It's Mother's Day, so I'm supposed to write about being a mom, right? Well, here are some thoughts:
Twenty years ago I would have told you without a doubt that being a mom was going to be the best thing ever.
Two, three, four years ago I would have told you that I loved my little family of two, but was so excited to add a little baby and begin to fill our quiver-- THE MORE THE MERRIER! Bring on the babies! Being a mom is going to be the best thing ever.
Last year, as I held a squirmy, barely six week old daughter I would have told you that being a mom was the best thing ever...
..... but I would have been gritting my teeth and only saying it because I would have sounded like a horrible person, let alone mother, if I hadn't said that!
But that is the truth. As Shakespeare would have said, "Therein lies the rub."
I was exhausted. I didn't know what was happening to my body. I still hurt from delivery. I didn't even feel like I knew Blythe. Mastitis had reared its ugly head. Going to the bathroom was an ordeal. And nursing? Well, it brought me to tears nine times a day at least.
I watched other moms be-boppin' around, happy as larks, sunshine and rainbows and butterflies, spouting "motherhood is the best thing ever!" AS IF!
If you look back on my blog I wrote about a few of these truths, but would then say things like, "...and then Blythe smiles at me and it's all worth it." I wrote those words because I was trying to feel them. But I didn't.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Blythe and would have attacked an army of dogs to protect her [and that's saying something if you know me...and yes, I just said "attack an army of dogs", as if that's a real thing], but I could not have said, truthfully, that motherhood was the best thing ever.
But days kept passing. I kept loving. God kept working. I kept nursing, and hating it, but learned about sacrifice, and patience. I learned about Job kind of prayers at 2 in the morning.
But I began to see my daughter's life unfold before me.
I wrestled with my decision to stay home. I loved teaching. I was a good teacher. I wasn't so sure I loved motherhood. I wasn't so sure I was a good mother.
I know I technically became a mom on March 23rd, 2012 when they laid my slimy, pinking daughter on my chest. But slowly I learned who my daughter was. And slowly I became a mom.
And I think that's the truth and beauty of it all:
Motherhood is a slow process that bombards you all at once.
And I doubt that makes sense unless you are a mom.
And now, today, on this sunny mother's day a year later.... I can tell you that I now understand the moms who were be-boppin' and spoutin' motherhood's praises. Because there is something wonderful in the hardness of it all; there is something beautiful in the messy moments of becoming a mom.
[And this is where I add:
I learned how to become a woman that could learn how to become a mom because my own mom put herself aside and loved me through all that hard messy stuff...and because her mom did the same. The sweet heritage of selfless mothering. I thank the Lord for these women, and pray that one day Blythe will consider me in that line. My sister has already earned her spot in that lineage, by the way.
And happy mothers day to all the women who have loved me like a mom.
And to all the women who ache to be mothers but haven't been able to biologically become one-- you've used your mother's hearts to bless others' children.]