Being a mother is hard. Being an intentional mother is even harder! However, I have never sat down after intentionally spending time with my kids reading, playing a game, or teaching them a new skill and thought my time was wasted.
We live in a society where all mothers feel the need to be a Supermom. Guess what? No one needs to be a Supermom. There is NO such thing! Our kids just need us to be their mom. A great mom. A mom who has flaws, weaknesses, and is a sinner. A mom that loves them, comforts them, teaches them, and is there for them. A mom that eats pretend worm cakes, goes on bear hunts, and sings out loud, even though she feels uncomfortable.
I am in no way close to being a Supermom. I rarely make homemade birthday cakes (Why bother when my entire family prefers ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen?), my home is never spotless (I’m really happy if people show up and there aren’t dirty clothes laying on the floor and dirty dishes on the table!), I have a temper, I even say bad words sometimes.
Even with all of my flaws (and there are many) I love my children. Here are 10 ways being a mother has made me a better person:
- I have learned to focus on selflessness not selfishness! As any mother knows, as soon as you find out you are pregnant, your life is no longer your own! It wasn’t until I had children that I truly learned what selflessness is. Selflessness is getting out of bed for the 4th time in one night to feed and comfort a crying baby. Selflessness is rocking and loving a sick child when all you are just as sick and wish your own mother was rocking you! Selflessness is putting the child’s needs ahead of your own. It happens every day…multiple times and you wouldn’t have it any other way (well, except for a few extra hours of sleep).
- I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love. When my oldest son was 2 he pulled a container of honey off of the counter without me seeing it and proceeded to dump the honey all over the carpet in his bedroom. Honey doesn’t come out of carpet. Ever. About a week later, he learned to open the refrigerator and dumped an entire pitcher of cherry Koolaid on the carpet in the dining room. This was almost 5 years ago and I remember it like yesterday. I love my son. He is a child who needs to know how things work. He also loves food. I have learned to understand his curiosity and luckily the dumping has stopped!
- I have learned the value of life and to thank God for all I’ve been given. My oldest child is 4 years older than the twins. In between I experienced a miscarriage. It left me devastated and broken but without it I would have never had my twins. Life is not to be taken for granted. It is precious. It can come and go in an instance and each life is valuable. Experiencing that heartbreak allowed me to understand those important lessons. Prayer has helped too!
- Kids can make or break friendships and true friendships are priceless. Trying to keep up with my own family, leaves little time for anything else. It has been hard to maintain friendships. I’ve lost friends who didn’t have children. It wasn’t that I wanted it to happen, they didn’t understand my lack of time, and I didn’t know how to balance those friendships with juggling my own kids. It was also difficult when we didn’t have much in common anymore to talk about. My stories revolved around the latest food dumping incident, who had an ear infection, and theirs were about work. I’ve also had friends with older children than mine take me by the hand and help me through the latest phase my children were going through, friends who were there during those dark days after the miscarriage that brought me out of my despair, and those friends who you wish you could see more and each time you get together, you pick up right where you left off. Friendships are priceless. If you are a mom feeling alone, I highly recommend joining a MOPS group, a women’s bible study (my church offers free child care when we meet) or a group similar to these where you can connect with other moms!
- Stay at home moms work hard and so do working moms! This debate just irritates me because it’s a waste of time to argue about. Both have their own struggles and people need to quit judging! I worked outside the home full-time until the twins were born. I had wanted to be a stay at home mom but couldn’t then. I also had many misconceptions about what stay at home moms do. It is hard working outside the home. You have limited hours when you are home to manage the home, be a mom, a wife, etc. It is also hard being a stay at home mom. One thing I never realized about stay at home moms when I was working outside the home is that when I worked, we all left the house. No one messed it up during the day. It was quite eye-opening when I had 3 kids home with me all day, making all the meals at home and the amount of mess that accumulated. Each woman has their own battles they are fighting and struggling with. Please give them grace and let this feud go.
- Healthy choices matter. You all know what I’m talking about here…diet, exercise, taking care of yourself and your family. We each get one life and one body. Take care of it!
- Respect & appreciation for my mother. Now that I have my own children, I have a better understanding of some of the sacrifices my mother made for my brother and me Not only did she have her hands full with the two of us but she also was a mom to a child who was sick a lot, required extended hospital visits 3 hours from home, and needed a lot of care. (That child was me!) She also showed the two of us unconditional love, the value of hard work, how to create memories and traditions, and how to be an intentional parent.
- Compassion for other moms. I don’t know about you, but I have been that mom in Target with a screaming, hungry baby, trying to grab enough groceries to feed the family at least through the day so I can try again tomorrow. I’ve also been that mom with a 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum over cookies at the check out lane while getting the death glare and the harsh words from a stranger, “IF that was MY child…” and that mom whose 4-year-old knocked a jar of pickles off the shelf that shattered all over the floor. Children have moments. Parents have moments. Give grace!
- Being a mom has taught me true appreciation for my husband. My husband is a man, not a self-centered little boy. My husband is supportive and giving. He is a Godly man and works hard to provide what our family needs. He eats what I make for meals without complaint no matter what. He enjoys spending time with his family. He is the example of what I hope the boys grow up to be. Not every man is like that, I’m thankful mine is!
- Being a mom has taught me the value of forgiveness and to value each day. No one is guaranteed tomorrow. Forgive, let go and enjoy your life. Enjoy your family. Life can change in an instance so live your life with purpose and let your family know how much you love them!
What has being a mother taught you?