I keep telling myself to write something on the meaning of life. I have so many thoughts and ideas and philosophies and feelings. And these things change now and then. Maybe several times in a day.
Once upon a time, over 30 years ago, Nick and I saw a therapist. We went because we were worried about one of our children and we wanted tools to help him. The therapist asked me "what do you do for yourself". I replied that I am a La Leche League Leader and that's what I do for myself. She persisted- No, what do you do just for YOU. She stumped me. But now I know (and I did then too) that being a source of support and knowledge that can support other mothers is what I was doing for myself. I know that is part of why I continue in La Leche League. Of course in the early days I was one of the moms as well. Even though I was there to help other moms, I needed support and friendship too.
Now I see myself in the role of a mentor/ mother/ grandmother figure. The moms who come to me now can't identify with me as their peer. I am not there peer. But they know that I will take the concerns and feelings seriously. They know that if I don't have an answer, I will try to find an answer.
Does that mean that service to others is the meaning of life. No, I don't think so. I couldn't be a counselor a minister. But it does compliment all of the things that make up me.
My kids were everything in a way, for a lot of years. At times I resented them for how much energy I had to give away to my children to keep them safe and myself sane. They are still incredibly important to me. They grew in me. Physically, but emotionally too. We did things like play with play-dough and make cookies. They had chores. I yelled at them way too much. I was frustrated and often felt that I must be doing the whole mothering thing wrong, or they would be perfect little angels.
And now, it's mainly just Nick and I in this big house- except for when one or more stay with us. And, as much as I miss my kids, I sometimes wonder, how did we do it? How did we raise. live with, feed, bathe and survive all of us together. It seems like it was all a dream.
I am happy that I had five children? Yes. Do I get the meaning and worth of myself from being their mother? I think about all of them every day of my life. But my days, waking and sleeping, don't revolve around them any more.
Obviously, if I hadn't become a mother, I would have still been capable of being a whole, happy and complete human being.