Happy Mothers Day! It was last Sunday, but really it’s every day when you’re a mom, people are just forced to notice on that day. Huzzah.
I’m going on seven years being a mother, so it’s finally starting to feel natural. In the early years with a newborn it didn’t feel natural yet and my brain barely functioned. An old friend from college said that even though I was a mom, technically I was unemployed so it wasn’t a real job. Exhausted, I didn’t have any quick wit to defend myself. Years later as a seasoned mother (with adequate brainpower), I might’ve responded, “Even though you’re an imbecile, technically that’s not a real job either.” If someday he ever becomes a loving father (Lord, help that child), I’m going to give him a great big hug ... and his children a ton of candy.
Since then, my babies that have now grown into a toddler and a “real” child (that is what I call school-aged children; I realize it’s leaning on Pinocchio territory, but I can’t help it), I now crave boredom as much as possible. A 10-minute drive alone might be comparable to a trip to the Bahamas.
While life is good, being a mom means I’m constantly busy, handling two kids at all times. Literally, that last sentence took 10 minutes to write. I had to show my toddler how to use an old Chapstick he found in the junk drawer and then check on my daughter who was hollering a question, because she apparently thinks I have magic ears that can hear through walls and doors (I’ll let her keep thinking that). When I walked out of the bedroom, I found the junk drawer spilled all over the kitchen, and blue crayon graffiti in the hallway. I started to get upset and stubbed my pinky toe in the process. Now one kid is in naptime timeout (the best kind) and the other is quietly watching a movie. Please pass me another cup of coffee.
Did I sign up for this? On the weekends before noon, I look just as hungover as I did in college, but sober and with children. Being a parent is often about being in control, being the adult! But sometimes calmly carrying along (while the spouse is at work), doesn’t always happen. There are moments when we are at our wit’s end and totally depleted. When the demands seem to pile up over our head without our permission. Other times, we are organized and superseding our expectations! Either way, this job isn’t terribly hard or terribly easy, but somehow a mix of the two.
As a mother, I can always use more hands, more time, more energy, more makeup, and more patience.
Most days, whether it be only a moment, I’m reminded that being a mother is important. We might not see a paycheck for our efforts or a grade for our accomplishments, but with hugs and love from my kids, and most importantly (to me), a healthy respect, it seems we’re on the right track. Don’t get me wrong, my kids often think I’m am a maid, personal chef, and fairy godmother of obscure wishes. I understand, they are still young and my personal belief is that it’s my privilege, pride, and blessing to guide and teach them as they grow into intricate individuals. As a grown woman, not just as their mom, I can appreciate the people they are turning into and am proud that I have a hand in it. Isn’t that nice? (I’m not gonna lie, that took a lot of brain power.)
As mothers, we might deal with criticism from smug relatives about our decisions or arrogant mothers with their own set of insecurities, but the only person at the end of the day that matters to me is my husband. My partner who’s responsible for giving my daughter her fierce brown curls and my son his long charming eyelashes. He’s allowed to be bossy, but mostly is just understanding and caring. Which makes me look bad, because I’m pretty bossy.
Here’s the thing little mamas, you are doing great! Go easy and have grace on yourselves, being a mother is not an easy task. We’re only human and make mistakes just like anyone else in their profession. Our good intentions bring life and love to our kids, even if we need a big side of patience and a great sense of humor at times. Seek support and encouragement when you need it, but don’t forget to give it to others! It might mean accepting help when you need it or being sweet during a simple conversation at your kids soccer game. Remember, just as we believe our kids are one-of-a-kind and unique ... so are we!
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.