|These are not my boys. But when I saw this picture|
I just laughed. Something felt so....familiar!
We had just moved to Dayton, Ohio, and had begun the Great Church Hunt. While visiting with a family at the Fellowship we ended up attending, the Dad, who had a house full of teenagers, looked at me, surrounded by my little ones, and said, "I remember those days. I sure miss them. They were a lot easier."
I was standing there with three little boys, the youngest on my hip who was not quite a year, a two-year old who at home was a whirling dervish, but in public became the child who clings to your leg and wraps himself up in your skirt, and a four year old who was already worried about what other people thought of him.
I loved my boys.
But THIS was EASIER?
I was continually tying their shoes, or wiping noses or other parts of their anatomy, or preparing food, or acting like the referee of a WWF fight, or dropping everything to respond to a scream, or realizing it was TOO quiet and I had to figured just what was going on.
THIS was the easy part?!?!
Fast forward quite a few years.
We now live in Dover, Delaware, 4 moves later.
We are in church with six children and one on the way.
I am dealing with homeschooling all three levels of school (high school, junior high, elementary), have teenagers to toddlers, a husband who works untold hours of work, and dealing with pregnancy weariness and emotions like I had never had before.
And the pastor is talking about his older children, who are all out of the house.
For a moment, I sigh and let my mind wander to that time when they are all grown up and out of the house. They will of course be happily married, and have good jobs, and come visit me often in my clean house bringing my beautiful, well-behaved grandchildren. There may have even been fuzzy edges on this picture and a white picket fence around the house.
And then pastor went and burst my dream by saying, "This is the hardest time of being a parent that we have ever had."
It is going to get HARDER?!?!?
Are you kidding me?
Stop the train conductor, 'cause I am getting off!!!
I remembered times I had thought, "When they can all just tie their shoes. THEN it will be easier."
Or, "When they can all fix themselves a sandwich. THEN it will be easier."
Or, "When they all come to know the Lord for themselves. THEN it will be easier."
And I can now say: Nope. Never gets easier.
Sorry if I am bursting your bubble. But let us be honest.
Mothering is the hardest job that you will ever love that will almost kill you.
It is true.
If you truly love your children and truly the want the best for them (and what Mother does not) then you will:
- make them eat things they don't like but are good for them
- draw the line and not let them act like hooligans
- make them go and confess and apologize for some horrible thing that they have done, which will not only be good for their character, but will embarrass you to the depths of your toes.
- be the "only Mother" who will not let her children read the scandalous book or watch the immoral movie.
- go to every sports event, piano concert, dance recital, speech tournament, or any other thing that catches their fancy and cheer wildly or console gently....which ever is called for.....with your entire being.
- require them to study and learn and not allow them to be satisfied with mediocre work, but push them to find the better part in themselves where the excellence lies.
- look straight into their teenage, know-it-all eyes, draw the line in the sand, keep your cool, and Not Give In!
- give them the best piece of pie, the last drink of lemonade, the optimal viewing point for the parade, the softest pillow, the warmest blanket, and the longest hug, all at your own personal expense.
And then, as they get older, you will watch them make decisions that worry you, and you will have to keep your mouth shut, smile as convincingly as you can, turn around, and run to your prayer closet. And there you will pray to the only One who can truly take care of them.
Motherhood truly is the most amazing, most difficult, most rewarding job.....that will almost kill you.
And it is worth every blood letting, tear dropping, heart pounding, soul wrenching, joy abounding moment.
I am so glad I am a Mom. It is the best Hard Job I have ever had.
And so I wish all the Moms out there: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
And remember, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.