I’ve led a very imperfect life. I have regrets – moments not seized, words not stifled, hands not held, ties not broken. But, for the last seven years, no matter what pitfall or obstacle came my way, I have considered my life blessed. Seven years ago I was given the greatest gift of my life: my son. After many (many!) years of heartache, expense, good news turned bad, surgeries, injections, medicines, herbs, schedules and prayers I finally held my child in my arms. Even after he was born he didn’t make it easy – spending his first week in NICU. It didn’t matter. I was finally a mom – something I’d always wanted. It was something that was always a part of me, in my heart. For decades I was a mom without a child. Until now.
Because my child’s presence has made me feel so blessed, I have a hard time understanding how anyone can treat their child as anything less. How can you put your own needs ahead of your child? How can you not give your very soul for the benefit of your child? How can a gift such as this be wasted?
This is not to say that I support having your entire identity wrapped up in your children. I understand and (on some level) agree with John Rosemond when he says that women, in many cases, have abandoned their marriages in favor of the “mom” role. I do believe this is affecting the psychological health of both women and children in our society (Lord, help the female children – they won’t know what to do!). But there is a big swing from ensuring the basic health and safety of your child and foregoing adult relationships in order to dote on a child.
Many times I have chosen my child over a friend, my mother or even his own father. Other times I have left him in the care of competent people while I did something on my own (or with a friend or my mother). But NEVER have I chosen to risk his well-being. I have made him cry. I have made him “hate” me. I have sent him to bed without supper. I once left him in someone else’s care out of spite when no other punishment seemed to work. (I took him to his grandparents and went on to a special event we had planned together, announcing that I was not going to miss out on it because he made bad choices) I’m certainly not a role-model parent. But my child isn’t left home alone because I need to get more wine at the store. My son didn’t miss his kindergarten graduation because I didn’t want to fight for a parking place. He doesn’t miss dinner because I forgot to feed him and I don’t send him to his room because I’m not in the mood for him. He won’t see an empty seat at the special moments in his life because it was inconvenient for me.
Why must so many loving, beautiful people struggle to have someone to give that love and care to? Whether it is difficulty with conception, obstruction in adoption, or barriers to fostering – the wrong people are held back and missing out. They say “it takes a village to raise a child” but our village is being hampered by legal red-tape and rhetoric.
My son will always know he is a blessing that I treasure. I will not take this gift for granted.
From what I gather, you are a wonderful Mom! He is growing into a caring, intuitive, curious, and outgoing youngster who loves his Mom. The love & time you dote on him shows. Keep up the hard work-Kudos to you!