I went to a new doctor Monday. The nurse began taking down my medical history, and you should have seen the look on her face when I told her I had had seven pregnancies: two miscarriages and five live births. She was absolutely flabbergasted. She asked, “How did you go through that many pregnancies? I did two and they were so hard!” I explained mine weren’t easy either, but the reward at the end of the pregnancy was worth it! With very little conviction she said, “Well I guess so, but mine are MONSTERS!” Hmmm . . . I didn’t really know how to respond to that remark.
I tried to talk positively to her about being a mom, but she was pretty negative about it. So I went on my way.
A couple of days later I went back to get my blood drawn. Since it took awhile for her to find a vein, we had time to talk. She told me that her two daughters completely wore her out at the end of the day when she got home from work, hence the “monsters” comment. I told her that I give my children a set time each day when they get my full attention, without the distraction of phones, tv, computers and so on. By giving them my time and undivided attention, they feel important. I have found when the children feel important, they tend to behave much better. They don’t have to “act out” in an attempt to get my attention.
She seemed skeptical, and wanted to know how I could stand being at home all day with my children. She went on to ask how I help my kids to get along with each other and work around the house. By the end of our conversation, it seemed that I got her thinking about some things. It was a great and positive conversation about motherhood.
Shortly after this, I was at the park with four of my children. A dog ran over to my kids (nearly scaring my daughter to death), and the woman who owned him followed. She looked at all the children, looked at me, and then asked, “Are they ALL yours?” I told her they certainly were and watched as her jaw dropped open. (I am sorry, but four just isn’t that many.) She asked if some were adopted (what?), and I assured her I birthed them all and added that I had one more at home. Again, the dropping of the jaw. She questioned, “And you’re still smiling?” I told her they are my greatest joy and make me happy. She suggested, “There must be drugs and alcohol involved.” I assured her there is none of that.
She went on to explain that she has no children of her own, nor will she ever, because she thinks it would be “too hard on her.” She knows this because it is hard enough for her to get up when her dog needs something. What she has not experienced is the true and lasting JOY children bring! I longed to be able to share that feeling with her. I wanted her to know that being a mother is the most meaningful, joy-filled work I have ever done in my life.
She did say to me at the very end of our conversation that God must be on my side…I wholeheartedly agreed with her. Although she seemed to be pitying me, I couldn’t be happier. I chose this life, it didn’t just happen to me. It was a conscious, deliberate choice to become a mother of five children–and I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything else in this world.
I am an imperfect mother–I am not an expert on ANYTHING when it comes to being a mom. But I do LOVE being a mommy to my little brood, and I feel a sense of responsibility to pass that “love of being a mom” along to others. I think there is a general attitude in society that kids are a burden and an inconvenience that must be endured. I want to pass along the joy my kids bring me, in spite of the fighting, the messes, the lack of sleep, and everything else children bring. They are totally and completely worth every inconvenience! They make me a better person and a mother who smiles each and every day!
QUESTION: How often do you recognize or share the joy of motherhood?
CHALLENGE: All of us love our children, but all of us face difficulties and challenges along the way. To keep from dwelling on the negative, play a little game. Every time you are frustrated or irritated with something, change gears and point out something positive about your children or your life–either aloud or to yourself. Watch how infusing a little positivity can alter not only a situation, but your whole outlook on your life.