Mother’s Day is around the corner and it has me thinking about what it is to be a Mom. I have 5 biological children and 13 more that I also nurture, love and call mine. Being a Mom has been one of the most joyful experiences of my life. I absolutely love it. I have never loved another person more than I love my children... but to be absolutely real, being a Mom is also one of the hardest things I do. It challenges me every day. I mean every day.
My 2 year old, Ariella is so beautiful and brings me so much joy, but she is very determined, independent, and has to be watched every minute or my bathroom sink would clogged with lotion; food would be dumped out all over the pantry floor; and she would be found two blocks down the street in her plastic high heel dress up shoes, fluffy dress, sunglasses, and her purse containing a favorite small toy on her way to uh... somewhere. She has no idea how much effort went into caring for her that day! It is just my responsibility as her Mother, because I love her, more than life itself.
Being a Mom… Is staying up until midnight on a Friday cutting out pictures until your hands hurt for a school project so that your middle schooler can turn in her Google classroom assignment on time... Is breastfeeding your child until she is two because she needs the nurturing... Is sleeping sitting upright while your feverish six-year old sleeps in your arms and every time he makes a noise you jump to attention with the throw up bowl… Is carefully navigating that conversation with your college-aged daughter about finding the right person to share life with… Is letting your teen son have his independence and start making his own decisions, even though you have been protecting him his whole life and you are scared to death the world is going to eat him alive… Is waiting and respecting your adult child to ask for advice… Is listening to your teenage daughter express her feelings for two hours and being interested in everything she has to say… Is going to work, so you can financially care for your children… Is lying awake at night worrying about all the mistakes you have made that day raising your kids and making a new commitment to do better tomorrow… Is always making sure your kids are safe and taken care of no matter what sacrifices it takes.
It is just what we do, because we are completely amazing and because we absolutely love our children with everything in us. The New York Post mentioned that a Mom’s responsibility is the equivalent of 2.5 full time jobs. Um...yea. We are pretty hard core. Being a Mom is a 24/7, 365 days a year gig!
One of the things that my own Mother taught me is that you have to take care and love yourself. For me, other than the love that God gives me, I have to make sure I know how to fill up my own Love Tank (the little place inside myself that holds the reserve of love and energy I use to do all the amazing stuff I do)! There are people in our life that can love us, but honestly it is our responsibility to figure out, with Gods help, how to love our self. This is also our responsibility as a Mother.
When you are on a plane, the flight attendant says that in the event of an inflight emergency put on your oxygen mask BEFORE you put it on anyone else. Well, as a Mother this is our responsibility. We need to make sure to take care of our self, before we can take care of our children. We have to give our self the oxygen, so that we have the energy to give our children oxygen. It isn’t selfish. It is very important to do. Otherwise we won’t have what it takes to take care of them and give them what they need.
So this Mother’s Day enjoy the flowers, the cards, the Popsicle stick picture frames, and their l love you’s, but make sure you do something to love yourself. Embrace the amazing woman that you are and do something special for you! When you are feeling whole you can freely give love and care to your babies. It is how you will continue to be amazing! You are doing great Mom!
P.S. A special shout out to all those Mr. Moms out there who are making it happen! You rock!