I am suddenly feeling slightly nostalgic. It just dawned on me that today marks my 27th Mother’s Day! Kaitlyn was just one day old when I celebrated my first Mother’s Day at 19 years old. I remember like it was yesterday…. first there was the pain a labor and the flash back inside my head of the “birthing classes” and the crazy psycho woman telling everyone labor feels slightly worst than cramps. I am here to tell you if that lady was standing before me in that moment, as I literally wished I would die of a heart attack rather than go through another second of that pain, – she would no longer be among the living!
As it turns out – over the last 27 years I would go on to have a total of 5 children – all via C-Section thank the Lord Baby Jesus! Cause I saw a live birth once and as much as I want to call it beautiful – I cannot thank GOD enough that I never had to experience that!
Honestly, I don’t think I have ever benefited more in my life than from my children. I attribute a big part of my humor to them! I want to thank everyone of my kids for giving me the ability to laugh at the moments I thought were utterly un-laughable! Like the time I saw my oldest (at 5 yrs old) with a baby snake wrapped around her hand and arm, kissing the snake (who pee through their skin by the way), and watching her express amazing joy at the way the snake feels as it crawls along her arm and wraps around her hand and fingers. Never will forget my response inside my head…. I am 100 percent sure I was screaming and jumping up and down in fear – but on the outside I tilted my lips to the sky in a giant smile and simply agreed that was super cool. I will NEVER forget that moment – the way my skin crawled – and to this day still does when I think about it.
And all the times Lyn, (who is now 24 years old and married) at 3 years old would ride her bike down the cul-de-sac faster than the bike was ever designed for! Everyday, she would wipe out on her bike or crash and burn during her daily sprint race down the middle of the street trying to set a new speed record. Everyone in the neighborhood would joke about her perma-scrapped up knees!
How about the time my then 4 year old son called my then 10 year old daughter a Vagina Cake when she was annoying him….. WHO says that and what the hell is a vagina cake? There is no lesson there… only laughter… what can I even say to that – it is unexplainable.
OH – and ALL the times that I was late for work!
Why??? Because my child’s socks, which have felt perfectly normal for the past 3 months, suddenly were filled with some kind of toxic chemical which makes them impossible to feel normal and I spend the next 30 minutes trying to find the perfect pair to get the fudge out the door without physically dragging my child to the car. Or the mornings when you great your teen with “Good Morning” only to be given the the look of the devil and death for NO reason at ALL. You simply breathed and that is it… Or the time when I was on a plane and my then 9 month old had lightening speed hands and grabbed my cup of coke and dumped it in my lap which when you are wearing white shorts it turns out coke dries to look similar to pee. Not to mention….she also had a MAJOR BLOW OUT on the airplane and it leaked out all over my white shorts to add to my now pee pants – I smelled like poo pants.
Then…. there are the times in the grocery store when you have reached the end of the rope, which your children have consciously taken you to the ultimate edge of sanity on purpose! You snap and scream at the top of your lungs and all the old people around you are looking at you like you are the crazy one…. but the truth is they are too damn old to remember their ankle biters taking them beyond any human mental capacity.
But…. all the times I have felt like I am going to snap and lose my shit so bad that I will never return to normal again or even remain a custodial parent to my children……and believe me – I have 5 kids ages 27, 24, 19, 9 and 7 – there have been SOOOOOO many I cannot even count – I remain mostly sane.
THE TRUTH IS
I love being a mom, I love all the insane stories I have to tell, I love being challenged on a daily basis to take the high road and not break down and scream out that YOU are the biggest brat I have ever met in my life to my children! I love when my kids ask me if they can sit on my lap, I love that my kids look at me and love me beyond anything they know….. As much as I joke about the craziness of parenting (cause if you are a parent you know – the majority of the time you are fighting mental warfare and YOU ARE LOSING!) – I would not trade a moment of my life with my kids for anything in the world.
Is that what I just heard? Oh please tell me I heard those words! Did I misinterpret? No… cannot be. I am 99.99% sure I heard a “you’re right Mom”. This may very well be one of the single best Mother’s Day ever. How often as a mother have you heard those words?
What am I right about? Or maybe it wasn’t “You’re Right”. It was more like: “Wow Mom, I respect you about a million times over”. Actually, I am slightly exaggerating, it wasn’t a million times over but the word respect was definitely said.
What am I babbling about?
Today, Kaitlyn told me how much she respects me as a mother. More so than ever because she is now a mother of an almost 2-year old. She says: “Being a mom is really hard, and you make it look easy”.
I melted inside.
Being a mother frequently feels like wading through mud with rubber boots that are 3 times to big. Impossible to take a step forward without stepping out of your boots in the mud. You tug, pull, and yank one boot and finally free one foot, plant it firmly one step ahead only to have to tug, pull and yank all over again on the other foot. It is slow going and sometimes you are not sure you will make it through. But all the while you know you have to continue, if not for yourself, for your child. You do it over and over and over again not even knowing if trudging through the mud is doing a dang thing. Does what you’re doing really matter?
Today, I know. I know all the trudging, tugging, pulling and yanking was worth every second of all the incredibly difficult times (and with this girl – there was MORE than plenty of trudging).
All worth it. Parenting is hard, its rewarding, its discouraging, its draining, its a crazy mental game with inside and outside influences. You are wrong if you…., you are right if you…., your child will suffer if you… Parenting nowadays with media and information at our fingertips is a constant barrage of do it this way, don’t do this, feed your kids this, or buy them that.
She is right, parenting is hard. You are pushed to your limit and beyond at least 10 times a day. The rewards are unbelievable, but some days you’re not sure there will be any.
And she is doing it alone. Working and enrolled in college full-time is not easy – period – but doing it with a child is downright difficult. She does it, she trudges through that same mud, with those over-sized boots, in the name of motherhood. Because she knows, like I did, inside her heart, its working. Slowly, she is shaping, guiding, and loving beyond what she ever thought was possible.
Over the years I have realized children always love you, even when they think they don’t. They watch you, mock you, and then one day model you. You are never perfect, you make mistakes, you learn and move on. Raising a child is defeating and triumphant.
I love mothering my children, even through the mud while wearing really big boots.