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jca's avatar

Mothers of any stage or age: how has the experience of being a mother been for you?

Asked by jca (36010points) May 10th, 2009

has it been tough? a lot of work? wonderful? would you describe it in glowing terms? were there times you wished you didn’t have a child/children? how have you handled the changes and sacrifices you have had to make?

by the way, happy mother’s day!

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23 Answers

casheroo's avatar

Being a mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Sometimes I want to curl up in a ball, and hide from my own child because it’s just so stressful. Other times I just watch him playing, or learning something new, watch him sleep..and I cry because he’s just so amazing.
You constantly think about your child. I am always aware and can hear everything he does. It’s like I’m always anticipating his next actions, and knowing if he’s going to get hurt, or scared.
The changes were a lot all at once. You are never, ever prepared. I don’t care how many baby books a person reads (i never read any) they won’t prepare you for the lack of sleep, the stress, the amount of love you will feel.
A lot was going on in my life when we had our son, so I don’t know if the added stress of getting married, and actually starting a family added to the craziness of having a new child. It was all new, it was all a learning experience…actually, every day is a learning experience.
Sometimes I wish I had finished school before having my son, but I would never change who he is. He’s a high maintence child, so it can be overwhelming since I’m in school and working, but I do my best to be the best mother I can be to him. Being a wife on top of that makes decision making both more complicated and sometimes easier since I have a partner to help me.
I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I’m glad I was able to have my son and get to watch him grow and become a man one day. The thought of that scares me so much, because he is so young right now and he’s still my baby…but, he’ll always be my baby boy.

miasmom's avatar

I have been a mom for only a year and a half. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding. As many of you know, my daughter was born with alot of complications, so we’ve spent a good deal of time in the hospital, that has probably made the job more difficult. People always tell me they couldn’t do what I do for our daughter, but that’s not true. I think most people would do exactly what I do in our situation, you just do it. You take one day at a time and do it because it is your child. I sometimes dream of the days before our daughter, that was easy, not alot of responsibility. But I wouldn’t ever want to go back because she is worth all of it.

Alot of work? That’s an understatement. My husband always tells me how he gets to go on vacation each day he goes to work because he knows my job is so tough. But it’s wonderful that she wants to snug with her mommy, so it is worth it to me.

I think having a family close by who help us all the time has made it easier and our strong faith in God has also been so important.

Today I was looking at my daughter and sometimes it still amazes me that she is a product of my husband and I. It’s such an amazing miracle, children.

I love being a mommy, it’s one of the best things that has happened to us.

YARNLADY's avatar

I love being a mother, and I love kids. I never expected it to be anything other than a learning experience, and I have learned a lot about how to be more mellow, and how to deal with issues that can be very frustrating. I have never been sorry I had kids, through good and bad. I asked for it, and sure enough, I got it.

Dealing with a developing human being is bound to have a lot of surprises.

Darwin's avatar

As @casheroo says, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I have, however, learned a huge amount, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Both kids are completely different from each other, and from me, and both have been very much individuals since they were tiny. My son perhaps was less apparently so because of developmental delays, but my daughter knew even at 6 months what she wanted to wear and what she most assuredly did not.

I have never been sorry to be a mom, although sometimes I wonder how I will manage to cope with my daughter leaving home, and with my son not leaving home or leaving home only to fall flat on his face. I remember with awe those days of almost no sleep, when I might fall into slumber leaning against a wall at work. But I remember with equal awe all the times one of the kids has done something kind for someone else.

As I tell the kids, I always love them, even though sometimes I don’t like them, and they are welcome to return the favor.

cak's avatar

I’ve been a mom for 15 years now, I still learn something new everyday. There are days when I just want to surrender and other days, when I am on top of the world. I remember one day just breaking down and crying, think I had to the worst mother on the planet. It just seemed like I couldn’t do anything right. My daughter came in, asked what was wrong and I just spilled the beans. She seemed shocked that moms had normal feelings, too. It occurred to me, at that very moment, I had the same thought about my mother. I didn’t think she was was “normal”....human…and when I figured it out, I was shocked. I was also horrified, because I remembered the “evil mom thoughts” that I had about her.

