Happy belated Mother's day!
As many of you know, I'm a mother of two
beautiful, amazing kiddos, 18 months apart. Yes, life is crazy, chaotic fun ALL the time at my house.
This Mother's day I have taken some time to contemplate what it means to be a mother.
Mother's day is a pretty big deal, I guess. It's a top day for flower sales, and the #1 day in the year for phone minutes used. If you're a mom people say “Happy Mother's Day” and send you a card, or give you a flower in church.
But why is Mother's Day a big deal REALLY?
I tend to down-play mother's day because I don't want my husband to feel pressure to make it this amazing, profound, and expensive day. I would tell him to “lighten up!” when he fusses that I'm not sleeping in long enough, shouldn't be helping with the dishes, or need to take a long bath.
I'm not sure exactly. I think deep down the reason I get a little embarrassed about all the fuss for Mother's day is because I think…
“I don't know what all the fuss is about…I'm just a mom.”
But then I stop.
I look around my house.
I look into the faces of my children and think…
What exactly DOES it mean to be a mom?
Because I know plenty of people who were born by a “mom”, yet have no mother figure in their life. And again, I know plenty of moms who have never given birth at all, yet are some of the best moms on the planet. So what does it mean to be a mom?
Tiger moms, teen moms, dance moms, tiara moms, octo-mom, real housewives…
In today's trends and pop culture motherhood has been diluted. To be a stay-at-home mom is squashing your potential. To teach your kids in the home is unnecessary and socially damaging. To be gentle, nurturing, plain, frugal, happy, sweet, dedicated, and a full-time, no-holds-barred MOM is…
Being just a mom is boring, unfulfilling, plain, and full of a lot of downers.
Sleepless nights. Mom jeans. Heartburn and 9 months of agony. Messes and spit up. Diapers. Diapers. and more diapers.
Why would anyone do that to themselves? Subject themselves to such a boring life-sentence? Give up so much?
Why would anyone want to be…just a mom?
Because, to me, being just a mom is about…more.
More than changing thousands of diapers.
It's about nourishing my kids and feeding them proper nutrition to keep their bodies functioning properly. About showing my love for them by caring about and nurturing every part of their little bodies; right on down to their tiny bums and trying to keep them dry, comfortable, and healthy.
It's about more than cooking endless meals that no one seems to want to eat.
It's about teaching my family about homemaking responsibilities, introducing healthy things to them, and showing them that meal time as a family is the most meaningful and important part of their day. It's about doing something that I just plain don't want to do…because I love them, and it's simply what's best for them.
It's about more than pinching those annoying pennies!
It's about practicing self-control, humility, and exercising creativity. It's about teaching the next generation that the things that money can buy shouldn't be the things that define you. It's about teaching them lessons that will change the world, and knowing that I am setting up my future generations for success.
It's about more than baths at the end of an exhausting day where I end up wetter than my kids.
It's about teaching health and hygiene. It's about sinking ships, finger paint on the tub walls, and the heart-melting belly laugh that comes out of my baby when her older brother splashes her just right. It's about leaving the dishes in the sink for a few minutes to enjoy a nighttime routine.
It's about more than sacrificing a 6-pack stomach.
It's about the absolute miracle of growing a human from my own able core. About appreciating the cramps, kicks, and heartburn because it reminds me that I am a walking tool of God who has entrusted in me the responsibility of carrying and protecting a growing and blooming precious baby. It's about being grateful that I am blessed enough to get pregnant at all.
It's about more than having to stay home and sacrificing a career.
It's about wanting to stay home. It's about selling, giving up, and living without whatever it takes to be home. To be the one to spend time with, nurture, and teach my children like no one else can. About setting aside the things of the world for a few short years so that I can be apart of something bigger than myself that I CAN take with me when all is said and done.
It's about more than messy faces and sticky hands.
It's about being there for all those moments of exploration, when those tiny little fingers feel Gak for the first time, learn how gross Playdough tastes, and show me with pride the sticky creative mess they excitedly made just for me all over my kitchen floor. Using my makeup. It's about learning to let go of perfection and enjoy life. About choosing your battles with the dust bunnies and accepting that “the house can wait”.
It's about more than mind-numbing music and gouge-my-eyes-out kid movies.
It's about exposing my children to the arts and helping instill a love of music and dance in them at an early age. It's about singing. It's about keeping them entertained with wholesome things that are devoid of the innuendoes and crude themes that are rampant in societal norms. It's about raising children with age-appropriate entertainment that keeps them from growing up prematurely. It's about encouraging kids to just…be kids.
It's about more than not having much “me” time.
