Sunday, February 6, 2011
I always knew that I wanted to be a mom, but I also went to college to become a teacher. How many of you knew that? Yes, over a decade ago I went to college with my sights set on becoming an elementary school teacher. I wanted to teach second grade... or maybe third. By that time I figured the kids knew how to walk in line, read and write, knew the rules, and I would get to teach them the fun stuff, like multiplication and adjectives. (Oh and they were hopefully too young to be into the boyfriend/girlfriend drama yet. I was disillusioned, I think.) I know, I'm a nerd. Don't tell anyone, OK?
Truth is, I'm not much different from most other moms. Sure, I may have a couple more kids than you, and some of you may not have kids with special needs or a husband who's in a war zone, but when it comes right down to it, I'm no expert on mothering. (You're probably rolling your eyes and saying, "No kidding!")
I sometimes lose my temper and yell... and I hate that!
I pat myself on the back when I serve my kids a balanced meal that they will actually eat... because I know it doesn't happen nearly enough.
Sometimes I close my eyes tighter in the morning and I think, just for today I'd like to sleep and ignore this little 3 year old voice in my ear saying, "Mommy, it's time for breakfast!"
Sometimes I would give anything, well almost anything, for just a few hours of silence. And a clean kitchen. Is that too much to ask?
Some days I would just like to skip the therapy, the doctors appointments, the homework, and instead of harping on my children to, "clean your room!" I'd like to say, "Let's go shopping!" (And, you know, blow a lot of money we don't have to spend.)
At the end of the day, there are times that I feel exhausted and completely overwhelmed, and then I remind myself that I chose this life... I chose the chaos, and the clutter and the stress and...
The hugs and the kisses and the snuggles and the lazy Saturdays where we lay around and eat popcorn and watch movies. I get to hear that same sweet little voice who wakes me up at an ungodly hour argue with me, "No Mommy, I love you more!" I get Mr. Potatoheads on the back of my couch and ballerina clothes mixed in with my jeans.
I get to teach my children their ABCs and how to read and write. I get to steal them away from school for special lunches and I get to share secrets with my 11 year old and hear corny jokes from my 9 year old. I get to learn all that I ever could possibly want to know about Toy Story and monkeys and Hannah Montana. I get to teach my children about Jesus and there's nothing more important than that. And I get to educate others about things like Down syndrome and childhood cancer and inclusion and International Adoption.
When I go out in public with my children, I get the looks, you know... the look that says, "You know what causes this, right?". I get the comments, "Wow, you sure do have your hands full!" And I just smile. Sometimes it's a tired smile, sometimes it's a happy fulfilled smile, but always a smile, because I have something that they will never have. I have the most wonderful children in the whole world.
Am I crazy? Yep. Absolutely. I have no doubt about it. But my children are the best thing that ever happened to me. I may never get my degree to be a teacher, but I am the best teacher that I can be for these five little souls that God has given me right here.
I'm just a mom. Just like you. Whether you have one child or ten children. We're all finding our way through this thing called motherhood... this absolutely amazing, wonderful, beautiful, hardest, most difficult thing in the whole world. I'm so thankful that God saw fit to make me a mom. I can't imagine being anything less.