Friday, May 2, 2014

When Motherhood Gets Complicated...Again


Today was my daughters' picture day. 

I awoke earlier than usual to help prepare my daughters for Picture Day and learned that they are outgrowing me faster than I can say wait! I'm not ready for that yet.  They are growing too fast, right under my nose, and I'm glad I chose to be a SAHM over a full time working mom two years ago. It was a difficult decision- as it often is for ambitious mothers- but judging by how fast my kids are growing, I couldn't have done anything more worthwhile.   

Gone are the days when I can choose pretty, frilly dresses with matching bows and instead, my daughter settled for her old favorite shirt with flower leggings for her spring pictures. Nowadays she refuses to wear anything new and loves everything old and boyish. She hates pink and likes loose T-shirts with big bold prints. She wants pink and blue highlights in her hair. She loves Arianna Grande (who the heck?) and these adolescent Disney stars who act like they are far too grown up for their age. How old are they anyway? I guess I can google it but I refuse, until I absolutely have to.

My daughters are 9 and 7 and I'm already starting to feel this. This. This generational gap. This mother-daughter power struggle. This innate urge to just yell you do as I say! but can't, because that's what my mother used to say and I made her pay for it when I became a teenager. 

Motherhood is so complicated, and it's getting more so now that they are getting older. In a weird, twisted way, I miss diapers and baby food. Even wearing breast pads. 

My husband tells me my younger daughter is going to the nurse's office way too often. He worries that she is using it as an escape from uncomfortable situations on the playground during recess. He knows because she is just like him. They are two peas in a pod; polar opposites from me.

As she gets older, I find that she tends to be too sensitive to people's comments and actions. She is too shy. I tell her not to take everything so personally. I tell her she needs thicker skin to live in this world.  The world is tough, and people too, are sometimes tough to deal with.

And that's okay my dear. Sometimes, you just need to move on. 

I've become that mom- lecturing, coaxing, repeating-- knowing there is little I can do to fix the situation.

My daughter is brilliant but too vulnerable, smart enough to achieve what her heart desires, but too much of a perfectionist. She is a part of him, a part of me.

And just like it was to me at one point of my life, this world is starting to appear confusing and difficult to my daughters' growing minds and it hurts to know there is little I can do. This is their world, and a part of growing up is learning to navigate on their own.

I once thought I mastered it all, during a period in which feeding, diapering, bathing, holding and comforting were enough to meet my children's daily needs. Nowadays I'm starting to feel lost--again--as I face situations where my control means nothing.

Sometimes not doing is harder than doing.

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