My friend, Shannon, posted an article on facebook regarding motherhood - and how people always 'encourage' young mothers by saying things like, 'enjoy this time, it goes by too quickly'. That kind of thing, the thing I am super guilty of saying to my daughter. Sorry Amy...really.
Having raised four children I speak from experience - it isn't nice or fun when someone tries to encourage you while your child is screaming, and another one is running away from you, fully taking advantage of the opportunity he/she sees as you take care of the first child. It wasn't fun when I was grocery shopping and Craig decided right then and there to have a fit - throwing himself on the ground and screaming - as I (attempting to teach him that this is not okay) walk away from him...only to have a stranger come up and talk to him.
Really? You think you should parent my child and teach him that when he misbehaves he gets attention? NOOOO!!!
I can happily admit that I have never done that. If I see a mom walking away from her kid while they are throwing a fit I think, "Good for her!" Eventually her kid will stop his/her fit and get up to find mommy, who of course is not far away...waiting for her child to come to her.
I loved being a mommy, especially a stay-at-home mommy. I was getting my teeth cleaned yesterday and my dental hygienist was saying how she has Monday and Tuesday off, working half a day Wednesday, and all day on Thursday and Friday. She told me how by Tuesday night she can't wait to get back to work. I can understand that. I remember having days where I felt that my 'job' wasn't anything special, that anyone could take care of my kids, keep the house clean, do the laundry, grocery shopping and fix meals. Then as I would look at one of my children I would gain an understanding of what I was really doing.
It wasn't just about the mundane every day tasks. It was about teaching our children their importance - that they are worth sacrificing for. Was it hard? Heck yes! It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. Was it worth it? Every second of it was worth it. Did I feel like a failure more often than not? Yes, I did. But, I've always taught my kids that I was learning right along with them. I still am. Being a parent doesn't stop when your kids leave home - you still worry about them, you pray for their health and happiness, you love the sound of their voice and skyping with them; you just plain continue to care about them and love them, wanting what is best for them, and believing that they will become who they are meant to be and who they want to be.
I am grateful beyond measure for the opportunity and privilege I have enjoyed these past nearly 33 years of having our children and raising them, but mostly loving them and being loved by them. It was hard, sometimes it still is, but it is worth it. I am grateful for Sam, Craig, Amy and Rachel and all the joy they have brought to my life...to my heart.