This is my second Mother’s Day! Last year, Mark was only three (or was it four?) weeks old when I got to celebrate being a mother. Because I’m Catholic, I hold firm to the belief that life starts in the womb, so I was a mother before Mark was born. But! I wasn’t pregnant with him until August, so it’s still only my second Mother’s Day!
I realize that I haven’t held this position for very long, and there’s probably lots of people out there other than me who could wax eloquent about the many different facets of motherhood (past, of course, the baby stage where I am now). But I thought I would offer my reflections on what it’s like being a mom with the new eyes that I still have.
Plus. this is going to be hilarious for me to read in about fifteen years when I’m the mother of a teenager. Can’t pass up the opportunity to be able to laugh at myself later, right?
So, without further ado, the Top WHATEVER NUMBER things I’ve learned about being a mother in the past year.
1. It’s a lot harder than it looks. I think being a mother is like being a teacher in this way. If you went to school, you had teachers. “I can do that,” many say. “I’ve been seeing people do it for the last thirteen years.” And so it is with mothers. Most of us were blessed with mothers (some who were good and others who could perhaps have used a little work), and we thought to ourselves, “I can do that.”
But it’s so much harder than it seems.
2. Despite the fact that it’s hard, it’s totally worth it.
I never realized how hard being a mother is. It’s not even hard in the “it-takes-forever-to-get-out-the-door” kind of hard. It’s the all-consuming, completely-draining kind of hard. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’re still a mom. Whether I’m with Mark or not, all I do is think about him and what he might be doing or what he might be needing. When I’m apart from him, I’m thinking about who he’s playing with and if he ate the food I sent with him. When I’m with him, I just marvel at seeing the world from his perspective.
It’s all-consuming. But, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
3. It’s the greatest blessing I could ask for.
I remember that when I was in high school, I wasn’t sure that I wanted children. Ever
Then, I grew up a little. I saw my friends getting married and having kids and I knew that I was called to be a mother. I was overjoyed when I learned we were pregnant. My life changed at that moment and became about someone other than myself in a whole new way. Every decision I made from there on out, whether it was exercising or not eating that other piece of cake, became about Mark.
I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be up to the task. Worried that I would somehow find that I didn’t have the mothering gene, that I would be selfish. Instead, I found that I didn’t even really care to worry about my own needs anymore, as long as Mark was taken care of and healthy and happy. It was in this sacrifice that I realized how blessed I am as a mom.
4. You’ll probably never live up to your standard.
I was blessed with a wonderful, loving mother. I have friends who are amazing mothers. I saw what all of them do, and I started to think that I had to be perfect, just like them.
It took me awhile, but I finally came to the realization that I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t look at Pinterest and think about how I can make my life look like all the shiny pictures. Instead, I think about how I can find things that will make Mark happy and help Ryan and I to have the best family we can.
I won’t be a “slacker-mom”, but I’m not going to drive myself mad trying to make myself perfect. I’m just going to strive for the best I can. And I know that’s good enough.
Now that I’ve waxed eloquent for far too long, I’ll just say that I had a wonderful Mother’s Day today and I loved being with my Mark and Ryan so, so much! They truly have made me who I am and I’m thankful.