National Association of Mothers Centers, whose mission is to create a community of women, who through mutual support and public advocacy, explore, enrich and value the maternal experience.
The post author, Kate Fineske, currently is a staff member with the National Association of Mothers’ Centers where she maintains and provides the content to the Mothers Central Blog – the Parenting Blog of the NAMC. She is also responsible for helping the NAMC work to build stronger connections and support with the local Mothers’ Center Chapters nationally.
Kate is a longtime member of the National Association of Mothers’ Centers through her local chapter of the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in Ohio. She and her husband are busy raising 3 children ages 1-8. Kate’s professional background is as a graphic designer in the creative and education industry. Since 2005, she has been using her professional skills by actively volunteering with the Mothers’ Center of Greater Toledo in various leadership positions. She also blogs personally at http://www.onthegomomma.net.