After I had Teebs I felt completely affirmed that I was in love with mothering. Every single part of it, it just thrilled me. The difficult parts, the late night parts, the slobbery kisses parts, the chunky fingers that wrapped around my own fingers. Every part. I was in love with it. I had a sweet but demanding newborn and a feisty but loveable 3 year old, and I was, beyond any shadow of a doubt, in love with mothering.
I was in love with mothering.
Recently we started Teebs in his own gymnastics class. He has pined from the waiting room, watching Bub do bounces and cartwheels and I finally took the leap and signed Teebs up too. Mostly, our experience can be summed up in this one picture.
Tom is swiping his forehead. In embarrassment, in wonder, in pure exasperation . And Teebs...well, he is being Teebs. A mass of energy. A web of confusion. A bundle of buoyant exhaustion. Teebs in gymnastics class is...trying. In a word, he is naughty, but to be fair he is also acting like, I assume, any other one and a half year old would act in this situation.
But it is TRYING.
We keep dragging him to class (twice now but it seems sooo much longer) and each time I have wanted to melt into the carpet of the gym and slink away from the judgmental eye of the parents of well behaved children. When we are asked how Teebs is doing in gymanstics class the word "humiliation" comes up. Often.
And it is in these moments when I wonder, am I still in love with mothering? Is this still what really does it for me? Do I enjoy being humiliated? Exhausted? Worn? Confused? Is this really, really what I love to do? In these harsh moments do I still truly believe that this is my calling and I was made purely to be a mother?
Am I still in love with mothering?
I have been, on numerous occasions, humiliated. I have been embarrassed by the actions of both Bub and Teebs. I have even been embarrassed by the actions of Tom and myself. I continue, every day, to be confused. I doubt my decisions, I feel inadequate, and I second guess most everything that I do.
Except one thing.
I am still in love with mothering. From the moment those babies exited my body I accepted the challenge. I embraced it. I wrapped my lanky, awkward arms around it and declared forever that this was my calling. I was called to be a mother. And I accept the challenge as well as the humiliation. And the victories, I accept those too. I accept it all. A friend of mine, a member and witness to Teebs' gymnastics class, pointed out that someday I will hug and kiss him in front of his friends and he will be just as humiliated as he has made me. Secretly, I look forward to it, but for now I'll take the bullet and be humiliated yet again at our next class. I do it partly because I think it will make Teebs a better person, and partly because I just have an addiction to this thing called "mothering" and I still, with all my heart, believe that this is what I was made to do. I was made to struggle and stumble just to raise (hopefully) really good people. And even Teebs couldn't embarrass me enough to change my mind.
Read more from Jessica at bubandteebs.com
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