I’ve always wanted to be a mom. Back in the “good ol’ days” (as my kids call it), when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always the same. I would proudly proclaim, “a mom”! And without fail, it was always followed up with “but what else besides a mom.” That response bothered me. My memory is horrible, I can hardly remember details of growing up, but I remember that! Why was being “just” a MOM not enough?
Now that I am a mom, I can tell you that there is a whole heck of a lot more to it than I thought. It brings out the best in me and the worst in me. I laugh, I cry, I pull my hair out, and I don’t sleep, but I still love the job that I always aspired to have! It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. When being a mom is hard (which I’m pretty sure is daily), I like to think about why it’s enough, why I do what I do, and why I still love it.
There are the daily struggles as a mom. The “ground hog day” chores that are never ending and ever apparent, yelling in my face everyday. I still love it. It helps me become a more disciplined person.
There are the tears, happy and sad. The first vaccinations, the first t-ball game, saying good-bye on the first day of kindergarten (and all the other milestones), watching them shine with confidence in a concert or performance, hearing about hurt feelings, heartbreaks, fears, dreams, and successes. All of which make me cry. I still love it. It helps me feel compassion, unconditional love, and stretches my heart and mind more than I thought possible.
There are the times when I finally put my “to do” list aside and don’t get anything done except being with my kids. I still love it! It helps me remember that life is short and I need to stop to live it more often.
And of course there are the patience builders. Need we go into this?…the pet peeves, the buttons that are pushed (on purpose none–the-less), the fighting, the teasing, the strong wills, the disobedience, the last words, the yelled words, the hurtful words. I still love it. It teaches me patience! It teaches me to forgive others and myself and to teach my children to do the same. It teaches me to love others for who they are, not for what I want them to be. It teaches me the importance of unconditional love.
There are the fingerprints, the messes, the undo what I do monsters that roam our house. I still love it. It teaches me to let go and to enjoy the season I’m in before it passes me by.
There is no paycheck. I still love it. It teaches me that the most important things in life are not things or money.
There is no status quo. When I do a good job, I don’t get employee of the month, or gift cards, or my name on a plaque, or praise from others. In fact, it can often go unnoticed. I still love it. It teaches me to be selfless, to look beyond me, and my needs, and to live for a higher purpose.
There are no days off, no sick days, and no paid time off. I still love it. It teaches me that I can do hard things and that most things worth having, are hard.
There are the days, weeks, and months when I wear so many different hats and juggle so many balls that I can’t see straight. That’s often when I have the “mommy can’t do all this” breakdowns. I still love it. It teaches me time management and multitasking. It teaches me to simplify. It helps me prioritize.
There is the mighty responsibility of raising the next generation to be honorable adults that will contribute to society in the future. Adults that are full of faith, character, and value. Adults that work hard, adults that look up from their phones and techy gadgets and notice the world around them is still turning. This is quite the challenge in a world that teaching just the opposite, but I still love it. It teaches me to put God first, to serve in the community, and it reminds me that it’s okay to be different.
There are so many priceless moments that no paycheck or status quo could ever replace. Being there to see all the “firsts” and accomplishments, the memorable talks, the traditions, the giggles and laughs, the triumphs, and the simple every day moments that make my world turn!
Some may say that just being mom is not enough, but to me, it’s more than enough. It’s our future.
“Whatever the era, whatever the times, one thing will never change…Your success as a family, our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House but on what happens inside your house.” ~Barbara Bush
So on those days when you are feeling smothered by the hard things of being a mom and you need a reminder why being “just” a mom is enough, remember that it’s a lot bigger than “just” staying home all day, it’s a lot more than dirty diapers, tantrums, and sassy mouths. It’s the most important thing you can be doing! There doesn’t need to be any “what else”, it alone, is enough, and it’s totally worth it!
The article was seen first on Real Imprints.