Part 1, in case you missed it! 🙂
More often than not, I am almost overwhelmed by the happiness that being a mom brings to my life! One little kiss, snuggle, or “I love you” from my kiddos; and the bad stuff just melts away like winter leaving Arendelle.
The excitement of experiencing things for the first time all over again through their eyes… The feeling of their little hands in mine… The excuse to see Disney movies at the theaters. 🙂 It’s all too precious for words, and I love it.
I love being a mom. I love that I get the incredible opportunity to stay home with them right now too!
But there are some days that leave me wishing that Mary Poppins would float out of the sky and into my living room, just to give me a little I-need-to-feel-human break. She’d keep the children entertained while cleaning my house, and so it would be a win-win situation for all involved. (Let’s face it, Mary Poppins is basically the mom version of a unicorn).
I keep reminding myself that a lot of what we’re juggling is due to the phase that we’re currently in… My husband Nate and I still have a two year old daughter in diapers who has decided that sleep is overrated. Our four year old son would probably have blown up the moon by now if I didn’t stay on top of absolutely everything he touches. And both children still think that mommy’s attempts to use the bathroom are the perfect time to come together for a family conference.
The mental juggling and physical exhaustion of parenting with no break and little sleep catches up with a mommy after awhile. And nothing can really prepare you for that. (Although coffee does help! Coffee… and a whole lot of praying to Jesus!)
Suddenly it’s like your real name no longer exists, and you’re being called “Mama” by absolutely everyone as though you have more children than father Abraham… While trying to have a conversation with an adult, you’re cut off because they’re SO invested in the children that what you were saying becomes background noise. (It’s probably due to the fact that you were talking about such exciting topics as ‘poop’ and ‘sleep training’, but still...). Or you miss out on adult conversation completely, because you’re too busy chasing after your kids (both of whom have already mastered the art of running in completely different directions at the same time).
Basically you miss conversations with adults so much that telemarketers have stopped calling the house, because you’ve started asking them questions like “what’s new” and “do you think this type of poop is normal for a toddler”?
Some days are hard. Some days I wish I could sit and eat my dinner without having to referee… That I could lay my head on my pillow at the end of a long day and be able to leave it there until morning… Or even that I could go grocery shopping without my kids going at it like a couple of MMA fighters chained to a shopping cart.
But each day, I choose to wake up and ‘get it done’ with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. (Or I try anyway. I get bonus points for trying). Scrubbing floors, making playdough, folding laundry, dancing to the Wiggles, and cutting grilled cheese sandwiches into the shape of a heart will never matter to anyone outside of this house. Yet inside this home, it does matter, even if – as a collective whole – it may sometimes go unnoticed.
Being a mom is not glamorous or glitzy. It’s exhausting and ALL in. Oftentimes, it’s thankless. And we stay-at-home moms can so easily struggle with the doubts of, “Am I contributing enough?” Am I valued? Is what I’m doing really important, and am I capable of continuously giving of myself?
Let’s face it, self sacrifice and putting others first isn’t exactly the ‘in’ thing to do right now, even if it’s for your family. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been criticized for slapping some deli meat and cheese between two slices of bread, because making your soulmate a sandwich for lunch is apparently a demeaning thing for a wife to do).
But if we’re focused on all the sacrifices and what we ourselves ‘deserve’, being a mom will be exhausting. Because what makes us happiest is what makes them happiest. It’s not balanced evenly, and that’s what makes us superheroes. We don’t give and then ask “What will I get in return?” The love we moms possess allows us to willingly put the needs of another before our own. And that is beautiful!
It doesn’t mean it will always be easy or that we won’t – at times – doubt our value or long for the days when we felt a little more human. It doesn’t mean that we won’t, at times, question the sanity of raising little versions of ourselves. But the love we have for our children is what helps us focus on what really matters, not on what we have chosen to give up.
For our role as mom, we will never receive a paycheck, a rousing speech, or a medal. We will not be recognized by this world. But how we act when our children make mistakes is shaping their views of themselves. Our words become the voice they hear in their heads regarding their self-worth and their purpose. How we teach them to respond to bullies is guiding them in confidence and forgiveness.
We may be pouring out of ourselves, but we are pouring into something we value most: our children. What we do matters more than we even know.
Oh yeah, and then there’s the laundry and other stuff, because that matters too! 🙂
We have the greatest of responsibilities. The most beautiful of opportunities. (Teaching my children about Jesus Christ is what matters the utmost to me)! And we have the ability to serve our families, even if it oftentimes goes unseen and unappreciated here on earth.
Maybe being ‘just’ a mom wasn’t enough as documentation for my proof of citizenship… But it’s sure enough for me. Because even on the toughest of days, I wouldn’t trade being a mom for any other role offered to me.
My kids need ‘just’ a mom in their lives. And I am SO thankful that I get the opportunity to be that person for them!