Being a mom is really hard. None of the details matter. If you have the "perfect" family of a boy and a girl, a husband that worships you and makes tons of money, a big house that you can afford and don't have to clean yourself, and all of the other "perfects" like a great school, helpful and friendly neighbors, supportive family, and a body that is none the worse for wear after pregnancy, childbirth, nursing and eating your kids leftover chicken nuggets...IT IS STILL HARD. Your kids will still fight with each other, your toddler will still want to sit on your lap when you pee, your baby will still cry when you hand him over to a sitter to get your hair done, your husband will still want affection from you even though you feel like all you have been doing all day is touching, loving, playing, hugging, kissing boo-boos, calming, swaying, bouncing, and rocking. You will still cry yourself to sleep at night wondering if you are ruining your children and your future grandchildren for life because you yelled, again, even though you prayed you wouldn't. You will still wonder if you have what it takes to raise them to be responsible, generous, loving individuals who can make it in this harsh world...and you will read stories of families that did everything "right" and they still have a son that's a mass murderer. This also, will keep you up at night, right along with the baby that likes to eat every few hours. And you will wonder why for decades there has been a phrase "sleep when the baby sleeps" because first, it seems the baby never sleeps and when he/she does, you are rushing around like a mad woman trying to do things like, I don't know, shower and poop. This mom prays that everything she can give her child, from the $1000 birthday parties to the love-notes in their lunchboxes, will be enough.
It is even harder for the mom who has none of the 'perfects' of the aforementioned mom. This mom is doing it alone, the dad got a free pass. Oh sure he's supposed to pay up, but he's no where to be found. This mom has to juggle child care while she works, and she owes much more than she makes. She knows she doesn't live in a safe town, she knows she feeds her kids cheap, processed junk...but the money she makes can't go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, it's got to go towards trying to keep a roof over their heads. This mom loses sleep wondering if her children will go to bed hungry again tomorrow night, or worrying if her babies are warm enough because they can't afford heat. This mom prays that her whispers of love in her children's ears, her promises of a better life soon, her hugs and kisses before she drops them off with a childcare worker she hopes she can trust...this mom prays that it will be enough.
What about the mothers that are mothers already in their hearts, but their bodies just can't seem to get pregnant, sustain a pregnancy. They are still mothers, will their baby ever come? These women are brave and strong, who do amazing things like go to the grocery store and watch as a mom disciplines her child harshly as he begs for a cookie. She thinks she'd never stop giving her son cookies, if she only could. Or how about rsvp-ing Yes to that baby shower invite of an old friend who used to say she never wanted kids, but the birth control didn't work and now she's having twins. This mom would give anything, and is trying everything, to be able to feel life grow inside of her and give birth to a baby that is lifted to her chest to nurse and thrive. She knows women visit abortion clinics every day and she wishes she could talk just one of them into having that baby, and giving it to her to love. She loses sleep each night thinking of all the unwanted babies in this world, and wondering why she can't seem to have any. This mom prays unceasingly that God will give her a baby, and she hopes that He thinks she is enough to give her one.
It is also hard, so hard, for the mothers who have lost a baby, or even many babies...their arms are empty and their hearts are broken. They wonder what they did wrong, they wonder if they are being punished. This mom wonders if her baby even knew how much he was loved, and wanted. This mom prays and hopes that God hears, and will tell her baby over and over again that he is missed, and loved, with every breath, every day. She cries herself to sleep, clutching the baby blanket that never held a baby, as she thinks of how old he or she would be, what would they have done that day together? Gone to the playground or the beach? Would her child have had brown eyes or blue, blonde hair or brown? This mom hopes that her belief that she will see her baby again in Heaven is enough to get her through this life.
No matter what kind of mom you are, it is not easy being a mother. Shame on you, Time magazine, for questioning us. We are far too busy questioning ourselves. We are far too busy questioning each other, when we should be affirming, supporting and loving each other. Indeed there are moms out there who don't do right by their children, and that is a tragedy. But I think the majority really are trying...but there is not a book out there that can tell us exactly what to do or say on any given day, because no one else lives our life, with our children. We are all unique, with different gifts and challenges.
Happy Mother's Day moms...you are enough.
|These 2 precious girls, plus one in heaven, made me a mother.|