I work with a lot of women in my environment who have raised or are in the midst of raising children. Each one at a different time in their mothering. Regardless of where we are in our careers, we are innately driven by the care and consideration of someone who held our finger with their entire hand.
That kind of trust, when a little one knew they could count on us for anything, is more than our hearts can stand sometimes. It doesn't matter if we have grown them in our bodies or if they came to us as a gift from another woman, they fill and expand into every cranny of our lives.
We know that they need to feel the pain of a broken heart, to not make the team, to not get the job they wanted. We know all these things and yet our first instinct is to not see them suffer. We hold back and watch as they fall at each age and each stage of their growth. Because we know that dealing with disappointment will make them strong.
And now it is summer. Our children are in the city or away at new part-time jobs or scattered around the world experiencing their own adventures. We are sometimes left in quiet homes during these months, picking up stray clothes and lint, as lonely as the family pet.
We are now given the opportunity to spread our hobbies across the dining room table, spend countless hours with our noses buried in a book, finish off a course for our Masters, or slowly leaf through old photographs.
We have the time to remember who we are without our children, our responsibilities and our schedules. We are not obligated to have a meal on the table. We can eat cereal for supper, start a movie at 11pm and not make the bed in the morning. We need not be relentless in setting an example, because even our little children know we are human. And need I say, that our grown up children do like to see us (kind of) mess up once in a while.
We need to give ourselves a little break, and what better time, than for a few glorious weeks in the summer. Cheers to all my women friends out there. You did the best that you could at the time.
Celebrate who you are. You have helped create some awesome children.