Motherhood, Reflections from 22-years on the Job

    First Day a MotherTwenty-two years ago I woke up for the first time a mother. I blinked and you’ve grown up. Today you are an amazing young woman. I am pleased, honored, and tickled pink to be a part of your life.

    The world is definitely a better place because you are here, even though you’re far from perfect. (Actually I am EXTREMELY grateful for your imperfection, as it makes it easier for me since I am too.)

    I love you being here. Knowing you exist. Watching you find your way, claiming your life as your own. I totally don’t understand what you do nor why you are passionate about what you do. That doesn’t matter. You being passionate about what you do and loving it is good enough for me. I’m rootin’ for you.

    While I wish you smooth sailing in life, the reality is that’s not reality. You’ll hit torrential storms. They’re the nature of the beast we call Life. My wish is you weather each storm, coming out the other end wiser and stronger for having survived (even if a bit battered).

    Take pride in who you are. In your accomplishments. They’re yours and well-earned. You used the time you were given to think, explore, and pursue your interests and passions wisely. (All while being accompanied by a whole bunch of clapping and cheering.)

    Happy B-DAs I first wished you on your 12th birthday (and many times since), “May your life be filled with cups of joy and only teaspoons of sorrow.” Happy 22nd year of life my darling child.

    PS: For 22 years now I’ve mothered you. Some I got right. Some wrong. Overall, I’d say Right won out over the wrong. Here’s a baker’s dozen gleaned from the “Right” column. (Not in any particular order.)

    1. Boundaries. Set them and keep them. Both for yourself and your children.

    2. Chores, the actions necessary to keep a household going. Children are members of the household. They can contribute, and should. If they balk tell them to “Do it anyway.”

    3. Love unconditionally. This should probably be first, last, and EVERYWHERE in-between.

    4. Accept your imperfections, and theirs.

    5. Apologize when warranted. Know that if you offer a sincere apology, you will be forgiven (though it may be hard for you to forgive yourself).

    6. Remember you’re the Boss. Children need parenting. (When they become adults, you can reevaluate your relationship.)

    7. Create Memories (a.k.a. Magic Moments). They add texture, beauty, and wonder to your life.

    8. Simple is Good. We’ve come to equate complicated with intelligence, complex with value, and long-winded with importance. Dispel that notion.

    9. Children don’t have to do it all nor have it all. Pick and choose.

    10. It’s okay to cry. Crying doesn’t solve any problems; however, it is an emotional and cathartic release of tension, stress, and pressure.

    Aim High11. High expectations. When you encourage children to aim for the stars, they’ll likely wind up a lot higher than the clouds.

    12. Rituals and religion cause you to pause and reflect. There’s comfort in the continuity of weekly, monthly, and annual celebrations.

    13. Sometimes there’s nothing to say. When the best you can do is “be” with your child, then “be” with your child.


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    Josanne - September 25, 2013 - 6:21 am

    Wonderfully written.
    Your love for your daughter shines brightly x

    erin - September 25, 2013 - 8:03 am

    Loved this post! What a fabulous Mom you are Tana and thanks for the bakers dozen jewels of reminders. Happy Birthday to your wonderful daughter~

    Dana - September 25, 2013 - 8:46 am

    So sweet Tana, Love it! and Happy Bday to the Darling…. Love you both XO

    Tana Bevan - September 25, 2013 - 10:06 am

    Thank you Josanne. Yep. I freely admit it, I do love the darlin’.

    Tana Bevan - September 25, 2013 - 10:15 am

    Thank you Erin. As she’s gotten older, my daughter’s shared with me things she felt I’d done right. Hearing about the “Right”s have been warm fuzzy, “YES!!” moments. I am grateful she’s shared them with me as they are counterpoint to those teeth clenching, “What the beep am I doing?” moments (which I am glad are in our past).

    Tana Bevan - September 25, 2013 - 10:17 am

    As you know Dana, I think the darlin’s a pretty special young woman. Thank you for your friendship and good wishes as she begins her 22nd year.

    Dallas Dyson - September 27, 2013 - 7:34 am

    Beautiful post – actually shed a tear

    Tana Bevan - September 27, 2013 - 10:14 am

    Awww. Thank you, Dallas. I freely and publicly admit, I am VERY fond of the darlin’. *smiles through the tears of joy as she feels all the love bubbling & gurgling as she thinks of her darlin’*

    karen einsel - September 27, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    May I add two?

    Try whispering instead of yelling, they’ll hear you better.

    And lead by example.

    Tana Bevan - September 28, 2013 - 6:09 pm

    Hi Karen. Sweet. Thank you for adding to the list.

    Whispering instead of yelling is a good one. I recall hearing an actor tell the story of auditioning for the role of a very angry man. Everyone who auditioned before him yelled, growled, raised their voices. He spoke quietly, enunciating each word, causing whoever it was watching the auditions to lean forward. He got the part.

    Leading by example is one I appreciate in theory. However, due to my many imperfections many a time I had to apologize (hence putting apologizing sincerely on the list), fess up to having screwed up, and diligently attempt to find a better way.

    There were many a time I felt woefully inadequate in the role of mother. Wishing I had words of wisdom, or wisdom from the ages to pass down. Alas, I didn’t. Still, even with all the stumble bumbling and doubts we made it through. I feel extremely blessed that as an adult, my daughter wants me in her life. IMHO, it doesn’t get much better than that.

    I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment. Have a wonderful, terrific, and marvelous.

    kath unsworth - September 28, 2013 - 11:50 pm

    Loved this post to your daughter, may you both enjoy the mother daughter relationship forever and a day. Inspirational and a heartfelt tribute thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

    Tana Bevan - September 29, 2013 - 4:47 pm

    Kath, thank you so much for your good wishes. My daughter is indeed a lovely young woman. I consider myself very blessed to be a part of her life. Even though the lessons learned weren’t always easy, I’d do it all over again. (Truth be told I’m glad I don’t have to. *smiles)