I do not know that you could ever describe the love of a mother. Perhaps, not even the relationship between her and her offspring.
There is a sternness, but also gentleness and nurturing nature about a mother. We seek safety and security for our young. We want them to stay close, yet we desire space as they each fight for time and a close seat right beside us.
The stealthy visit to the bathroom just to steal away possibly three minutes of alone time has become routine. It is all in the strategic daily planning of our time with our child(ren) that we intentionally coordinate useful quality time with each of them. Some of us have one, and others of us have more. Whatever the case may be, we are no longer subject to just think for our own needs and desires. We mentally wrap our mind around the variations of thinking, personality types, attitude and inferences that we are actively influencing, and daily.
Many of us as military spouses are forced and groomed to play the role as the father too. Not only are we to exemplify and be fully aware of the nurturing nature that is expected of us, but we are to exude rigidness and resilience.
I find it rather fascinating that as soldiers are across seas defending our entire country for the sake of the American people, we as mothers are defending the home from all internal and external forces that attempt to invade the home. I understand not all military spouses are women, but since it is Mother’s Day week, I wanted to touch on our roles specifically.
Some of us are dealing with a rebellious teenager. Then there are the group of us dealing with children who have behavioral disorders or dysfunctions — which requires an extensive amount of care and attention. On the other hand, some of us are dealing with newborns and toddlers with the never ending changing of diapers, nursing time, or bottle feedings, tummy time, battles of naptime and the list goes on. Whatever circumstance or situation we each wake up and face each morning, we are also in this battle of defending opposing forces.
I read this quote from author Cheri Fuller, who wrote the book “What a Son Needs from His Mom” — “focus on the donut instead of the hole.”
We as mothers are hard on ourselves every single day. We never feel like we are doing enough, saying enough, teaching enough, listening enough or just being enough. Many times those thoughts and behaviors begin to project onto our children, which in turn make them feel, see and think the same. I wonder if it is what we are not saying that is speaking the loudest to our children. Perhaps it is that we make it all look so effortless that they think they, too, must be without fault. Would you say that when they see mom, it might help that they see a donut? Ok, ok, and I do not mean fluffy or round. I mean one that although she has a space unfilled, that is what makes her who she is.
It would do our children some good to know that mom is a donut, and that is okay, too. It would be a fun and playful way to refer ourselves to our children, and make light of how imperfect each of us are.
The love of a mother is one thing. However, I think the buried treasure is in the love of a child to their mother. It is the one where they remind us to see the donut, rather than the hole. Therefore, may we embrace being donuts to our children, and may they know that although the hole exists, it does not make the love any less.
Happy Mother’s Day, Fort Hood mamas!
Lori Ann PALOMERAS is an Army spouse and Killeen area resident.