Just a mom

“Just a mom.”
What does that even mean?
“Oh, you just stay home with the kids all day. Ok, cool.”
Seriously?

Am I the only one who takes offense to that? I think it’s the word “just” that rubs me the wrong way. It weakens the idea of being a mom; to me, it belittles it. The word “just” boxes it in to be a singular thing, when being a mom is more than what I can fit into this blog.

Being a mother is choosing to become every job on the planet all in one. The pay is in the negatives, in fact, it’s quite expensive. However, the benefits are astronomical.

Chauffer, maid, cook, laundress, waitress, actress, landscaper, vet, writer, coach, teacher, mediator, librarian, doctor, nurse, tooth-fairy, Santa, Easter bunny, entertainer, butler, mime, interpreter, mechanic, construction engineer, athlete, dishwasher, rodeo clown, florist, organizer, police officer, fireman, gift wrapper, composer, psychologist, cheerleader, lawyer, judge, hairstylist, spy, CEO, bank manager, secret keeper, craft director, lifeguard, personal assistant, dentist, event planner, scientist, singer/dancer, seamstress, bodyguard. ETC.

I may not be the greatest of all time and some days I may be downright lousy at it. I am not very good with directions, the house looks like FEMA should be called in on some days, dinner sometimes gets burned, the laundry may pile up, table doesn’t always get wiped and cleaned right away, my story time accents aren’t always the best, the flowerbeds are bare and holes are in the yard from the dogs, said dogs may bark and appear homeless from said dirt, sometimes baby journals are a few weeks behind and the poetry does not always rhyme, fundamentals get forgotten during a pickup game of Little Tikes basketball, ABC’s sound like they are being sung in Chinese, fights break out over toys and Pop-Tarts, books do not always go on the correct shelf (usually no shelf), my Band-Aids never go on straight, my costumes/outfits have baby stains, I sometimes forget to offer guests refreshments and I rarely answer the door, communication is sometimes lost in translation (toddlerese), toys get broken a lot (as do dryers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc), new toys may not always look like the pictures on the instructions, I am in terrible shape, the kitchen sink sometimes smells like blueberry muffins from two days ago, making a baby laugh for pictures and chasing a dog who eats everything is akin to a rodeo, organizing beautiful dandelions brought by my son is more challenging and wondrous than any arrangement I have ever seen, setting limits hurts sometimes and enforcing those limits against the trembling lips of a toddler is scary and heart wrenching, a stove fire sets a new standard for anxiety levels (thank God for being a hoarder of baking soda and a tax return for a new stove a few years ago), gifts look like my toddler wrapped them, my lullabies make no sense at all, analyzing a baby and a toddler is futile, championing going to the potty and sharing is not for the faint of heart, fighting for my child is second nature and worth it, taming a toddler’s crazy curls is impossible, watching the night vision camera and sneaking into their rooms while they sleep should be an Olympic sport, money charts look like a rollercoaster ride at a cheap theme park, embarrassing stories will haunt the children in their high school yearbook pages, hands sometimes get stained with paint and ink does not always come out of white pants, swimming pools have become one of my greatest fears, bows sometimes get left at home and socks may not always match, toddler teeth may only get brushed once a day, haircut appointments sometimes get forgotten and dental and doctor appointments get scheduled the day of most times, deciphering between chocolate and well, not chocolate, is an actual experiment, the robot is the dance of the day, rips and tears will hopefully come back to fashion, and grown men have me as their worst nightmare. ETC.

I don’t get sick days and there is always overtime. In fact, I am never off the clock. I planned long ago to make a career of it. Yep, a lifelong commitment.

I have lost friends along the way who do not understand how I could have chosen this life for myself. Some do not understand why I choose to let my degrees hang on the wall instead of “putting them to good use.” I believe I am.

Currently my two miracles are playing in the living room with a two dollar pool float in the shape of a giraffe. It is as big as I am and I may have collapsed another lung after blowing it up, but the joy on their faces is priceless. That is my reward on a daily basis: Joy. Love. Happiness.

It is good for my heart. It is good for my soul. Motherhood has made me a better person, and though I have a long way to go before I even become close to being great or perfect, or even well liked by some, I have peace knowing I make a difference in the lives of the future of our world every single day and night. I am doing what the Lord has called me to do.

My biggest dream come true not only once, but TWICE.

Though some look down on me, I feel they are missing the point and I forgive them for their judgments of limiting my sacrifice and accomplishments of being “just” a mom.

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