I’ve never really taken a moment to think about how much motherhood has changed my life; I was a mom before I could even figure out who I was and for years Mother’s Day didn’t mean much to me. I was single for so long and my kids were so young they didn’t really understand what the point was, and I was so tired from working non-stop, all it meant for me was REST. As I look back at the chaotic single mom moments and then becoming a mom again at an older (and MUCH wiser age), all I can do is laugh, cry, smile, cry and laugh some more. I’ve learned so much a long the way and here are a few things I want to share with you:
- I’ve become more patient…. Not in all areas though! I really think it’s a different kind of patience, only one that experienced mothers can have. I remember when Austin was young and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, much less knowing how to raise a boy, by myself. I was probably too hard and didn’t understand him, but now that I’m on my third toddler and second boy, I’ve relaxed on the temper tantrums and messes. Why sweat the small stuff?!
- Love. I never knew what unconditional love was until I had children. Theres nothing that my kids could do that would make me ‘un-love’ them. NOTHING. There are things they do that disappoint me, make me sad and even angry, I hate to see them make decisions that I know will have consequences, but I also know it’s a part of growing up and learning. Regardless of their actions and decisions, I will always love my children with every single ounce of me. (BTW, this love is the love that our heavenly Father has for us, His love is not conditional or based on works and good behavior!)
- Selflessness. Theres ALWAYS room for improvement in this area for me, but it’s not easy being selfish when you are raising four kids.
- Organization. Ok, let’s be real. I’m not organized. I never have been and I will always try to be! BUT, I have become more organized since having kids. I don’t always pick them up on time and I miss Dr. appointments occasionally because I truly do forget, but I have a calendar now and complete 75% of the stuff on my to do lists. That’s a step in the right direction! 😉
- I have learned what forgiveness really feels like. When my kids have messed-up or disrespected me and realized what they did and apologized, it has given me the opportunity to experience giving forgiveness, true forgiveness. And it’s also taught them how important it is to acknowledge wrong and that they are worth being forgiven.
- Happiness is a choice. I’ve learned that my kids will feed off of my energy and if I’m a miserable mom, they will learn to be miserable, but if I choose to be positive, they will learn how be optimistic in life. No one wants to be around a miserable pessimist right?!! It’s also ok to have a bad day… Just not 10….In a row…
- Perfection isn’t real! We all know deep down inside no one is perfect right? So why do we as mom’s try to be? This is another one that’s a work in progress for me, but I have become less worried about my looks and I’m perfectly ok with wearing ALMOST no makeup and a hat if I have to. Years ago you wouldn’t see me in yoga pants in public and I wouldn’t be caught dead without a full face of makeup on, but those days are long gone, thank you Jesus! Most often all I have time for is eyebrows, lipgloss and stretchy pants ( Lululemon of course 😉 ) But the really important worry of being a perfect mom is NOT realistic. I have accepted the fact that I wont be at every single field trip, I won’t be coaching sports or attending every single PTA meeting, and it’s OK! We as mom’s (and women in general) are too hard on ourselves, and the fact is, we are doing the best we know how. Some women really have it all together and can multitask and make perfect crafts and amazing cupcakes and dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, but I can’t and I’m accepting that that’s not my reality. (But serious props to the moms that can do all that stuff!) So let’s stop being so hard on ourselves and be proud of all we have accomplished, I know I could spend more time loving my kids and less time worrying about what I’m doing wrong…
I love going back and thinking about all of the memories and years I’ve been a mom. I wouldn’t trade any situation or mistakes for anything in this world (ok maybe a few), it’s made me the mom I am today and has helped me strive to be even more loving and available to my kids. I look forward to the years and lessons ahead, I know my job isn’t done (it never will be) and we all have room for growth. Being a mom is the best gift and blessing I could ever ask for and I thank God everyday for my family. I hope this Mothers Day was so special for all of you and I hope to hear some ways motherhood has helped you!