Being a mom is hard, but it’s so worth it. I finally found my calling. I love being a mom. I can accept the good with the bad, and I can accept that my children don’t always like me. That’s probably good. It mean I’m not trying to just be their friend. I’m doing something more important. I’m being their mother.

Today my son told me he loved me and I was funny. He told me I was beautiful and also, I’m kind of a dork. I loved hearing his description. My daughter’s was about the same, but she added that for really respected me. On some level, I’ve known that, but I think that was the first time she really said it, out loud. It was a great moment.

I love being a mother.

Supacase's avatar

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. I can only help you as the mom of a toddler; I am scared to think beyond the fours at this point.

God, it is hard. I have never done anything harder, I swear. It is also the single most rewarding experience of my entire life.

I never got that whole “once you’re a mom you’ll understand” thing – then I had a baby. Holy crap! They weren’t lying. I was crazy in love with my daughter. I felt like she was my purpose, my reason for being alive. I also had a revelation that this tiny little child had the power to bring me great joy or break my heart into bits. I called my mom to apologize for everything because I understood in that instant all of the pain I had caused her.

I made it through the terrible twos, but the threes are killing me. My daughter is, as all children must, starting to push me away to assert her own independence and find herself. There is nothing better than having her run to me and wrap those little arms around me for a “big squeezy hug” but there is nothing that can give you the blues quite as fast as a hug denied by the light of your life.

Still, even the rejection has it’s high points. I am rewarded by seeing her grow into herself and I know that I am providing an environment where she is safe and free to do just that. I am frequently surprised by how damn funny she is and there is nothing better than seeing that deep concentrated look she has just when she is about to “get” something for the first time and the spark that follows just after.

MotherFluther's avatar

The best experience ever! :)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

My experience has been great; I confirmed that I am not pregnant yesterday, and I was quite overjoyed. I know it was mother’s day and all, but I certainly didn’t need that now, so I celebrated my non-mother status on Saturday.

augustlan's avatar

Heart-swelling and heart-breaking. Inspirational and mind-numbing. Joyous and frustrating. Almost 15 years in the blink of an eye. Immeasurable love.

cak's avatar

@augustlan It is amazing how fast time flies!

augustlan's avatar

@cak I know! Flyawayxxballoon is turning 15 in June… I can hardly believe it!

hearkat's avatar

Today is my son’s 18th birthday… and this past month has probably been the hardest month of all with 2 visits to the emergency room! It is only through the grace of god (for lack of a better term, as I do not believe in a specific deity) that I have not been planning his funeral.

Being a parent is the truest test of one’s character; and I had no role models from my abused childhood, so I had to make it up as I went along. In essence, I had to reparent myself.

There is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling than when the child does well; but there is nothing more frustrating or heartbreaking than when they are struggling.

Sadly, too few parents truly make the commitment to their kids, and remained self-absorbed… I see this in all the kids that seem so desperate for attention and acceptance.

I’ve made many mistakes, and there are things I’d do differently; but I do not regret becoming a parent.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

First off, I am a parent of 2 sons: an almost 3 year old and a 3 month old. I am in no way an expert on parenting – therefore, if you do things differently, that’s fine, no judgments.

I firmly believe that no one is ever ready to be a parent, no matter how much they think they’re suitable for it – as that elusive ‘it’ will never be the same for you from child to child and from parent to parent. It is true that one can be in a loving relationship and that will do wonders for your experiences as a parent and that one should be financially stable so that your family can survive life’s hurdles, but no matter how many books you read or how many classes you take, you’ll never be 100% prepared.

I further believe that many of us, myself included, had or plan on having children because it was the ‘next step’ after engagement, marriage, etc. I still don’t know if that’s a good enough reason to have a child and I do think figuring out WHY you want children is really important. Yet, even if you do figure this out, parenthood might not be the thing for you. But it also just might be the very thing you need to grow, to enjoy life more fully, to be inspired.

