Motherhood

Parenting, in a Nutshell

Anton at Coney Island

This Saturday, Alex and I took the boys to Coney Island. Anton and I went on the hot air balloon ride, which spun us in circles. Then Toby miraculously got to sit in the front car on the kiddie roller coaster! The afternoon made me think of this quote by Gabriel García Márquez:

“A mother discovers with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.”

Toby at Coney Island

So true, don’t you agree?

P.S. 21 surprising parenting tips.

  1. Molly Sarah says...

    What a great quote. This sentiment is spot on.

  2. Have you ever seen the film “The Little Fugitive” by Morris Engel (1953)? It’s a beautifully photographed black and white film about a little boy who spends a day at Coney Island. His follow-up, with Ruth Orkin, a story about a little girl and her widowed mother in 1955 New York, is also a delight.

    Glad you all had such a lovely, wonderful day together. I know I remember my fairground rides from when I was less than six years old. (-:

  3. Yes! My kids are 9 & 6 and not only are forming a friendship with each other, but they’re both totally formed humans with likes, dislikes, jokes, and a slew of moods. I especially love time spent with them individually, when I can truly appreciate the various facets of their personalities.

  4. So very true! What’s remarkable is how different that friendship is with each child. I have twin 5-year-old girls and it’s amazing how much and how differently I love these 2 rays of light in my life. Each relationship or friendship is as unique as they are. Thanks for sharing such a sweet quote. Have a lovely day.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i totally agree, amy! i have such a different dynamic with each child, each is so special and wonderful to me.

  5. mosey says...

    Completely! I just took my 3 yr old to Coney Island for the first time and had such a blast experiencing the place from his perspective. He’s my sweet, fun best little buddy.

  6. Yes! Sometimes, if I have to do something I don’t feel like doing, I take my favorite friend (my 3 year old) with me to keep me company. And it always is really fun and an adventure!

    https://www.instagram.com/elyceabrams/

  7. Ashley says...

    so so so beautiful. I’ve been thinking about this since I read it yesterday. These are the gifts I still have from my mother and grandmother though they are gone, what gifts for you, your husband, your children. Thank you.

  8. Sara says...

    Totally.

  9. Ruth says...

    Love this! I try to relish the moments between me and my daughter, as these are all special gems in our growing friendship.

  10. Emily says...

    What a sweet quote!

  11. Carrie says...

    I definitely agree. That is why adopting a child isn’t any different in regard to how much you love them.

  12. Jenny Leigh says...

    I agree… . in part. I think it is beautiful and important to feel that your child is your friend.. . or that you would be friends w them as an adult, but our job as parents is to parent our kids.. not to be friends with them. Here is a very funny film on this. An interesting debate for sure! When I was on holiday recently with my kids I realized how much I LIKE my kids. But there is a difference between a parent and a friend. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moms-viral-video-explains-why-you-shouldnt-be-friends-with-your-kid_us_573f16d6e4b00e09e89ec325

    • Cynthia says...

      I watched the video and this mom hit the nail on the head. I told my girls the same thing, “I am your parent and not your friend. When you become an adult, then we can be friends.” I didn’t care if my girls didn’t like me, but I stood my ground. Yes, we did have fun when they were growing up, but I was still the mom. I have two wonderful adult daughters and we are friends now, and they come to me for advice.

    • Thank you for this comment and that hilarious and totally true video. I’m laughing out loud still! Finally, someone else that feels the same way I do! I was reading these comments about the quote and thinking, “Is there something wrong with me for not agreeing with this?”. My mother says, even now, that she is not my friend, she is my mother. And, I completely agree with that. I will never be friends with my children. Our relationship is so much stronger, deeper, connected, than any friendship could ever be. Also, as soon as I read that quote, I just knew it was said by a man who, most likely, did not raise his children.

  13. Kanga says...

    This makes me sad …but also hopeful! Growing up I used to wail to my mum “… But I just want you to be my friend!…” And she would (and still does reply “I’m your mother, not your friend”. Looking back I don’t think I really wanted her to be my ‘friend’ I just wished she understood me!

  14. Alice Quin says...

    Too sweet.

  15. I’m so curious; do you know the origins of this quote? Is it from one of his novels? Or something he said in an interview?

  16. That is such a great quote!

  17. There’s no other friend I can comfortably talk to, even shoot the breeze with, while I’m on the toilet.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha

    • Kate says...

      Hahahaha. This made my day. Talking gibberish/toddler language to my 19 mo on the loo is not how I imagined motherhood, but it’s amazing regardless!

    • Carrie says...

      Ha Ha, I love this comment!

