What does being a mom mean to you? What do you remember about your own mom? How has this colored your choices in parenting your child? Maybe you aren't a mom yet, but you want to be one someday?
These are becoming more prevalent questions these days as scientists study what mom's do. According to one study, it isn't really that we mom's are so busy at all. While logically, the math made some sense, it didn't take into account that as women when most of us take care of our families, we put our whole heart and soul into being a mom. We are accountants and bill payers, cheerleaders for our husband and children, we cook, clean, make and keep doctor's appointments, we chauffer our children and for some of us, our older parents around. Good mom's do what they can to stay in touch with teachers and find out how their child is doing in school. I often drop by unannounced and slip upstairs to check on Lizzie and Sarah at times. I call and make sure things are going well - it got harder as Sarah got older, but I also keep the girl's teachers in the loop when changes happen in our home - such as we face a deployment, welcome a new baby, have to take a trip to see a Grandpa who is very ill and might not make it one more year. Sometimes, we are part psychic, or so it seems to our children. I am the maker of muffins, bread, favorite meals just because I know the girls have a bad day. I have watched more cartoons as a mom than I ever watched as a child growing up, because I am doing it in threes. First it was Sarah and her love of princesses and cartoons, then Lizzie (who is still in the cartoon phase but is slowly coming out of it, and Beka who loves all things animated; princess and vegetable and animals. By the time Beka outgrows cartoons, I may never want to watch a singing cat, mouse, swan or vegetable again.
I am the Christmas joy maker. After Thanksgiving we start making decorations. I buy cheap Christmas coloring books, and we color and then paste pictures on colored construction paper, or make snowflakes and Christmas chains and use them to decorate our house. I am the ego stroker for Chris, the maker of his favorite meals and the listening ear when it is needed.
A few years ago I asked Sarah to help me with a chore. . . her response? "It's not like you do anything anyway, so why don't you do it?" Interestingly enough I work harder as a mom than I ever did at my jobs - including the jobs I loved. Never in the work place did I wear so many hats.
I am the soother of hurt feelings and the one who often fights battles when things are not going well for my girls. I am the woman you see who stares down the barrel of a gun (figuratively I assure you) and still stands her ground so her child will get the special needs services she needs and the school system must give to her.
All of these things, I do with love. Why? Because my mom, my aunts, my grandma taught me through an excellent example years ago what it was to be a good mom. I am a good mom and Meg is a good mom because of the amazing women in our family and our church families who showed us to be loving, compassionate, firm, and unconditional love as mothers.
There are some of you reading this, who did not have this example in your own mother. It doesn't mean you cannot grow up to be that kind of mom. You can be a good parent. Is it going to be hard? Yes, it is. Will it make you want to cry sometimes? Absolutely. Will your children break your heart? You bet. However, with these challenges also comes rewards. Rewards when your children come to you because they know they can trust you with secrets, or hurt knees and hearts. Kisses and hugs galore will come your way. But here is the amazing thing about children that still warms my heart to this day. While children can be incredibly selfish, they also have a great capacity for love and empathy for others. Children are born trusting us. It is one of the things that makes abuse such an awful crime. When a child is born they are born trusting that we will take care of their needs and as they grow, they learn that either we can be trusted, or to always duck and cover.
I love that Elizabeth at ages two and three would stand on the fourth step in our house and jump, trusting that Chris and I would catch her. Beka has similar trust, but she is afraid of a lot of things - by nature she is a cautious girl. Farm animals, tornado sirens, loud noises tend to cause her some anxiety. I cannot vacuum the floor when she is at home - she begins to cry and scream because the noise scares her and I suspect it hurts her ears. I love that as a baby Beka would call down at night, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." No matter how quietly Chris would answer her calls with "Bekaboooooooooo." She could hear him and would get so excited - it became a game they played until he deployed. He even dreamed about it while he was gone and called out in his sleep to her.
If you have a good mom, I encourage you to tell her how much you love her and what a good job she did today. If you aren't a mom yet but want to be one someday, I hope you read this and take pieces of it with you. I love being a mom and I hope someday my girls will grow up and be good moms too.
Have a good week and Happy Wednesday.
Love In Christ,