And it didn't come from my mother or my best friend. It didn't come from a wise older woman who has raised a dozen children or a stranger who was given me unwarranted advice about motherhood.
It came from my husband.
It was a normal (busy) day for the Collins family and as my husband was getting dressed for work, I was helping our son, Preston, pick out some clothes for school. Preston was moving a little slow that particular morning and I was in a hurry to get everybody out of the door on time. Needless to say, because of my lack of patience, I got upset with Preston and raised my voice at him. He got dressed and I hurried him into the bathroom to brush his teeth so that I could get dressed. I went into the bedroom where my husband was and he said, "You're his mom. You have to be soft with him. That's your job."
Truth be told, when he first said it to me, I heard him, but I didn't feel him if that makes sense. By the end of that day, I felt exactly what he was saying in that moment.
All I could think about for most of that day was how it's my job to get everybody to their prospective places on time. It's my job to cook and feed everyone. It's my job to make sure we all have clean clothes. Right? No. It's my job to be there for my family. It's my job to comfort them when they are hurt. It's my job to love them unconditionally because the world won't. It's my job to be soft and gentle, patient and attentive because that is the true task of motherhood. To guide, teach and to be there. When I picked Preston up from school that day I couldn't help but think about my husband's words. As I observed the other parents with their children, it occurred to me that I am Preston's only mom. The only one who carried him and birthed him-the main woman in his life.
My husband helped me to realize that being a mom means always having an open heart. As we teach our children about the ways of the world, we must take it for what it is while instilling the best values and morals in our children so that they can make the world a better place. When I found out that I was having a son, I thought that I would have to be more stern or strict to raise him into a strong man. But me being "soft" isn't hindering my son at all. It is helping him in the most beautiful way. He is learning to be a well-rounded individual who loves. Even as he gets older I have learned to open my heart more, not just to him, but to the world because that's what we need-softer hearts.
Thank you husband for making me a better mom. You're a pretty awesome dad! <3