The Role of Mother

everlasting May 14, 2023

15 years ago, being a mother was doing tubs in the kitchen sink and then tucking three little boys into their beds every night.  Now it’s a “Mom, I am home” at 1 in the morning after they have come in from being out with their friends.

I think about all the days I balanced a child on my hip while I made supper or filled sippy cups and the countless number of diapers I changed.  I remember the tears I could easily wipe away and the cuddles I was given.  

I told all three of them to run around the house 10 times when I felt them winding up, and I remember all of the mornings I watched them play out in the sandbox before breakfast.  Whew, some of them were cold ones!

It was size 2 boots and trips around the tractor lot at Capital Tractor. I drank my hot Dunkin’ Donuts coffee while they oohed and ahhed in the back seat at the big tractors. Those were the cold winter days when we just needed to get out of the house.  I just needed to get out of the house...

But my role has changed now. 

I have moments when a little panic sets in, thinking about the “good ‘ol days.”  I so clearly knew my job as “mother” then.  I was a caregiver. It was simple.

But now, what is it?

I still am a caregiver on a much smaller level.  I don’t change diapers, tie shoes, or wash a sticky little face and hands.

Instead, I bake apple bread, and I have suppers that last an hour and a half because the kids and I talk about things.  I take Jeep rides to get ice cream, and I don’t have to drive. I sit in the passenger seat, clutching the door handle instead. 🙂 

My lawn is mowed, and I no longer have to do any heavy lifting.  It’s not bad at all.

And yet this morning, when I put Tyler back on a plane, bound for his summer internship in Illinois, my arms ached.  Oh, to hold those three babies I gave care to, every moment of every day, all those years ago…

Today, I think about my own parents, in particular my mother, on Mother’s Day. I don’t talk to her nearly enough as I navigate a busy life. But I know she understands.

The important thing is I know where she is. She is home. And I seek her out when I need an ear, a reminder, or a soft place to land for a little while. I hope I can be the same to my kids… home.

Mum, I am making a shift I know you made many years ago. It’s bittersweet–the shift from daily caregiver to a new mother role of listener, counselor, and steady one at home.  

Every year, Mother’s Day takes on a slightly new meaning to me.  Wrapped up in so much love, it’s thankfulness, sadness, and assuredness.

The best thing that ever happened to me was becoming a mother to my kids. Oh, how much they have taught me about love...

With great love and thought on this Mother’s Day,