Motherhood is not easy. Being a boymom is not for the faint of heart. Yet, I find raising my son to be the best part of my life. I’m a single mom and in all of the magnificent mom moments, I do get things wrong from time to time. Like the time I had just returned from maternity leave and each day I picked my son up from daycare, he had bright red cheeks. I didn’t investigate because I guessed he just spent the day crying and fussing because he missed me, when in reality, a worker wore perfume he was allergic to. I messed up by not paying closer attention for weeks. Or like the time he was in 2nd grade and I was so busy working, I failed to take him to an eye doctor for months. When I finally did, the eye doctor not so politely told me he should’ve had glasses long ago. I messed up by not keeping the main thing, the main thing and was focused on bills versus him. Or the time when we moved and I changed his school with the move, not understanding that was too much change at one time.
We are all familiar with the saying, change is the only constant. Every time I learn my son, what works for motivation, what works for discipline, what are his likes and dislikes, he changes. He grows and develops – as he should – and I have to make an adjustment. I remember like it was yesterday, picture day in the hospital. He was not 24 hours old yet and they were coming to take customary newborn pictures. I had his perfect baby blue outfit with matching hat ready to go. I had just fed him and now he laid on the bed looking at me and I standing by the bed looking at him. It was just the two of us. As he stared at me, he quietly studied me. It was my first time alone with my son awake and I was pretty mesmerized by him. I went to take off the hospital attire and his movement startled me a bit. He looked at me as if to say, “I just got here lady, what are you doing?” I smiled and he smiled back and we got picture perfect ready.
I only have a couple more years to prepare my son for his change from being dependent on me as mom, to him being an independent young man. Part of me is looking forward to the change and the other part of me, not so much. While the expectation is that I, as the adult, teach my son (I hope he has learned some things from me), he has taught me. One of the many lessons my son and motherhood has taught me, is to remain diligent about what I’m doing in being Mom. I cannot put him on autopilot. I cannot leave him to his own will or thoughts or desires. I must be purposeful and intentional about him. There has to be a balance of letting him discover and be himself, while still interjecting boundaries and rules and what my home stands for.
I say I’m a single parent, but in reality, God is truly my partner raising this young man. What kind of person will WE produce? When I mess up – definitely when, not if – can I humble myself, even as a parent, to acknowledge I messed up, I blew it, I made a mistake? Once the acknowledgement is made, can I grow and learn from it and continue to be the best Mom I can be?
As I’m being purposeful and intentional about raising my son, partnering with God, I have to be just as mindful to study God’s Word and pray. I have to pray for my son, but also myself. As I partner with God, He helps me to be the best Mom I can be. He helps me not to give up on my son. He helps me make it through those trying times…such as the middle school years.
To my fellow moms, let’s keep doing this. Let’s keep being purposeful and intentional when it comes to our children. We will mess up. We will have sad tears. But it’s not over. You got this. On purpose. For purpose.