On May 9, 2009 at 11:24pm I gave birth to a 4lb, 11oz son. The first time I held him I didn’t fully comprehend what it was to be a mom, and yet I knew I loved this child I carried for 36 weeks. The sacrifice, the devotion, the love had not sunk in as I confidently assumed mothering in its entirety would come as naturally as riding a bike… perhaps I was thinking of a bike with training wheels?
From the first breath your baby takes, they long for their mother to console them. In the first few weeks, their cuteness is enough to wake you up in the middle of the night rushing to their side to meet their needs. But soon after, when your body starts to feel the effect of this transition, you realize that mothering is less like a sprint and more like a marathon.
But soon after, when your body starts to feel the effect of this transition, you realize that mothering is less like a sprint and more like a marathon.
You learn to adapt to your new way of life… The cold coffee and meals, the lack of sleep, and the dependency of another. The selfishness that we didn’t even realize we had becomes more apparent as we are forced to think of someone above ourselves. As Christians, we are to “die to self”; children speed up this process.
As mothers we are learning as we go. There’s no handbook that can truly prepare us for the joys and trials that come. Some days, it’s all we can handle to put one foot in front of the other. Then there are other glorious days where we can deceive ourselves into thinking that we have mastered parenting, but we are not perfect and neither are our kids.
When you reflect on what you have done in a day it almost seems insurmountable, yet unless someone was a fly on your wall they may question what you did that day. Didn’t you have time for…? No, the answer is no. If there was time I would have done it. Do you think I didn’t brush my hair for a fashion statement?
Kids have needs, and we fill them. These needs are ever changing. Once you have mastered one stage, they’ve transitioned to the next one. This ever growing, ever changing process actually excites me. I like learning and adapting to the new situations. I set my own personal goals: patience, clean house, laugh with my kids, go grocery shopping with all three kids, whatever, I set in a given day. If I executed it even partially, I feel pretty accomplished!
For me the biggest struggle in parenting isn’t the kids; it’s other people. The expectations of how I should or shouldn’t parent, media that influences my kids and different ideals. And yet this paradox is interesting because it is interaction with other kids and people that allow kids the opportunity to show love, learn to get along and show respect to others outside the family. It’s a balance, and we have to know our limitations and filter what really needs to be present.
In the show Survivor, they show the effects of malnutrition and the psychological aspects of staying on an island for 30 days. Parenting is a lot longer than that. Although we are not malnourished we are striving everyday with repetitious and constant demands. I would never say the demands outweigh the blessings, because they don’t. However, I think it is so important to highlight mom and the fact that moms are tough cookies who are often under appreciated. Their bodies are being pushed to their max daily. They are more acknowledged when they mess up, rather then admired when they manage to keep the house afloat daily.
Today, take time to appreciate moms and all of their hard work. We can’t control how others respond to us, but we can have control over how we respond to others. Moms need encouragement, that extra push when they have already drank their last drop of coffee. The reassurance that they are doing a good job, are important and valuable. Thank you for pressing forward! Thank you for dedicating your life for another human being!
Here is a cute story that I’m sure fellow moms can appreciate: What did you do all day?