And as parents, we do find that holding our children, drying their tears, making them laugh, watching them walk or talk for the first time are moments we’d never give up in a million years. But, we, as parents, also find that at times the kids wear us out, both emotionally and physically. Parenting is not all about miracles of life, it is also about rejection, guilt, failure and incessant re evaluation of yourself as an adult, a judge of character, a communicator.

Parenting is a test of your strength as well as the strength of your relationships with others, those others being your partner, parents, care-takers of your children. It is a test of your ability to sacrifice when you don’t always want to, to be flexible even when you planned for hours for something that doesn’t work out, to hide your fears and anxieties so that you can calm those of your children, to get through those doctor and hospital visits that make your heart bleed, and it is always a test of your ability to not quit.

Parenting is a job that you can’t give up on and it is a great responsibility because your children didn’t ask to be born into this world; since you brought them into this world, it is therefore up to you to make their existence your priority and it is up to you to raise them as well as you can, as informed as you can make them and as capable of succeeding at life as possible. Always remember that even when you want to turn away from them, to give up and it’ll keep you going.

Finally, I just want to say that your views on parenthood as your views on pretty much anything will change throughout the years and things you’d do with your first child will all of a sudden become things you’d never do with your second or third and so on – this is because you grow as a person and your ideas change and there’s no use in looking back and saying ‘could have should have would have’ as that’s a general waste of time and you can’t turn back time.

ubersiren's avatar

Manic.

I love my son more than anything. Sometimes I truly love just changing his diaper or giving him a bubble bath. Just when I think I’m being the worst parent in the world, he shows his excellence, and I couldn’t be happier. In a way, I think most of all I’ve learned that no matter how much you don’t know as a parent, or no matter how often you fail to do things “the right way” your child is going to be just fine. They are so self-reliant and resilient. As long as you support and love your kid to death, he’ll find his own way.

Other times I just don’t know if I’m going to survive motherhood. I honestly don’t know if I would at all if I was a single mother. Thank the gods for my husband. Then again, maybe I would adapt out of necessity if I was on my own, but right now I just couldn’t imagine it.

He’s only 2, and I know there’s so much more to learn. So many more proud mom moments, so many more crying jags, so many more kisses and smiles, so many more birthday parties, so many more “time-outs” and so many more jaw-dropping shocks. It’s like any other adventure, I suppose- exciting and scary.

In the end, I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences for all the tea in China. Thinking about my boy at any point in the day just warms me up.

bea2345's avatar

with all of the stresses and frights, I would not have given up the experience for anything. Parenting changes you so completely you cannot imagine not being a parent.

sakura's avatar

LOVE being a mum, had my daughter at 19 (she’s now nearly 11) best thing I ever did, only wish I had another child whilst she was younger as the age gap I fear would be too big if I had another now!
When things get tough I just try and remember how it felt when I thought I may lose her when she was a few weeks old (turned out to be nothing serious and she’s ok now, thank godness)
Children are a blessing and should be cherished, they are the future generation and it is our responsibilty to ensure they become a child who isn’t self centred, cares more about others than themselves and enjoy life as much as possible. They are in such a rush to grow up we need to teach them to ejo childhood, spalsh in the puddles of life and dance in the light of rainbows x Imagination rules x

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@sakura I read that and thought immediately ‘have another child, it’s okay about the age difference’

sakura's avatar

Mmmm Thanks for that but circumstances not too good at the moment, out of a job come July and hubby may be out of a job come September, so not really fair to bring another child into the world until we can afford one!!! We enjoy having our daughter and I have lots of nieces, nephews and cousin to cuddle and stuff!!!

YARNLADY's avatar

@sakura I had my boys sixteen years and two husbands apart. It was just like having two only children.

sakura's avatar

You are brave! I suppose age difference doesn’t make too much difference then, just a case of making sure we are financially secure before any baby making happens!!!

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