Mothering Karma & Holy Inspiration


Ainsley is 7 years old today.

I’ve been a mother for 7 years.

This, honestly, isn’t how I thought it would go.

As a child, I thought I would say “yes” to everything when I became a mother. Until someone handed down a bikini for my 3-year-old and I threw it in the trash.

I’m a huge fan of pop culture – though you might not know it if this website is the only indication of who I am. But, I find myself surprisingly strict about the types of pop culture and media I expose my kids too.

The more I learn about media and marketing the more I block and filter.

Because my kids deserve protection.

When I grew up, in the 1970s and 1980s, childhood had the dignity of being sheltered and protected by government regulation to shield them from adult content. Parents can’t depend on that anymore.

So, I find myself being much more conservative and rigid in my parenting than I wanted to have been. Than I expected to be. Than I ever intended.

From kid-side this motherhood thing looked easy. But, becoming a mother will shift your perceptions. If it doesn’t, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t quite right.

I’ve been reading A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Marrianne Williamson and she says the biggest miracle is to change our minds.

After 7 years of motherhood I can see that my biggest parenting growth has occurred when I have shifted my mind from a child’s point of view to a parent’s point of view. For a precocious, know-it-all, rebellious child like myself – this has meant admitting that my parents were right and I was {{{gasp}}} wrong more often then I would have preferred.

This is sometimes hard for my ego to take. I change my mind and shift my perceptions because I L-O-V-E my kids. I will not act out my childish rebellion against my parents if it’s not in my children’s best interests. Maturity has taught me that “acting out” isn’t really making a conscious parenting decision, anyway.


I said this the other day to my husband and I hope that my parents read it now:

“I regret every single awful thing I ever said or did to my mother. I regret anything that ever hurt her feelings, any kind of challenge I have given her over stupid stuff, all pointless arguing, all the lack of appreciation and every single judgement against the quality of mothering I received. The rest of the world would be so lucky to get the quality of mothering I was blessed with. Ditto to my dad, though it’s much harder for me to express. My parents did the best they could with the information they had at the time and if they made mistakes they did so with the best of intentions. I forgive you everything. Please forgive me.”

I lay awake at night reflecting on what a difficult and tumultuous adolescence I had, making deals with God, praying for a miracle that will make our mother-daughter relationship immune to Mothering Karma.

God, I’m begging you to protect Ainsley from being as short-sighted and foolish as I was. Tell me what to do and I will do it.

During one of these utterly raw and vulnerable moments I received these words from Timothy 3: 12-16: Let no man despise thy youth . . . neglect not the gift that is in thee. . . meditate upon these things: give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them who hear thee.

Fellow parents of girls, my cherished audience: Don’t confuse me with a “parenting expert.” I am simply willing to make my parenting mistakes in public, so you too can “profit” from them. I feel inspired to do it. I made a deal with God.

Please, keep coming back.

Oh, Happy Birthday, my darling daughter.

6 replies
  1. MJ says:

    Well said Tracy. I too went through the same things you are going through when I was in the process of raising my two daughters. I am a firm believer that you grow up with your children as they grow so do you. I can remember actually calling my mother at different ages and stages with my children, just to say “I’m sorry mom”! Keep up the good work, your daughter (and son) is one lucky little girl even if she won’t realize it until she’s a mom herself!

  2. Tracee says:

    Thank you for saying it’s not just me Mary! My ego will remember that the next time I have to change my mind and admit I was wrong.

  3. Violet says:

    Return to Love is one of my favorite all time books! I’ve reread it so many times. Marianne Williams is one of those people who explains it and I get it.

    Isn’t it interesting how your perceptions about your parents change? I used to feel like mine had let me down in so many ways. Now I look back and can’t believe how amazing they were. How much they sacrificed and loved me. How lucky I was.

    As someone who knew you pre-children, I’ve definitely been surprised at how much motherhood has changed you. Sometimes, I’m like, who the hell are you? But it takes my breath away what a great mother you are. Motherhood has made you deeper, more thoughtful, more spiritual, more caring about the world and even yourself.

    Ainsley is lucky to have you as a mom.

  4. Betsy says:

    I love this post. I am linking to it on my blog over at Momformation. I was also an incredibly rebellious, disrespectful, ungrateful teenager. Now I have two little girls who most definitely will give me my comeuppance. I can see it coming already.
    I can’t help but wonder, have you ever told your parents what you have written here?

  5. Tracee says:

    I tried to get my mom to come and read it – but she said she’s too busy canning stuff from my dad’s garden.

    Thanks for the linkage!

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