“I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.”

Titanic.
A movie about a boat, an Iceberg, and the love/hate relationship between the two.
The two meet and they collide together in a fit of hurried excitement.
Next thing you know, the iceberg leaves the boat and heads to sea.
The boat is left scarred and drinks itself to its watery end.
Leo and Kate provide excellent acting skills as they maneuver their way through the social classes and winding halls of the Titanic like ants through a forest.

I remember watching this movie over and over with a friend when I was younger. We’d recite the lines to each other dramatically and enthusiastically. We’d bust up laughing especially after grabbing each others hands furiously and whispering in choppy stutters:

My friend and I would then have lengthy discussions on why indeed she really let Jack go at the endShe said she would never let go…yet…there she is letting him go. Fickle woman.

All this talk about letting go reminds me of the impending doom of knowing that I must also let someone go: Daphne.

I must train up this little girl just to let her go.

That’s what it means to be a parent: To train and teach another life to become a happy and healthy individual, to let your child walk away from you though you may not be ready to let her do it, and to to offer the best opportunities possible for your little one.

I am currently training Daphne to sit up on her own (with little success) in addition to teaching her to speak words such as ‘momma,’ ‘dadda,’ ‘nurse,’ and ‘potty.’

I will soon train her to crawl and walk. She not only will walk away from me, but she will also walk towards me. What a wonderful image to dream about.

Often, I’ll hear people say about their own children, “I can’t wait for her to walk,” or “I just can’t wait for her to be big enough to run around the yard with me.” I say it myself. Indeed, I look forward to the future and anticipate all the wonderful new adventures and milestones.

All the same, I CAN wait for all of those milestones and adventures. I CAN wait for her to walk. I am cherishing the fact that Daphs loves to be in my arms and that she is unable to wiggle away from me.

Ah yes—the puppies, rainbows, and sparkles.

Being a momma is truly a joyous time, as so many other moms claim and about which older mommas lament. I do love the quiet gentle moments that Daphne is in my arms and holds my neck while looking up at me with loving eyes. We share a smile and I melt.

Older women comment “Cherish them when they are little. They’ll grow up before you know it.”

That’s all I have ever heard from older mothers or grandmothers.

However, let’s be real here folks. There are also times (like today) where Daphs refuses to be comforted. I hold her gently in my arms while she screams at the top of her lungs with a red scrunched up face. She flails her arms out and belts out a cry while looking up at me with watery red eyes. We share a smile (her mouth forming a giant crying grin and mine from a cringe in reaction to the piercing scream) and I melt (I let out a sigh of exhaustion).

Somehow, I feel as if I have been jipped. I feel as if a secret is being kept from me.

Motherhood is painted to be a glorious time in a woman’s life, yet, living in it–I have my moments of doubt. I certainly cannot be alone.

It can be frustrating, tiring (It’s okay darling, you CAN sleep more than 10 minutes during nap time), and confusing (What the heck is the matter, kiddo? Why are you crying? What can I try to make you feel better).

I feel as if that phrase (‘Enjoy them while they are young because they grow up so fast’) is repeated because seasoned mothers don’t want to tell young mothers the truth about motherhood. Seasoned mothers don’t speak up and out about the intricate web of worry and confusion that comes with the territory.

Why is that?

Do experienced moms want to avoid bursting the ‘new mom’ bubble with all the puppies and rainbows inside?

Do experienced moms fear that they will be imposing a negative stereotype on parenting if they speak up?

Is motherhood truly a wonderful experience and there is nothing to be said against it?

Is going through all the crying fits and frustrating moments of motherhood just something each young mother must do alone, like an initiation?

I realize that some mothers offer new moms advice and say “Ask anytime for advice or if you just want to talk!” What a wonderful resource that is available in the experience and wisdom of experienced mothers.

But it can be hard for a new mom to admit that she needs help. A new mom avoids showing vulnerability for fear of judgement or feelings of inadequacy.

I think a new mom wants to feel validated that she can handle motherhood on her own. She can conquer and win with her own two hardworking hands. She can figure it out.

The truth about it all is this: We shouldn’t handle motherhood alone. Not only are there books and resources on the internet available concerning parenting methods, but there is a vast wealth of knowledge at the tips of experienced mothers’ tongues. All around us are mothers who have experienced the pain of letting a child go, no matter how minute or how monumental the pain.

Perhaps I am completely off base here.

Perhaps all the ‘bad moments’ in motherhood are forgotten amid the happy memories that seasoned mothers maintain. Perhaps it is just harder actually living in the moment of raising young children as opposed to looking back on it.

Or perhaps I am spot on.

Perhaps being a mother has moments of pain and moments of joy that all meld together to form the definition of raising a child.

us

Me and Daphs.

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