Friday, May 10, 2013

Motherhood...Life's Hard Work!

When my husband and I first got married at the young age of 25 and 22, respectively, we decided to wait a little while before embarking on the journey of parenthood. Both of us the youngest of three siblings, we’d been exposed to the “transformation” as our older brothers and their wives blazed the trail.

“Just wait until you have your own…you won’t believe how much love you will feel for your child!” they’d exclaim while ogling at the prodigy in our midst with what Michael and I called “parental beer goggles.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we didn’t adore our nieces and nephews too, it’s just that you really can’t fully comprehend the capacity to love as a parent loves, until you are there, and we weren’t yet there.

By the time we were ready a few years later, we couldn’t wait to join our family and friends in the elite and enlightened club of parenthood. I, specifically, couldn’t wait to know the joy of holding the miracle mixture of my husband and me, sweetly sleeping in my new-mommy arms; and the pride when describing my adorable toddler’s attempt at singing the alphabet song; and even the sorrow that would come with a bruised knee or hurt feelings, knowing that I had the power to soothe it all away.

I admit that I really had no idea how much my world would change when I first heard the words, “It’s a girl!” In the thirteen years since, I have had some great parenting moments, and some that I never thought I'd utter out loud, let alone BLOG about. Like the time I stuck my finger down my two-year-old's throat trying to get her to throw up the cough syrup she drank from the bottle. (Those caps aren't as child-safe as they seem.) Poor thing wet herself right there standing in her Cinderella dress and her red-ruby slippers. Proud mommy moment...not so much. Or when I was too tired to go upstairs when my son asked for his blanket, (let's face it, when they're tiny people all we do is go up and down those damn stairs!) so I sent him. It only took him two minutes to make his way back downstairs with his blanket and a wry smile. (That's never a good sign.) Apparently, while on his assignment, he found a marble, a dime and a Barbie shoe. They were ALL in his mouth. I may as well have given him some whole grapes or a hot dog!

Of course there are many things I'm proud of too. I love that my kids like to talk to me and tell me their secrets and worries and hopes. They ask questions, they trust me and they give me the chance to shape their hearts and souls. It's hard and rewarding work, mothering. And as they get older, it takes more composure and wisdom to answer their questions about things like friendships ("did you ever have friends who bullied you when you were a kid?") and peer pressure ("I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't have insert item of desire here") and sex ("can you do it just once to get the number of kids you want, or do you have to do it once for each kid?") Even when I have to "get back to them on that one," my heart warms at the mere fact that they asked me. And I couldn’t imagine a life more meaningful, challenging, fulfilling, sleep-depriving, amazing and harrowing than that of a mother (or father).

So during this gloriously blessed Mother's Day weekend, I honor and thank my amazing mother, my sweet daughter, my loving aunt, my fabulous sisters-in-law, my awesome cousins and my wonderful friends who have all, in some way, shared with me the joys of motherhood and helped shape the woman and mother that I am today.

With or without children, women possess a great capacity to love and nurture those we care about. During this special weekend, go hug a mom, a friend, or a woman who has impacted your life and enjoy a very happy Mother’s Day!

Love,

{J}

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