There is no relationship like that of a mother and her child. From the moment of conception to the onset of contractions, our natural bond is one that cannot be replicated. After childbirth, striving to maintain the closeness felt during pregnancy is inherent.
Parenthood is not easy. Like many, my son was raised in a single-parent household. While this was not the way I thought things would unfold for my family, I embraced my fate. Ours was not a perfect existence. My son and I had a strained relationship with his father for many years. Although things weren’t always rosy, I made certain we remained a fixture in the life of his father, and his father’s family.
Children are sponges, and whatever negativity we put out, is the same negativity they take in. I made it a point never to speak ill of his father. I never wanted to be the reason behind a failed father and son relationship. I needed my son to form his own opinions, and treat his father the way he saw fit. I was also cognizant of how I spoke to my son. I made certain to never degrade him. I stayed positive in my thinking and communication, and it paid off in the end.
Families fall apart due to many circumstances—starting out too young, financial strains, infidelity, incompatibility, etc. However, what may not work as a relationship, can have endless possibilities as a friendship. For the sake of my son, I didn’t take his father’s behavior personally. I never expected his father to overextend himself, or supplement a lifestyle he nor I could ever afford. I embraced the women he invited into his life, and vice versa, because it was important to me to form a relationship with the woman who would be taking care of my child in my absence.
Communication is the main ingredient of successful parenting. I kept an open dialogue with my son, and let him know I would always be available to him to discuss any and everything. I didn’t want to mimic the mistakes of my parents, and have my son turn to others to get answers, or learn life’s lessons the hard way. I won’t lie and say he tells me everything, but he is comfortable enough to tell me the majority of what’s going on in his life. That’s more than I could ever hope for.
Love is a drug. When I look at my son (and his siblings), my heart overflows. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him. There is not a day that goes by I don’t tell my son how proud I am of the man he’s become, and how much I love him. I have put aside my pride, embraced his extended family, acted as liaison, performed as psychologist, and whatever else was required of me to keep the peace. Today, his father and I co-parent as a family, and have become more like siblings than exes.
A mother’s love is all encompassing, and is the key ingredient to rearing happy, well-rounded, productive individuals. If your mother plays the role of doctor, counselor, referee, bread winner, cook, maid, teacher, nurturer, and more, make sure you reward her this Mother’s Day with something priceless—your unwavering and unconditional love.