I am the biological mother of two children. A girl, who just turned 11 this year (1999) and a boy who will be three this year. I am the step parent of a 10 year old boy as well. I have found that being a mother is the most difficult job there ever was. It can be the most confusing, painful, agrivating and chaotic thing in the world. But, it can also be the warmest, kindest, sweetest thing ever imagined. 

As a parent, it is difficult sometimes to say "no" to your children when you would rather say yes. But you know that you have to do what is right for them. Teach them right from wrong and how to be responsible adults. This takes alot of effort, attention and patience. Something I did not have very much of when I had my daughter. I learned patience though, as well as the importance of limits and rules for children. 

No parent is perfect and I am no exception. I have made many mistakes with my children, and I am sure I will make quite a few more in the years to come. But the one thing my children do know is how much I love them and how important they are to me. 

Being a parent is hard enough, but add stressful situations and it becomes even more difficult. My daughter has a form of epilpesy and also has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as well as depression. She has lived through some very traumatic situations. Her reactions to those situations made raising her much more difficult than it would have been had her experiences not been traumatic. For many years, I stood by her while she raged at everyone. She was violent, and sometimes suicidal. She has been in and out of hospitals and treatment facilities. She has never understood why i did not just give up on her. I couldn't, she is my child, my flesh and blood. Giving up just was not an option. The persistence paid off. With th diagnosis of Partial Complex Seizure Disorder (formerly known as Temporal Lobe Epilepsy), and the proper medication my daughter's violence is gone. With this breakthrough, we have been able to adress the underlying emotinal issues and ahve made great progress. Once again, I see the child that I remember when she was 4 years old. 

My son is asthmatic, as is my step son. So I cam challenged to keep dust down and the house clean. A difficult task with my own physical disability and living in Arizona where it is always dry and dusty. But I do these things to make their lives easier. 

As a mother, I am often called upon to be the one to make some tough decisions. Learning to be able to do this, has not come easy to me. I often find myself bouncing between being too strict, and being too lenient. It is very difficult to find a balance between the two. 

I have found that children are little adults almost. They know alot more than most parents give them credit for. They are adaptable to many different changes. And they have an insight that I think many adults would love to have. I find myself often watching my children and realizing that their view of the world is untainted and still so full of wonder. Throught them, I have learned to once again look around me and see the wonders that are right in front of my eyes. I look at trees, not as something that is in the way or old or crooked, but as a miracle, something that has true beuaty and grace. I see flowers and smile, as they raise in me the same wonder and warmth that my children have upon seeing them. With my children I have regained some of the things I lost as I grew up. 

Yes, being a mom is the hardest thing in the world, but it is the most rewarding as well. I would not change a second of raising my children. Each instance, experience, and smile has had it's good points and served a purpose. Even the pianful moments, have allowed my children and I to grow closer together and learn more about ourselves. My children come first, before anything else. Which, in my opinion, is how it should be.

Page and Graphics by: Raven Shadowborne © 1999