To The People I Learned to Be a Mom Alongside…

You are the people I learned to be a mom alongside. Some of you already had some experience at the gig, but most of you were fumbling through the on-the-job training right there with me. We have talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way through every stage of growing limbs and developing brains and roller-coaster emotions. We were the ever-reliable barometers for each other: affirming the normality of normal things that didn’t always feel normal and nudging the gut concerns when they needed to be. We have each faced challenges we could have never expected and at different times have had to fight for our kids harder than we should have had to…because they endured something they shouldn’t have had to. But here we are. And here they are. These kids who aren’t really kids anymore. 

In a very, very short time, these not-so-kid kids will be off doing exactly what we have been building them to do for the past 18 years. Doing exactly what was the end goal of every big and little thing we’ve talked, cried, vented, laughed, hugged, texted, meme-d, and queso & margarita-ed our way though with each other. They are going to leave. 

Continue reading “To The People I Learned to Be a Mom Alongside…”

Fitting Motherhood Into Your Graduation Plans: Help Me Be the Most Likely to Succeed!

The Circle of Moms website posed an interesting question this week: “If you were giving a commencement speech, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to young women who want to include motherhood in their futures?” I thought about it, and threw my answer into the ring. You can go vote for it on the site…I’m not sure what I would win, but it would be fun to just pretend I’m the most popular singer on American Idol. You can identify my comment by my name (Kelly Suellentrop), but here is what I wrote:

Motherhood is not an either/or situation. You don’t have to be either a mother or a professional, either a mother or a follower of your passion, either a mother or yourself. You can be a mother AND all of these things, for motherhood is a job that coexists with every other aspect of your life from the moment you hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It is not always a peaceful coexistence, but it is almost always one that helps put everything in perspective. It is a forgiving job and one that allows you endless opportunities to get it right. It is the only job from which you can not be fired. Yet it is also the only job you can never quit, even though there are days when you will want to. It is the hardest and the easiest thing you will ever do with your life all at once. And the fruits of this labor will dwarf all other accomplishments you ever achieve; but their mere presence will also make all those other accomplishments that much sweeter, knowing your greatest achievements in life are proud that you are their mother.

Oh, and you may as well accept that the chances you will end up with a minivan are pretty good. It’s really not that bad.

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