Most of the time we don't think about how tough it is to be a mom until we become one. And then suddenly the past 20 or 25 years all make sense. We understand why our own moms would stay up lately making cupcakes for a school party. Or maybe we didn't even realize that they did and now we know how much of their own lives were consumed by ours.
It seems that have kids puts so much in perspective. We come to see how our own mothers must have struggled with balance, time commitments, and the dreaded Mommy guilt. In spite of our best laid plans to parent to a prescribed standard, we realize that every mom, including our own, is just winging it and praying for the best.
Parenthood becomes less about balance and more about priorities. We realize that we can't have it all and that's ok because we CAN have the best that God has for us. Like bedtime kisses. Stories told in hushed whispers. Beloved stuffed animals and cuddly blankets. Forts built under tables. Running through sprinklers. ABC songs and Curious George story books.
We realize the times we took our mothers for granted. The scraped knees that needed to be kissed meant an interrupted phone call. The cookies in our lunch meant time baking instead of sleeping. The sports played meant hours sacrificed that could have been spent in personal pursuits. And all the while, we breezed through life, never giving a second thought that she'd come through.
Maybe for some of us this wasn't the case. Maybe our "moms" were the next door neighbor who took us in when Mom was working late. Maybe she was the softball coach who could always give us a ride when Mom was elsewhere. Maybe the Mom who could be most trusted is the older friend who mentors us through the rocky days of Motherhood without leaving us feeling like we've burdened her as well.
I come from a legacy of moms who are bright, strong, giving, and nurturing. For all the days that I fall short in parenting my own children, I thank God that they are surrounded by these women who will support them, teach them, love them.
To all the Moms, especially those in my life, thank you for the hours spent in giving. For the tiresome nights in a thankless job. May you be encouraged to know that what you do does make a difference.
Happy Mother's Day!
*Linked to Writer's Workshop