Children can be made (these days) by mommies, daddies, petrie dishes, surrogates and probably other processes that I don't even know about. But Mommies are definitely made by their children. Not until you have someone totally dependent on you (even for only a few minutes at a time) to you have the terrifying responsibility of being a mother.
After lots of those terrifying moments, of course, mommies come to believe that their used to their fears, their worries, and their nightmares. If they are fortunate and learn from their children, or other mothers, or daddies, they might even relax. They might even come to have some confidence. Again, this requires the cooperation of the children. Fearless, reckless children keep mommies on their toes (or tranquilizers).
I am grateful that my children seem to like me. (Most of the time, anyway.) Like Kid President says, "If a mom sings in the driveway, she'll scare her children so much, they'll be quiet." I think I scared, embarrassed, and confused my children more than they deserved. Sometimes I couldn't help it. Other times I was just being ornery. (Pay-back for when THEY were ornery... immature, but satisfying).
MY biggest accomplishment is having a different relationship with my children than my mom had with me. That happened partly because the big enablers and critics in our entwined lives pulled away. It happened partly because I found some teachers who told me that I MUST listen to my children, even though they were young, naive and brutally honest.
When I listened (both literally and metaphorically), it turns out I could figure out what they needed; what they wanted. I learned (even) to listen to myself in order to realize what I needed and what I merely wanted.
That learning was an enormous challenge, and is sometimes still difficult. My son and daughter-in-law are experts at listening to their daughter. My husband (not a parent himself) is getting a catch-up course in children. His granddaughter clearly things he's passing with flying colors.
Grampa taught Miss J a little bit about resistence and stretchiness. She didn't even know she was learning physics! Fortunately, her mom wasn't too concerned about how MUCH the dress could or would stretch.
Miss J has learned to twirl .
Aunty W shared photos of "The Ugly Dog" with her sister-in-law. I loved seeing them both enjoy having a sister.
Aunty W brought stickers and temporary tattoos for Miss J. Miss J shared with whoever was willing.
They act out a story about making a giant cookie, rolling it out, decorating it with sprinkles, pushing it into the oven... far far far into the oven, then pulling it out... and then eating it with no hands. Presto: stretched hamstrings and back muscles.