Being a Mother Made Me Resilient

Being a Mother Made Me Resilient

Editor's Note: With Mother's Day coming, we are talking about what motherhood has made us as part of our Mother's Day Eve celebration. Join us. -Jenna

News had started coming in of the tragedy in Boston on Monday afternoon as I was getting ready to pick up my boys from school. We just moved to our home last week, and it was their first day in their new classrooms in a new city. My heart had been in my throat all day as I wondered if they were making friends and learning the routine.

And then this. This heartbreaking, senseless tragedy that seemingly came out of nowhere -- again.

It was warm and sunny outside, a stark contrast to how I was feeling as I walked to their school, checking my Twitter feed and wondering, along with the rest of the world, what had just happened. Posts, pictures, fear and speculation were everywhere, but the permeating message seemed to be: Please, not again.

It's so easy to go to that dark place when tragic events occur. As an adult who's seen her fair share, I find it a little harder to come back each time. As funny and upbeat as I often am, fear and darkness await in equal amounts when the emotional pendulum swings the other way. All too quickly, I start believing our planet is a terrible one filled with terrible people and terrible sorrow. I become submersed in sadness and worry. I fear for humanity, for our future, for my children.

What kind of world did we bring them into?

What kind of people will they be if they have to grow up surrounded by this violence, this pain?

But I can't stay in that dark place for long. I can't stay there because I have children. Those little mystery stain-smearing, couch cushion-puncturing, eye twitch-inducing boys of mine need me to be their rock. No matter what happens, big or small, I have to pull myself together, climb out of that hole, and be that rock.

This isn't about acting like a superhero or not allowing myself to feel. This isn't about never having a bad day or always hiding tears from my kids. Of course I worry, I grieve, I cry. I have those moments, sometimes in front of small, genetically-related witnesses. Mommy isn't all smiles and frustrated sighs.

Flowers in Boston
Credit: © Ken Crane/ZUMAPRESS.com

But I have an important job: I have to be the comfort, the safe place, the one who brings them back from their own worry when the world is frightening and confusing. I'm the one who shows them the light again, who reminds them of all the good that's still out there. That's one of the many hats I wear in my role as parent.

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