This I Believe

Katherine - Pasadena, California
Entered on May 13, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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Being a Mother: Reflection on Mother’s Day

Being a mother is one of the most defining aspects of your life. The day they place your baby in your arms, your life is irrevocably changed forever. You look into your child’s eyes and realize that you love this particular child in a unique and special way because he and you will have a relationship that is a combination of you and them.

Being a mother is your greatest responsibility as well. You have this individual human being, uniquely connected to you. As a mother you are responsible for this child’s physical survival but more importantly you are responsible for their emotional, moral, and spiritual growth as well.

Being a mother is caring so much for this child that you do not want them to experience hurt and pain or make all the mistakes that you have made in your own life. And yet, this is their life, not yours; despite the unique physical and emotional connection, despite the fact that you love them like no other person in the world loves them…this is their life, just as your own life is yours.

Being a mother is the most complicated of all of your relationships. If you devoted you whole life to your child would you stay in a bad marriage? Would you not pursue your career? Would you not seek your own love and comfort in a lover and friend who wants to share their life with you? You know that some of the choices you make in the interest of your life and your physical and emotional well-being will hurt your child, may irrevocably change them, may heighten their pain and decrease their sense of self-worth…this is the definition of a true conundrum.

Being a mother has brought me tears of joy as well as tears of pain. I have 3 sons…one made some life choices that got him into crystal meth abuse and 3 years in federal prison. He thinks I cry because I am disappointed in him. But he is wrong. My tears have not been for any disappointment in him. How could I be disappointed in him? He is the product of my love and the life we have shared together for these past 26 years. Just as I have been affected by his choices, he has been affected by mine. That is why I cry. I am so sorry for his pain, for what I have contributed to his choices…to the hurt that he must feel.

My hope, as a mother, is that my sons will have the emotional, moral, and spiritual strength to learn from their life experience, to make decisions that will lead to happiness and serenity, and when they make mistakes, they learn from these mistakes, make a better choice next time, and appreciate the journey that is their life. This I believe.