“You’re not going to live a long and healthy life momma. You drink too much diet coke.” This was my first conversation this morning with one of my daughters.
“Your hair really is falling out Momma, I can tell by your ponytail.” That was my conversation with a different daughter the day before.
“Who is that pretty girl on the beach?” said by yet another daughter while looking at a picture of me from just a couple of years ago.
“You are so embarrassing!” said by all of my daughters as I danced the Quan at the skating rink.
Yep ... I’m a mom.
In reality, being a mom is not a glorious job. People say it pays well, but that’s not the truth, financially. They sell you a bad bill of goods on Pampers and Hallmark commercials along with most Mother’s Day advertisements. It looks like you will do nothing more than watch your children do adorable things while laughing, joyfully, with your husband.
If your child ever has an accident, it will be in the most adorable way and there will be an easy fix while you and your child laugh your way through it. They may cry at night, but your sweet songs and soft voice will quickly lull them back to sleep and the house will be restful once again.
They will immediately apologize if caught in an unpleasant act, and will never do it again. They will smile at you when you are down and lift your spirits when you’re having a rough day. Be a mom, it’s a great idea.
But then reality hits you in the face. Instead of these photo opportunity settings, most of the time you’re running out of the house, screaming like a wild woman and never noticing that one child has a sucker in her hair still from last night and the other has her shirt on inside out.
They don’t tell you about the random Tuesday evenings when you drag in the door exhausted only to hear, “What’s for supper? Oh I hate that!” before your shoes even hit the kitchen floor.
They don’t tell you about you and your child crying over homework at the dinner table almost every night. They fail to let you know that sometimes at your weakest moments, they will be the ones to attack that weakness and bring you to tears.
Oh, was I not suppose to be honest about motherhood on the week of Mother’s Day? Was I suppose to lie and say that my darling children are always the light of my life and there is never a day that they bring me to tears? Should I say that my children never stomp on my last nerve and push me near breaking points?
Hey moms, are there any of you out there who haven’t dealt with this? Is there even one mom whose child hasn’t brought them to tears from bad attitudes or disrespect? Is there a woman among us who hasn’t had to fight back tears while saying, “Go to your room!”? I dare say that our children can be the hardest parts of our days sometimes. They are needy, and they don’t care if you have anything to give or not. They take and take and take. They are inconsiderate, irresponsible, smart-mouthed... and ya know what ... we wouldn’t want to live one day without them in it.
It doesn’t make sense.
Being a mom is a daunting task. It requires thankless late nights, exhausted early mornings and yet we wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it.
My daughters can smart off to me ten times, but that one time they show respect to a stranger on the street, I feel like maybe I’ve done part of my mothering job right. They can go a month without cleaning their rooms, but that one day when they do it without my asking will cover all of those months of filth.
Children make us better people. There have been several times in my life that I didn’t see the point in going on, but one look at my daughter’s face and those thoughts disappear. In my darkest days, they really are a light. Oh now, they can cause plenty of darkness themselves, but it can’t compare to the light they actually bring.
It’s nothing like the movies or commercials told me it would be. It’s harder than anything else I’ve ever done in my life, and I love it. It’s really the best job in the world. It’s the most rewarding occupation you will ever have.
I can honestly say that I never wish I weren’t a momma. There are days that I just need a break, like everyone else.
Mom, you’re not a bad person if you need time to yourself. We all have to recharge our batteries after these needy little angels suck the life out of us. But after a few hours of being away from them, you start to realize how much life they actually pour into you.
I never feel uglier than when one of my daughters makes fun of my clothes (or face, or weight), but I never feel prettier than when they compliment something because I know that they really mean it and they noticed something good about me.
Those compliments are the little moments of hope that I’m raising a good person. We have to hang on to every good thing in parenting. These days are flying by so quickly, I feel like I’ll never be able to fully take in these moments of parenthood. I already look at pictures and wonder where the time has gone and think, “What I wouldn’t give to go back to those days and breathe them in a little longer.”
I’m going to miss these days. I wouldn’t trade them for even one parent-less day. I’m a momma. It’s my favorite job. It’s my hardest job, and most days I lie in bed thinking what a failure I’ve been at it. But it’s a job that no one gave me but God and He knows what He’s doing. He didn’t accidentally give me children to raise. He equipped me for this task and then blessed me with daughters who actually love me (most days).
Parenting is hard. Parenting is fun. It’s nothing that can be explained in just one word. But I have one goal as a parent and it can be summed up in this Bible verse, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4.
Let them be crazy, let them be funny, let them be who they are going to be, but may my children always walk in truth and may I be a momma who points them toward the truth.
Enjoy your children this Mother’s Day.
And children, be nice to your mom this Mother’s Day. A little thankfulness from the heart of her child is probably all that she really wants anyway.