Anne Notations

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thank God for motherhood

Like some avatar of the Baby Boom generation, I became a mother via more than one route. I am a stepmother who helped raised her stepchildren, an older adoptive mother of children from another country and of a different race than I, a surprise biological mother at age 40, and now a (step-)grandmother.

Basically, I have been parenting children since I was 22 years old. Yes, for 35 years.

Someone close to me when I was growing up said that I was probably too selfish to be a good mother. (ouch) I believe, or at least, hope, that hasn't been the case. Thirty-five years is a long stint, and I'm not done yet! Parenthood is hard, hard work at times. It means not only financial and lifestyle sacrifices, but also less tangible ones for some of us: After we adopted, and then I got pregnant, I felt my ability to research and write long feature articles – a talent I had built my career on and won awards for – seeping out of my brain. I needed to divert a lot of my creativity to figuring out fulltime parenting with such a diverse brood, with some specific special needs, at such a late maternal age.

Je ne regrette rien. I love our kids and granddaughter more than life, and they delight me and nourish me without even trying. Their presence in my life still feels miraculous, as if I won a cosmic lottery. The blossoming of their unique personalities and potentials is an ongoing saga that absorbs me.

Dire family crises? Check. Learning disabilities and ADD? Check. A worrisome chronic medical condition? Check. Disappointments and that dreaded call from police about underage drinking? Check.

Big deal. My kids, wherever they originated and however they came to me, are priceless. Thank God I am privileged to be their mother.


  • Even if I speak no French*, the meaning of your italicized words is clear.

    Yay for each and every one of you. And by "yay" I mean "that's stupendously wonderful."


    Or Urdu. Or Hmong. Just covering two more bases, in case my first assumption was wrong :D

    By Blogger Marsosudiro, at Mon May 11, 11:15:00 AM EDT  

  • This was a lovely, reverse Mother's Day message-- telling the world how much your children mean to you. Nice words, Anne!

    By Anonymous Juli, at Tue May 12, 09:46:00 AM EDT  

  • I like this post. I've learned so much as a stepmom, even though I know it's not the same as being a biological parent. But our innate human selfishness gets put aside when someone really needs us, especially if that someone is small and semi-helpless. At least I met my stepkids early enough to see their vulnerable side and feel compassion for their situation. They are quite prickly now as young adults.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue May 19, 08:44:00 AM EDT  

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