Thursday, November 24, 2011
30 Days of Gratitude: Day Twenty-Four
I spent the last three days expressing gratitude for each of my children, so while this may seem a bit redundant, I still feel the need to express that I am grateful to be a mom.
As far back as I can remember, I loved playing "house" when I was a little girl. What little girl doesn't? I think as most little girls play with their dolls (their "babies") they dream of being a mom one day. Normally, the thought process is "One day, when I'm a mom..." not "... if I'm a mom".
I don't think the "if" factor even crosses our minds until some of us get older and want a baby and then learn it's not going to happen. I've seen that happen to several of my closest friends and even some of my family members; it's heartbreaking.
I don't pretend to know the mysteries of God, or why some of us women can bear children easily while others can't. But I will say that standing by - helpless - watching some of the women closest to my heart go through this, has definitely made me more appreciative to be a mom.
I remember struggling some days, feeling like the worst mom in the world and wondering if I was screwing up my kids and hoping that they would still turn out okay in spite of me. I still have days like that. Kids do that. They try us and our patience. It's what we did to our parents, and it's what they do to us. Sometimes I am told I am the meanest mom in the world, and at times I've even been "hated". During those times, I try to take it with a grain of salt, and I usually reply, "Good. That means I am doing my job." I think part of being a parent is setting boundaries for our kids (which is sometimes hard for me), and even though they may say they hate us for it, or that we've ruined their lives, in the end and deep down what they really mean is "thanks, because now I know you love me." The payoff is when they say things like, "Thanks for dinner mom - that was the best!" or "I love you."
Luckily, those hard times are far and few between the good ones. (Even if it feels overwhelming at the time.) I look back at how exasperated I felt during a few of their terrible-two phases. (One of my kids had the terrible twos until they were four!) I laugh, because I see how far they've come and realize the terrible two's weren't such a big deal after all -- and we got through it! I survived the night terrors, the whining, the screaming, the all-night crying for seemingly no reason at all. I survived the breaking things, the getting into things, the mess-making. Thus far I've managed to get through the back-talk, the sibling tiffs, and the disappointment of coming home to find they haven't done their chores when asked. Things that seem sooo exhausting and soooo monumental in the moment, but when compared to all of the joys, the laughter and the fun times I've experienced with them, seem so small - so insignificant.
I am grateful I have been blessed with the opportunity and the capability to be a mom. I love being a mom and I'd definitely do it all again if I could.