It's about sacrificing little bits of myself NOW in order to build a better future for myself, my family, and my world FOREVER. It's about being selfless and doing what I was put on this earth to do, 110%. It's about teaching my children that the world could use a little more selflessness, and that great things come from focusing on something other than yourself once in a while. It's about taking time to focus on “me” whenever possible, but learning to respect the beauty of service to others. It's about posting this blog post a day late because my son was in desperate need of some “trampoline jumping with mom-time” last night…and the blog can wait.
It's about more than sibling bickering, belligerent teenagers, and arguments.
It's about patience and love. It's about teaching forgiveness and putting it into practice every day. It's about teaching that family is all that matters and that together, we can get through anything. It's about learning about communication and conflict resolution, which will provide society with the next round of productive leaders and example-setters. It's about raising boys who become men who learn to lead with a soft hand and noble example, and raising women who can communicate their feelings and show compassion toward others – even in times of tension.
It's about more than boogers, bloody noses, bumps and bruises.
It's about being the one someone needs when they are feeling low. It's about being the source of comfort to someone who is just plain feeling crappy. It's about nurturing, about magically healing scraped knees with kisses. When did the world stop looking for kisses to make things feel better?
It's about more than lacking sleep.
It's about those sweet, quiet moments in the middle of the night; just me an my tiny baby. Rocking, singing, swaying, nursing, bonding, baby breath, tiny diapers, and innocence. It's about those few short months of our private rendezvous that end all too quickly. It's about being the arms your child needs when they wake up from bad dreams or an aching cough. It's about the mind and body's abilities to give me the strength and energy I need to make it through the day – even with little or no sleep. It's about the special moments that only moms get in the middle of the night.
It's about more than school districts, car pool, and school fees.
It's about raising the next generation of leaders, teachers, lawmakers, environmentalists, trend-setters, and philanthropists. It's about raising my children right and valuing their education so that the new trends, laws, and business ideas are ones that will make our world a better
place. Because it's about someone did.
It's about more than waiting out yet another epic toddler tantrum.
It's about teaching patience, humility, and delayed gratification to these precious beings who happened to be born into a world where everyone feels entitled and feels they deserve what they want, when they want it, how they want it. It's about learning that we don't always get what we want…and that it's ok.
It's about more than the never ending battle of trying to get the kids to help with chores.
It's about teaching self-sufficiency and hard work. About teaching my kids that cooperation, organization, and a little elbow grease will equate to success in adulthood. It's about creating an environment of peace, love, spirituality, and a beauty that is not only because of cleanliness, but is because of the feeling of teamwork and contributing to a united family cause. It's about creating a home where people feel…home.
It's about more than – literally – endless loads of laundry.
It's about those little moments of joy and happiness which include playing in the dirt, stomping in puddles, and crawling on my all-too-dusty floor playing Mommy Monster for the 100,000th time. It's about being grateful for quality detergent and the luxury of a washer and dryer that keeps us dressed and keeps our clothes lasting as long as possible. It's about appreciating the stains that stick because…well…the popsicle was worth it.
It's about more than endless running around, soccer games, last-minute school projects, fundraisers, piano recitals, pep rallies, tryouts, and enough sporting equipment to fill a second home.
It's about supporting my child's hobbies and interests, and helping them develop their talents. It's about them knowing that I will be there, rain or shine, at whatever it is that is important to them…even if it means the people in the Wendy's drive through know me by name. It's about caring about their education, school, grades, and successes, even when they don't. It's about helping them learn about teamwork, prioritizing, practice, and dedication. It's about them, not me…because THEY are the future.
It's about more than exhausting effort to try to raise my kids right.
It's about teaching someone about someone greater than themselves. About presenting the world with one less eating disorder, gang member, or promiscuous teen who is on the constant search to belong. It's about instilling self-confidence and respect for themselves and for a higher power that will be contagious and inspire those around them.
It's about more than passing on my last name and crossing “have kids” off the live to-do list.
It's about the endless, indescribable, unmatched joy and love that I feel for my kids. How every day, even years after their birth, I stare in awe at my little warriors and can't imagine how I could love anything so much. How I've never wanted to sacrifice so much for someone before. Do so much for someone. Be so much for someone. Feel so much pure, unbridled love from someone. It's about the “I love you mommy”‘s and the sloppy kisses, and how those are the highlight of my week life. About how I start to physically cry just thinking about the possibility of ever losing them. How having children has brought my husband and I closer than ever before; how united toward a common cause we are. How madly in love we are. How there has been nothing, is nothing, and will never be anything else in my life that could ever bring me such absolute…joy. It's about believing that being a mom is what I was put on this earth to do, because NOTHING matters more.
So I don't know about you, but I can't think of a single job, position, degree, award, or responsibility in the world that allows me to make more of an impact of importance…
or gives you greater return on your investment.
So, yes. I guess you could say that I'm just a mom.
And you know…
I'm kind of a big deal.