By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
Moms—some of us love ours to death, and some may have strained relationships. In any case, we often can’t imagine our lives without them and appreciate them for bringing us into this world. With Mother’s Day coming up on May 10, the Other Press gets the full scoop of the experience of motherhood straight from the source—our own moms!
Other Press: What is your favourite part about being a mother?
CC: “My journey is nothing without my kids. You could have romantic love, or drive in life, but there is nothing more intimate and empowering than like… you’re my own flesh, you know what I mean? And the sacrifices that you make. People say you get fat, or you go through so much pain—but that is because they don’t understand the internal, intrinsic sense of duty, purpose, love, and connection.”
JO: “To my two kids, being a mentor to them in all things. I like to help them and show them how to love and how be loved.”
MZM: “I get lots of love from my child, and we laugh a lot together. We are best friends. We share meaningful hobbies and activities together so we can always enjoy the time we spend. She also helps me with all my computer troubles—I cannot solve those problems without her.”
OP: What’s the most difficult part? Biggest regret?
CC: “For me, not having a supportive co-parent—even if it was just one facet like emotional and financial support, because then I feel I wouldn’t have to work so much and then I could have been more present. The hardest part was being single. I also wish I had more time. I also told my kids I didn’t want them dating when they were young, and I feel like that subdued the normal part of forming relationships when you are young. You know, when you’re like 12 and break up with a boy and hold hands, it’s stupid—but it’s real. I felt like what happens is relationships get complex and when you’re young and your body is sexually awake, but your mind and your emotions and everything else isn’t. And I didn’t want my kids to be in a place where they were getting crushed because they were in love with some boy who broke up with them and is holding hands with another girl and now they’re suicidal.”
MZM: “It’s hard that you can’t always be there for your child—including those times they are hurt or bullied. Even if you want to take action, you cannot control your child’s friends if they hurt your kid. I can’t tolerate seeing my child being hurt by anyone—many mothers feel this way.”
OP: What did you wish you knew before becoming a mother?
CC: “I think one of the biggest mistakes parents make is that for our children’s developmental stages, we use our frame of reference. I assume that you don’t need something because I didn’t need that when I was young, but actually your child might need that. We’re limited by our own life experience. You cannot take your life experience and infer your kid’s behaviour based on the fact that you never did that. It’s not valid.”
MZM: “I wish I had done more research on feeding a baby solid food. There are many natural foods you can make, but I leaned on pre-made baby food at the time. It is difficult to always make natural foods of course—being a mom is a tiring and sleepless job.”
OP: What would you tell new mothers?
CC: “When I worked a specific job, I used to
say that I lived paycheque to paycheque because of my financial contribution to
my family—but I’m the wealthiest person you know. Real riches can never be
stolen. You will never understand it unless you walk that path—the journey in
front of you is so worthwhile. There’s just a lot of learning; it’s all a
learning curve. What I would never tell new mothers is that your body is going
to change in ways that makes you want to socially isolate.”
MZM: “Don’t always say ‘no’ to your child. Be open to saying yes and giving them as many opportunities as possible. If they want to go to the park, to sleepover at a friend’s house, or go on a school field trip for example, allow them to experience as many wonderful things as you can. Listen to your child’s needs. If they are active, you need to help them spend that energy so you can enjoy a happy (and tired) child. Don’t compare them to others! Also respect their emotions, goals, and choices—including their friends!”
JO: “Enjoy your kids while they are young as much as possible. Give time to them, walk with them as they grow, be involved in all their activities.”
OP: What’s it like going from one kid to two, or more?
CC: “One to two is really not a big deal. It’s obviously more demanding and nothing is the same with any of them. For me, the biggest adjustment was three. By the time child four and five came along, it was like another pack of diapers and another potato in the pot. Anything after three kids is just another potato in the pot.”
OP: What is the best way to celebrate Mother’s Day to you?
CC: “I don’t need that one day to feel like my kids love me. It’s not about that. I don’t need materialistic things. I desire affection through the heart, authentically. Mother’s Day doesn’t need to be on Facebook.”
I think all moms would appreciate something special from their children for Mother’s Day rather than just the same flowers and a hug. This Sunday, perhaps you can ask your mom some of these interview questions to make a meaningful connection.