Motherhood is not for the faint at heart. It is not for those that believe being a mommy is fun and games. It is for those that are willing to put their hearts on the line only to have it broken time and time again but find the overall rewards worth it. It is for the women who find giving life and planting seeds for the world rewarding.
As Mother’s Day comes, I reflect on lessons. Expect nothing in return and then, when you get it, you will be pleasantly surprised. Kids think the world revolves around them and mothers are there to serve. When you are given attention, you are to thank them for their time, at any age.
There will be plenty of excuses. There are busy playing with their toys, then with their friends, then driving somewhere, anywhere! Next comes a focus on college (which you are helping with odds and ends anyways!), dating, marriage, kids and life. There appears to always be something more important than you. It is like “Cat’s in the Cradle Song”, even when you have made the time, and still do. Many adult children simply won’t make the time for you. Accept this truth and you will be much happier. Just savor the time you are given. You can’t change them so don’t try. With acceptance comes peace.
You are the number one cheerleader for your child. Have a "you can do it" attitude. Nobody cares more about your child than you, no other parent or teacher. They may not acknowledge you on the sideline and any yell may be met with extreme embarrassment. You may be forbidden to wave but trust me, your being there is an esteem builder, it shows they matter. At the end of the game, they may run off to their friends but it registered and you saw what you created put forth effort. It is a win-win!
You were not put in the world to be a parent in order to be their best friend. Wait till you utter these words and watch their faces switch to creatures you don’t recognize. All the sudden, you swear younever bore this hateful creature. But yet, being a mom means putting boundary lines in place, that means saying no, grounding, and saying uncomplimentary things at times, the things their friends wouldn’t dare say. You say it because you love them and they need to hear it. They won’t see it as love. They will hate you and swear you are mean and put up a wall of disbelief and anger towards you. It will break your heart but if not you, who will do this necessary step to growth? No one will tell you motherhood is easy.
Getting thrown up, pooped, and bled on is no fun but shit happens, again and again! Be ready and muster through. You also become a semi-paramedic yet never feel quite adequate to answer questions like do I take them to the ER, to the doctor, does it require stitches, is this temperature too high, will you throw up again, and are you contagious? Get a Magic 8 ball. It will help!
Talk about the stuff that makes your kids uncomfortable. Sound strange? Talk about porn, sex, safe sex, birth control, Christian values, faith, child molesters, unsafe people, politics, drugs, divorce, etc.… Better at home to bring them up, don’t leave it to school, the internet, strangers, peers, etc. Your belief system is a far better teacher. They will squirm and you may too but it gives them a chance to ask you and create a safe channel of communication lines. Make the world safer for your children and for our community, our world.
Be willing to understand you will make mistakes, plenty of them. You must own up to them for not doing so sends a message to your children that you are perfect, arrogant or unwilling to admit you’re wrong. None of us is expected to be a perfect mom; we are only expected to try our best with what we are given. If your kids love you, they will appreciate what they are given. If they can’t accept that, you must let them struggle with why. God placed them with you for a reason.
Walking into motherhood requires prayer. Some children you can’t survive with without it. Your miracle didn’t get here without God. It will certainly go better for all if you continue to allow God’s miracles to happen in your life and theirs by asking for a little help!
Some children, as they move on with their lives, may move completely out of your life. This is hardas you age because, though the memories may forever make you feel young at heart, your body gives your age away. They may put the priority of you in their life on a backburner more than ever just as you realize your life is coming closer to the end. Know in your heart that many mothers have shared this fate. You are not alone. As when your children slammed the door after screaming they hate you, you must leave the door closed much as it hurts. Continue to love them and continue to pray. You have been a mom and will continue to be till the end of your life but it is their choice to make. You planted the seed and showed them what unconditional love was. Now is the time to reflect on the precious memories if no more are created.
Though motherhood is full of heart aches, drama and trauma, it is also full of laughter, joy and pride. It is a time of celebration and a lifetime of memories. It is reminder of our Christian faith in that Mary, mother of Jesus showed how one so kindhearted and loving could raise a king meaning each and every one of us is capable of turning a single baby into someone who can change the world!