Saturday Song: Inspiration For Moms
I'm so many different things throughout the course of each day that sometimes I feel almost like I'm losing track of who I want to be - like the woman my spirit inherently embodies is sometimes lost in the chaos of all the other women my life requires me to represent to the world. This is especially true in my role as a mother, where the essence of who I am and what I want as a woman is sometimes buried beneath the more important tasks of turning my two babies into strong and powerful women who will strive to use their various talents to change and improve the world they live in.
The sacrifice is worth it though - I willingly postpone or even outright sacrifice my own womanly needs all the time in favor of the greater goal of succeeding in my role as a mom. And as a mom, I drive my kids literally everywhere they need to be, see that they are safe and cared for - but because of my PTSD issues, I rarely leave the house without being armed in some way, and I am hyper-vigilant enough that sometimes even my oblivious children notice. I am a driver with included security service.
I soothe their wounds, assuage their fears, kiss their boo-boos, medicate and mediate their various illnesses, both mental and physical. I am friend, confidante, doctor, therapist, and coach. I am also the housekeeper, the problem-solver, and the personal chef. I am the personal shopper - and I am an infinite number of other things as well, always changing and adapting to learn and become whatever it is my role as a mother needs me to be. But behind those things, behind the planning and the worrying and the coordinating and the sacrifice ... there is a fierce and unending depth of willingness that no other person or thing has ever inspired in me.
So when my BLOGuary partner (David Elliott from the Single Dad's Guide to Life) and I were planning what to write for today's post, parenting - and the music that inspires us - was of course an easy and uppermost topic for us to go with. We're both parents, and the way his single dad perspective balances out my single mom perspective is a total blessing to me - he may not have realized it before just now, but in sharing so much about his relationship with his daughter and what matters most to him in regards to his feelings about fatherhood, I often feel better equipped to gauge and mitigate the needs of my own daughters as they navigate the complicated and often painful process of a parental split.
Still, sometimes I find it too easy to ignore my own needs in favor of meeting the needs of my children - I forget to consider myself as valuable and significant as the leader of my little family, the guide, head coach of Team Kennedy.
But I'm not the only mom who does that either, and I'm sure David isn't the only dad. So today ... for myself, for any other mother like me, and for any woman who all too often puts herself on the back burner of her own life ... here are the songs that inspire me in my role as a mother. For a father's perspective, make sure you head over to David's blog and check out the music he's sharing!
01. Oh Mother, by Christina Aquilera
This is maybe a dark song to start out an inspirational post with, but it's one of my most favorite songs about motherhood. My own mother survived an incredibly violent second marriage, a four-year hell during which she was beaten, bruised, bloodied, strangled, threatened, and run over with a truck. I hated her for the longest time because I blamed her for exposing my brother and I to a psychopath - what I didn't see then was how helpless she must have felt, and how ashamed, and how trapped.
Now, I've had my own experiences and I understand her much better. And I'm thankful that the piece of garbage that took my mother and morphed her into a shadow of what she once was is now buried underground, as useless and as harmless as a flower but not nearly as worthy.
02. Mom, by Meghan Trainor
I don't know how closely I relate to the "my best friend" part of this song, because my mother and I still have a somewhat complicated relationship - but we've gotten much closer in recent years, and I value my mother greatly. She went through unspeakable trauma and still stuck around to mother me the best she could, and while she wasn't perfect ... well, what mother is? Certainly not me.
But she's my mom - and she has given all she ever had to doing the best she knows how in this life. There is no other person on this planet that I would look up to more than her as the role model of what it means to have a survivor spirit. As far as I'm concerned, she is the original Undaunted Woman.
03. In My Daughter's Eyes, by Martina McBride
This has been a song I've kept close to my heart for years - the song that expresses so much of what I want to be in the eyes of my daughters, and how much I want to leave them someday with the impression that they were well-loved by a mother who gave everything she had to momming successfully.
My children are my entire world, and all I want is to have done well as their mother - to raise successful young women who are strong and confident in their own power, assured of their own value, and certain of who they want to be.
04. A Mother's Prayer, by Celine Dion
This song is so simple, but so beautiful - and it speaks so honestly into what most mothers want for their children. Guidance, grace, safety, security, success. I want my daughters' lives to be filled with opportunities, to be filled with blessings. To overflow with everything I've ever wanted ... and everything I never had.
There are countless other amazing mom songs out there, but these are my personal favorites, the songs that most readily encompass both my experience with having a mother and my experience with being one. But for the moment (it's late Friday evening as I'm writing this for early Saturday morning) I'm exhausted and today was long. Josephine and my mother both ended up in separate emergency departments throughout the day (Josephine is fine, my mom is still undetermined), I'm running on just a few hours of sleep per night for this whole week, and frankly I've totally crashed headlong into the wall at the end of my stress tolerance for the day. I'm going to go cry in the shower, crawl into bed for the night, pat myself on the back for building BLOGuary with Sundays off, and hopefully come back with happy updates for Monday.
Which of these songs do you like best? What songs best remind you of your mother - or of your children? Did you check out David's dad post over at the Single Dad's Guide to Life? If you did, which of his songs was your favorite?
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