Tomorrow is Mother's Day. And I am sitting here tonight reflecting on being a mom.
My kids are the most important thing in my life, and the single most important thing I'll ever "do". I am responsible for raising intelligent, responsible, caring adults. What an awesome and heavy responsibility to have.
It's amazing how much children effect you, change you. Every tear they cry, you hold. Every pain they feel, you feel. Their every smile lights the darkest corners of your life. I don't care how bad a day I am having, or even if they helped contribute to it. All they have to do is smile and lifts my spirits.
As babies, I use to love watching them sleep. I still enjoy it. But now I enjoy watching them play. Watching them take joy in each other and in the simple things. They constantly remind me to take it a little slower and enjoy life more. I need to get better at this. They are growing so fast, too fast. One day I will blink, and they will be adults. I want to enjoy them even more than I do now.
I also love seeing their love and compassion for others. It never ceases to amaze me. Our neighbor is in the hospital and the girls wanted to make her get well cards. When ever someone is down or sad, they want to cheer them up. And my eldest loves to pray for others.
There are days when being "mom" wears me out. I am exhausted physically and emotionally. And yet, as moms, we keep going. We push through it. No real sick days, coffee breaks, or time off.
No pay check comes our way for the cooking, cleaning, teaching, driving them where they need to be (or want to be), or being their personal shoppers and assistants. No, we are paid in a different way. We are payed in love. And not just their love for us, but our love them as well. It grows with each passing day. It's amazing. They can screw up in the worst ways, and if they haven't already, on day they will severely disappoint us and let us down. But we will never stop loving them. Ever.
Being a mom is the single most rewarding and the single hardest job I have ever done. It's hard to punish them. It's hard to step back sometimes and let them make the mistakes in order to really learn the lesson. All we want to do is protect them. And sometimes it feels like we let them down when we step back and let them learn the hard lesson we know they won't learn any other way. But I keep trying to remind myself that in doing that, we are protecting them. We are teaching them and preparing them for their future.
Being a mom is also the one job that is most judged by others. "She let her kids do what!?" "I can't believe that she ....." "If those were my kids, I'd...." We are constantly under the microscope. And just by strangers, but by other moms. We are hard enough on ourselves, I can't believe we still judge each other they a lot of us do. We need to support each other more, even when it isn't what "we would do".
I can remember holding each one of my girls as infants. I remember their sounds, their smiles. I remember their first times in the snow and at school. I can't believe how fast they are growing.
I hate it when I screw up and make a mistake with them. Raise my voice when I shouldn't. Have more grace when I should.... I'm not as good as mom as I wish I was. But I know I love my kids. And I know they love me too. Each in their own way. I am still learning this job. And just when I think I got it figured out, it all changes on me. They get older and things change. Or what works with one child does not with another. It's a crazy, wild ride. But oh, how it is worth it!!
I pray I don't screw them up too bad. I pray they grow up to be those responsible, caring adults.
I think of how life is today vs. how it was when I was a kid. When I was little I ran around outside most of the time, jumping from friend's house to friend's house. I came home at the dinner bell. Today I must know where my kids are each minute of the day. They can't just be left to play outside without supervision. It's such a different, scarier place than it use to be. I just want them to grow to be those good kind of adults, but I also want them to enjoy their childhood.
I think of my mother too. Of all the sacrifices she made for us. First staying at home with us, then having to get a job to help support our family of 5. When my father died, so did a part of her. She became mother and father. She became sole provider for 3 young girls. She moved us to another state to start over. What a brave thing to do. She not only worked her tale off for us, but she made time to support us in our extra-curricular activities as well. Being at every game and competition, raising money for us. She never stopped. I wonder when she slept....
I'm sure when she looks back over things, she thinks about the mistakes she thinks she made here and there. But I hope she realizes, they weren't mistakes. Each decision she made has gotten us to where we each are now. We grew up to be loving caring people. We have our own families. We have strong roots in family and loyalty to it. She was, and still is, our role model for strength and love. She is an amazing woman. She could have easily become bitter and angry with life. But she hasn't. She still looks upon the moments with her daughters and granddaughters with great joy.
Motherhood... No one ever tells us how hard it can be. How our heart breaks the first time (and every time) our kids get sick, or when they come home from a friends with hurt feelings. No one tells you about all the sleepless nights you get AFTER they have long been sleeping through the night for years, because they are sick and you just can't bare to leave their side. They may need you. No one tells you that you can be sick with 103 fever, and will still have to meet their every need no matter what you feel like or are going through. No one tells you that there will be days you feel like a complete failure because you can't solve their problem or make them feel better or heal their sickness, because isn't that what Moms are suppose to do?
But, they also don't tell you that you will feel how it is all worth it. How with every accomplishment they achieve, your heart sores with them. How you wouldn't change a thing. How you would do anything for them, at any time of day. They don't tell you cut and bleeding, with two broke legs, on hot coals to end up in a sea of salt water...just for them. And how you wouldn't change that either. Not for anything.
Every smile, Every giggle, Every "I love you", Every hug and kiss and "thank you" make it all worth it.
Being a mom may be the hardest job in the world...but it's also THE most rewarding.
My children mean more to me than I could ever show them in this one life time or tell them, even with all the words we have to express ourselves. They are my single best accomplishment. They are my world, my everything. And I hope one day, they will know this feeling. But even if they don't....I will still be proud of each of them. I will go on loving them when time is on longer relevant.
Motherhood (my children) are the best thing to have ever happened to me.