Amazon Warriors and Mothers

In the early 1990s a group of U.S.-Russian archaeologists found a 2,000-year-old burial mound near the Kazakhstan border that included the graves of warrior women buried with their weapons. According to the April issue of Smithsonian, the women were unnaturally tall for their time. The graves are believed to be evidence of the Amazon warrior women in so many stories carried down since mid-sixth century B.C.

Today’s mother isn’t an Amazon warrior, but the ones who are able to truly raise good kids in this crazy world are no less heroic.

Celebrating my youngest daughter's 21st birthday!

My two girls and I celebrating my youngest daughter’s 21st birthday!

The U.S. Census Bureau released some statistics this week in honor of the Mother’s Day holiday. Some of those statistics included the following:

  • 62.1 percent of women 16 to 50 who gave birth in the past year and are part of the labor force
  • 29.5 percent of mothers who gave birth in the past 12 months have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 84.6 percent have at least a high school diploma
  • 10 million single mothers were living with children younger than 18 in 2013, up from 3.4 million in 1970
  • 5.6 million is the number of custodial mothers who were due child support in 2011
  • 24 percent of married-couple households with kids under 15 have stay-at-home mothers, up from 21 percent in 2000

I’m no Amazon warrior, but sometimes felt like a negotiator, taxi driver, maid and cook as a mom. Yet, of all the things I’ve done in my life, I am with no doubt more proud of being a mother than anything. I have two wonderful daughters that continue to amaze me daily.

Lifetime of Change

Packing away the Christmas decorations and welcoming in the New Year naturally brings thoughts of the future, the past, dreams and regrets. Over time, we change, but do we really believe that we’ve become different, more evolved over the years?

DSCN1767At 52, I still feel like the same person deep down inside that I was in high school, as a young mother and now a grandmother. I’ve heard people older than myself who say the same thing. Yet, I know how different I truly am.

Smithsonian magazine this month has a story about a study on the natural way people think about changes in themselves over time. A Harvard psychologist asked people to consider the person they were ten years ago and found that no matter what age they were, they believed their personalities, values and tastes had progressed during that ten-year period. The study then asked them to look ten years in the future and envision the person they’ll likely become. Daniel Gilbert and his partners found that we believe we’ll pretty much stay the same in the future. The study concluded that most people believe, no matter what age they are, that they have evolved into the person they’ll be for the remainder of their life.

I know that right now, I’m more satisfied with my life than ever. I’m very happily married and know that it’s the most solid, satisfying relationship I’ve ever experienced. I have a granddaughter I love dearly, and I’m so proud of my two daughters and the young women they’ve become.

I just wonder how much wiser I will be in ten years. Will I learn to control my mouth even more, not say things I regret, and to use each day more wisely?

I think we all look back and regret some of the ways we’ve spent our time and effort. I suppose the trick is to also relish the accomplishments, to continue to work toward our dreams, use our mistakes to become wiser and in more control, and maybe get the chance to influence the world around us toward a better place.

Time will surely tell.

Will you be the same person in ten years?

PHOTO: Four generations… My mother, my daughter, my granddaughter and me.