This year marks my 4th Mother's Day. Being a mom has to be...hands down...the best thing I have ever, ever done. I never knew I could love another the way I love my children, and I have been blessed to carry 3 of them in my heart - always. I now know the meaning of unconditional love, sacrifice, selflessness, and living in the moment. I've learned that the little things can wait for a game of hide-and-seek, tickling on the floor, kissing a boo-boo, examining a "paterpillar", and watching Curious George before bedtime. I know too well that those moments can be gone in an instant, so I choose to drink in those moments and savor every second.
Happy Mother's Day to you all, and if this is your first Mother's Day without your child, please know that you are so close in my thoughts and prayers. Take today to remember and be thankful for that child who made you a mother....cherish the memories and smile that you knew them - one way or another (depending on your loss) - and they knew you as their mom. In the womb...or out...these babies know their moms, and they know the deep love you have for them.
While I'm at it - wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to my own mom.
Isn't she a beautiful lady? I think so. And boy did my daddy think so. I've never met another man who thought his wife was so beautiful.
There is so much my mom has taught me. Over my 29 years of life, my mom has been a constant source of advice and wisdom. I owe my survival of the teenage years mainly to her and the advice she gave me. Too many to list, but here are just a few things she taught me:
1. Always consider the consequences of your actions - BEFORE said actions.
2. You can be anything you want to be. My parents never discouraged my wild dreams. I had a huge imagination as a kid, and they loved it. They never crushed my spirit, and I'm so thankful for that.
3. Family is important; they aren't here forever; never lose touch with them.
4. Take time for the little things - the moments that create memories - like picnics in the backyard and popcorn while watching Sunday night TV. Those are memories I will never forget.
5. Being a good wife and mother take patience, teamwork, and yes - submitting to your husband as the spiritual leader of your family. I always admired that my parents worked as a team, and ultimately, my mom left my dad to make the big decisions - and his word was the final word because she trusted him to make the best decision for our family (and he always did).
6. Pray and listen for God. In times of despair and joy - pray.
7. Without my mom, I would not have the unnerving urge to clean my house every week. She taught me the importance of "a place for everything and everything in its place." I credit her for my ability to avoid too much clutter (I'm married to a chronic clutterer - he comes by it honestly).
8. On the note of cleaning, I finally understand why we always had to clean the house BEFORE leaving to go out of town. As a kid, I never understood and hated it!! But now that I know how exhausting and demanding it can be to be a mom....I totally get why the house should be clean before leaving. Because when you get home, all mom wants to do is crash...crawl into bed...and find a few moments to herself.
9. Some people are just better off not being a part of your life. I used to struggle with not being 100% on great terms with any and all people. My mom used to tell me all the time that there are just some people we are better off not having in our lives. That doesn't mean we don't love them or care about them. We can wish them all the best, but that doesn't mean they are required to be a fixture in our lives. I have found peace in this...especially after realizing that I can only be stretched so thin.
10. Forgive. Be gentle. Be patient. Be kind. Love.
And the bonus: Stand up for yourself. There is a way to do it with grace. You don't have to be argumentative, but you are allowed to speak up and speak for yourself. And when it comes to your children - nobody messes with a mommy's babies. Woo...I've seen the wrath of my mother when myself or my sister were hurt by others. The "mother hen" comes out, and while she could "cluck" with patience and grace...we knew we didn't have to worry about that situation anymore. I've never been good at standing up for myself....until I became a mom.
Thanks to her, I get it. I totally get it. All the times I was frustrated over her decisions or felt like she was being unfair, I understand now that she was looking out for my best interest. She knew what was good for me because she had been there. She always acted out of love - even when I didn't see it that way. Thank you, Mommie (yes, I'm 29, and I call her Mommie) for ALL you've taught me over the years. There's no way I could ever repay you, but please know that I was listening, and I am applying it all to my life and the lives of my children. Love you.