What does it take to be a mom? I use to stress myself before I ever had kids, of thinking what it must be like to be a mom. As a teenager I watched how mom's mothered. And decided that I could never be a mom. I have a confession. I made it through all the diapers, late night feedings, broken bones, and sidelines at the games, baking for the events, and homework and reading, and wearing the same t-shirt with spit up, and showing up to a meeting with a beautiful expensive jacket also with spit up. I have five of my closest friends around me for a life time. Two are out of the nest, three will be venturing out in the next 4-10 years and guess what, there is a secret to be being a mother. It may not be your secret, and it may not be what works for you, but God, in his beautiful direction took my crazy childhood of abuse and abandonment and taught me the greatest gift of all. To love my children unconditionally. To smile often, to let the little things go, and to just show up in their lives and love them right where they are at.
To establish from the minute they utter their first words that they matter. To listen to their babbles turn into words, which then turned into opinions and passions different than mine. To show them daily evidence that God is real was easy. From the minute they could blow on a wish flower, to standing on a chair cutting apples and baking cookies. Talking about the glorious ways God has designed them. I think parents who believe children should be seen and not heard are wrong. I think parents who believe that their children should respect them, and then in turn show their children no respect are wrong. You have to guide your children and teach them right from wrong. teaching them by your daily examples. Teach them to respect other people's space and opinions. Teach them through example what kindness and serving others looks like. Let them see your process. Let them see you struggle, and hurt and come out smiling. If they never see the way cookies are made, they will take longer in appreciating what others have done for them.
This is a ramble.I realize there is no rhyme or reason to this blog post accept that I have five amazing kids. My boys, all four of them, are not on drugs to alter their God given personalities. They are boys. They were designed with energy. They have a different learning style. They enjoy school, eat well around our dinner table and are void of all the freedom with technology. They play outside all the time. They are loving and enjoying life. Even as each one passes into being a teenager, the rules, with struggle are established. It's hard and I have cried a thousand times because no matter how much they push you away they show up for dinner, and bring their friends. Because deep down they remember you playing pat-a-cake, and they remember you snuggling them when they are sick, and they remember you giving up your seat they could see better. They remember you did not walk away when it was hard. They remember that you were there listening to strong opinions and ideas.
And they remember that I did not miss out some important grown up moments with them. I thank God every single day that I could orchestrate my work life to be present as a stay home mom. My kids think this is true, but they also see me working, and traveling for work and they share in my work load when they are old enough to travel on a plane and be left in a hotel room while I run to a breakfast meeting. They have sat with presidents of companies I have worked with because they added value to my work. Value in that the friendships we have grown into and the ideas and opinions that were valuable at two or three or thirteen are move so as they have grown up around the stories of my work.
Oh to be a mom. To let go of how of the bad ways you were parented and adopt all that is good produces kids who love life, love school. love being in our family and bringing other in. When the last one leaves home I will have had kids living in my space for.....are you ready.....38 years....and then it will be time for grandkids. Thanks God that your biggest blessing and joy is mine, too. Our children.