Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Reflections on Motherhood, Year 6

on May 13, 2017

For almost six years, I have been a mother. 

Last weekend, we sat on the couch while the girls played.  “Tessa, can you count for us?” John asked.

Slowly, Tessa counted from one to fourteen, skipping four through six, as she always does.  We cheered and clapped exuberantly.

With desperation in her voice, Ellie chimed in.  “But I can count to a hundred in Spanish!”

It was quite clear that she was looking for the attention that her sister had gotten.  We burst out laughing.  She burst into tears.

Parenting is hard.

This is really the only conclusion that I have been able to draw after these short years.  It’s tough, knowing how to help the little humans become reasonable, productive big humans.  It is worth all of the challenges, but Lordy, yes, it’s tough.

I don’t think that before the children came, I thought much about what being a mom would be like.  There were moments thinking about going to high school sports events, or chaperoning a field trip to the zoo, but neither John or I had a style or approach to parenting in mind – we’re more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-oh-crap-we-have-no-milk-where-did-I-put-that-dang-pacifier kind of parents.  I’m glad that we have a routine and structure.  I think we’d benefit from about one more hour of play each day.  I walk a very fine line between being a reasonable/involved parent and a mom who is overly concerned with all the things she cannot supervise.  My kids watch too much Daniel Tiger (but we’re working on that).

By far, the most difficult aspect of being a mom for me is that both my girls need “mom-ing” that looks completely different and I have yet to find a way to be two different people at the same time (and they don’t seem particularly interested in being who I thought they would be either, thank goodness).

Silly kids.

One needs security and one-on-one time.  The other needs freedom to explore.  Neither is particularly responsive to my preferred method of discipline, the Time Out.  While both like to sing and dance, there is no interest in sharing the spotlight.  One loves to curl up in my lap and read books.  The other runs laps around the living room.  One is mostly compliant, and while she will whine about whatever work she has to do, do it she will.  The other – well… she does not.  One is scared, one has no fear, one needs gentle coaching and melts down in response to sharp words or anger.  Both like bribery. 🙂

What will number 3 bring to this chaos??

I’m certain that I’ll never have the answers or figure this whole “mom” thing out, but I’ll keep plugging away at it, like so many other moms do.  And sometimes I’ll make my kids cry, and sometimes l’ll help them laugh, but mostly I just want them to feel loved.

What more can I really do?


One response to “Reflections on Motherhood, Year 6

  1. Larry says:

    Thanks for writing this. You truly are a blessing to your kids your husband all your extended family. God Bless you Maggie Lay……you are awesome. Papa Ree

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