Writing a blog post for Mother’s Day has been on my to-do list all week. Since I often write about mothering, I figured it would be an easy post to throw together. But the last few weeks have been less than inspiring. I’m exhausted, struggling to think of things I love about being a mom. It’s just been those kinds of days.
As a mom, I live in the tension of LOVING mothering but not always liking it. I really adore my boys, but many mornings I wake up and sigh, knowing today is another day that I’m mostly a stay-at-home-mom, a day that I’ll be on call 24 hours. Today is another day that I will desperately need more patience than I have, more answers than I know, more creativity than I can muster, more silliness than my personality contains. But today is a day that I’m still mom, a day that my kids need me to be their mom.
As a mom, I have to carefully consider what I lick off my fingers. I often eat half-eaten sandwiches and guzzle coffee, lest I not fully caffeinate. My hair is nearly always in a messy bun or pony-tail. If I go to the bathroom, it’s a full-blown crisis. As a mom, I’m exhausted, nearly 100% of the time. Today Bronson told me to take a nap while him and Oli played on their new swing set. If only…
As a mom, I love hearing my one-year-old say “mum-ee”, but I also dread the 20 minute walk-by-finger-a-athon that will happen when I respond to his calling. As a mom, I watch my sons play out my personality – both for the best and worst. As a mom, I know the hours and weeks and months of correcting behavior and subtly teaching that goes into one moment where my son says “no thanks mom” or stands patiently and quietly while I talk to another adult. (When does that happen?!?)
As a mom, tears flow. My kids hold my heart in their hands. I cry in pride, in joy, in amazement at who they are and who they could become. I cry in frustration, exhaustion, even anger, over what they’re doing or what they’re saying.
As a mom, I’m the easiest person to get mad at, but the person that will absolutely be there at 2 a.m. when they call. Every. Single. Time.
It’s adorable to have a little being so soaked into me, and it’s torture to never sleep through the night. As a mom, I laugh at myself and my kids at 3 a.m. like a crazy person because if I don’t laugh I might scream or cry or I might fall asleep with the screaming and crying going on all around me.
As a mom, I’m the clean-up crew, the referee, the teacher, the coach, the cheerleader, the chef, the counselor, the pick-you-upper, the transporter, the event planner, the organizer. My boys have an amazing dad, but when they want something, they mostly ask me. Because they know that I know what they want. They know that I’ve got it, got them, that I’m their mom.
Last night Oli tried to latch onto my nose. It was a perfect moment to laugh at the absurd-ness of mothering. Part of me wanted to cry out, “Don’t you know I’m a person, too – a whole person separate from you? I need sleep!!” I didn’t, and that’s not entirely true. I am a whole person, but to be a mom (at least in these early stages) is to sacrifice that separateness, that self-service, that my-needs-are-equal-to-your-needs.
As a mom, circumstances don’t matter. Many days are difficult, exhausting, boring. Liking mothering isn’t part of the consideration. Being a mom is being all-in. It’s an overflow of love, a love that covers all things, endures all things and hopes through all things.
From one mom to many others, Happy Mother’s Day! Even in the nitty-gritty of this job, we all know it’s worth it!