  18. Amanda says...

    As a previous commenter said I also have a 5 month old and I feel like I am already experiencing this! I knew I would love him but I’m surprised at how I am already enjoying his companionship — he’s my little buddy! At 3 months he was diagnosed with some health issues and he was in the hospital for 8 days and required surgery. It was an extremely difficult time and it continues to be stressful because we’re not sure what will happen with his health. I never thought I would be able to set my worry aside and return to normal life. But, he is so happy and fun and he makes me laugh everyday. He’s just a little baby, but he has helped me stay positive and move forward and I am so grateful for him!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      he sounds like an incredible person, amanda!

  19. Dalia says...

    Love it! So true! My son is 4 and daughter 1 and all through my pregnancy with my daughter I felt like my relationship with my son became more than a mommy son relationship but also a friendship. My son became such a support as I found the pregnancy to be both physically (threw up 6-12 times a day for 41 weeks) and emotionally (almost begged my doctor to remove baby at 37 weeks) difficult. I am still his mother and I make the rules but we are so in synch it feels amazing!

  20. ceciel says...

    Yes! There’s a great article about those people who stop you in the grocery store to remind you “they grow up so quickly, enjoy every moment” when you’re just feeling fried by the insane toddler behavior and constant demands. The author said these (well meaning, but in the moment annoying) people are nostalgic not for the harried-ness of parenting young children but the relationship building that is happening.

  21. This is spot on. Everyone always tells you how much you will love your baby, but I found myself surprised how much I like her. ❤

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love this. xoxoxo

  22. Alice says...

    I completely agree! This sums up exactly what has been blossoming in my relationship with my eldest, who is 3. He has become very concerned over my welfare, as I am his, and together we delight in the wonders that can be found in every second of life. It’s so much fun – a real freidnship. Like all friendships it will change with time and that will be beautiful too.

  23. Layne says...

    Absolutely! What a sweet quote.

  24. Denise says...

    I have a 5 month old and can already see how true that is!

  25. I totally agree. I’ve been having a tough time with anxiety and migraines for the past two weeks and still dealing with the fog/full head, but having Luna by my side to rub my head, hold my hand and still manage to make me smile. She is my sidekick, and I appreciate our friendship so much. I know people say you are not their friend, you’re their parent, but I feel its a day-to-day balance act. I want to be both, and I know somedays the parent needs to be more present than the friend, and some days the opposite.

    xo Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

  26. Cousa says...

    I just found out that my sister in law is pregnant! I’m going to be an auntie :) I can’t wait to be friend with the little one and watch him/her grow! I already made tons of plans involving pony rides, alpaca feedings, owl sightings, hiking,ice cream stops and roller coaster rides! Let’s see if the little one can get the first car in the ride :)

    I don’t want a baby of my own but I still find the idea of being close with a child so sweet, so I get to do that and I can’t help but feel excited! Tips from veteran cool aunties are much appreciated :)

    • Carol says...

      I was an auntie for 10+ years before having my own kids and I loved it. I watched them often, hosted sleepovers and always got them the best gifts. Now that they are nearing adulthood, we share interests and have real friendships. I feel fortunate that my sister and her husband gave me the opportunity to be a big part of her children’s lives. Congratulations – you’ll be a terrific auntie!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my aunt lulu is one of the most important figures in my life. she was like a second mother to us. we all adored her. she was just THERE for us, no matter what we needed. i remember being the most awkward preteen, and when i was visiting her, she hugged me in the kitchen one afternoon and said, “i think you are so wonderful and smart and beautiful, and i’m so lucky to be your aunt.” i still remember that moment, 25 years later. she meant — and means — so much to me!

    • Kate says...

      Liz Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) says in her book Committed that some women are born to be aunties. And that motherhood gets all the fanfare but out in the world are just as many aunties doing such important work with their nieces and nephews. I love that you are so excited to be part of the child’s life. What a blessing :)

    • Aw I love this. My sister has 3 boys and sometimes I’m surprised at the depth of my love for them. I haven’t been able to have my own children (yet) but having a relationship with them is one of the great joys of my life. (I also have a ton of other nieces/nephews that I love but those 3 are the closest.)

  27. Julie says...

    Absolutely! I think viewing it that way – as a developing friendship- and not just as the years passing too quickly helps to keep a sense of perspective.

  28. jean goddard says...

    Yes! And also because she knows them so well from the inside out and understands their innocence, strengths and vulnerabilities better than anyone. A mother’s heart is knitted to her child’s heart.

  29. Simple and perfect! I have two little girls (2 yrs old and 7 months) and last night as I was putting my 2yr to bed, we read a few extra books in her teepee because things have been busy and we have not had as much time together. She snuggled into me and whispered, “come close, I missed you mommy”. My heart melted and I nearly cried. These little people, they’re so incredible! I’m so glad you had a nice weekend with your boys!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

    • ceciel says...

      That is so sweet!