Yesterday was Mother's Day. My day wasn't the greatest, between not cooking dinner right and then burning myself pretty badly with it, it was a little rough. However, I spent some time reflecting on Motherhood at the end of the day. I want to share some thoughts with you.
Without going into too much detail, I had to get up earlier than I wanted after a less than perfect night of sleep. We are going on almost nine months of not sleeping through the night (yes, we are trying to let her learn, but it is not working well, and she keeps getting sick. Anyone who can let a sick baby cry is stronger than I am). Last night it was Natalie's fault - she was fussing for something and woke Megan up, so I did nurse her back to sleep rather than listening to her scream. So I was hoping on Mother's Day that Tim would jump up with the kids and let me sleep as late as I wanted. That did not happen (in his defense, I have had several mornings recently that the kids slept late, and Sunday is his only day to sleep in, but Mother's Day only happens once a year so I kind of had expectations).
So, I was up before 6:30 and was tired. Megan was grumpy, and I was having a pity party. Then Natalie also woke up and he continued to sleep. I was getting annoyed, not just at him, but at the whole world! I really would like Megan to start sleeping - this is getting old!
I love being a mommy, but lately I have had days where I really wanted to be alone or with some adult friends, not being hung on, sucked on, and snotted on constantly. Natalie is in a wonderful stage of life, but it comes with a lot of tantrums, whining, and unkind words. Megan is just plain needy and incredibly heavy, and we are nearing the end of breastfeeding and that always comes with feelings of "I am so ready to be done with this" for me. I love nursing, but after about 10 months or so I am done. It's just so hard to get away for a break of any kind with a nursing infant. Anyways, those feelings hit me hard yesterday morning. Not that I didn't want to be a mom, but just that I wished I could just once in a while take a full weekend "off." Babies don't come with vacation days like jobs do.
I jumped on the computer and googled "motherhood is a drag." Don't try it - you get some interesting results (aka - the word "Drag") I wanted to find a blog or article to commiserate with me. Instead, I found this.
I was reminded that, while motherhood has its challenges, it is the greatest title anyone could ever have. I have been so focused lately on my messy house, tiredness, overweight body, and impending work deadlines, that I have forgotten to enjoy my children. Yes, they are the technical "reason" behind my stresses, but they are perfect, beautiful, and need their mommy's love.
Natalie gave me a Mother's Day present that she made at the Children's Museum last week. She has had it on the piano, and every once in a while she has "peeked" inside to make sure it was OK. She also added to it throughout the week. Tim tried to get her to give it to me in the morning, but she insisted that I could only have it "after church." When she did give it to me, she was so excited. She handed it to me and blurted out "It's PAPERS!" I opened it and it was, indeed, papers she had painted and colored (one was a mother's day card). I oohed and awed over them, and she said, "Mommy, do you love it?" So sweet. Of course I did love it. My first "real" mother's day card from my child!
I have a wonderful mother who is also a dear friend. I have a mom I can literally call any time of the day and she will be there for me, no matter what she is struggling with or doing. I have called her when she was in unbearable pain from her physical difficulties, when she was in the middle of teaching a class, or even after she has gone to bed, and she is always willing to listen. I call her when I just need to talk. I want to develop a relationship with my girls so that when they are women with families of their own, they will call me too. I believe that starts now, by listening to them and answering their seemingly endless questions.
Being a mom involves endless self sacrifice, but is that not what Christ did for us on the cross? How can I expect to point my children to the Savior if I am not willing to sacrifice my wants and desires on the altar for them? By putting aside my needs for theirs, I can show them Christ's love. I pray for the strength and grace to do just this.
For all you moms out there, you need to read this article by Elizabeth Elliot. Do not buy into the modern mantra that somehow being a mom is second rate. Do not believe the world when they tell you that you cannot and should not be fulfilled by raising your children. Learn to live in the moment and enjoy it now, no matter how hard it is. Learn to laugh when you are so tired you can do nothing else, and turn to the Savior when your strength is gone. Remember His sacrifice when you feel you have nothing else to give, and may it grant you the strength to carry on.
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