It's Mother's Day! At first I thought I needed to write a post about my mother. But I've done that. I wrote a post for her last Mother's Day, and again for her birthday. I decided that this year? It's my turn. So, I'm going to write about being a mother. I'm a mother, so I get to celebrate this day - why can't I brag on myself a little? So, I'm going to take a little trip down Memory Lane and talk about what I think it's like to be a mother.
On Mother's day twelve years ago, I was barely 18 years old. I held in my arms a one month old baby. My baby. I was scared. I was unsure of what my future held. But I knew one thing. I knew that I would do whatever I could to make my precious baby's life as great as possible. I would make sacrifices. I would struggle. But I would never stop trying to give this precious child everything I possibly could.
I went straight from the life of carefree high school senior, to mother...literally overnight. No more hanging out with friends. No more parties. No more high school. I traded it all in to wake up several times a night, change dirty diapers, and work as many hours as possible in order to put a small roof over our heads. I traded in the little sleep I could get for studying to take my GED... I was not giving up on my schooling. If I was going to be a good mother, I needed to instill the importance of finishing high school to my daughter one day - despite the silly mistakes I had made. And I received my GED the same year my class graduated from high school. If I had the chance to go back and make some changes? Not in a million years!! The trade-ins I made were most definitely worth it.
On Mother's day eleven years ago, my family had grown. I held in my arms a two month old baby, and a year old baby. Two babies in the course of eleven months. My life went from hard to much harder. But, my thoughts on life hadn't changed. I had upped the ante on the difficulty level - but I would still do whatever I needed to do to give my, now, two children the lives they deserved. I worked long hours, came home to cook and clean, and then spent as much time as possible with them - sleep didn't matter.
For the first few years of their lives I made many mistakes. I struggled more than I ever thought possible. We moved many times, either because the money just ran out or I couldn't bare the environment for my children to be in. Despite money being tight, I refused to allow my children to live in a house that wasn't safe or clean. I worked several jobs. I worked fast food, I worked in a nursing home, I worked for customer service, I worked in a pie factory, I worked as a receptionist. Each job more demanding than the next, but providing what I needed to support my children.
My life wasn't bad. It was the complete opposite. Despite the struggles, we made it work. We were happy. We spent Saturday mornings watching cartoons. We ate dinner together at the table every night. We sang and danced around the living room. Bath time was an anticipated event that required towels for all parties involved - including me...even though I sat on the toilet and watched them play. Those are the things I remember about the first few years of my children's lives.
Life continued to get better for us. A man came in to my life seven years ago. A man that would make our little family bigger. My children had the father figure they needed - and I had some support. But, my life as a mother didn't change. I still made sure that our routines remained.
Four years ago, the family tree obtained another branch. The love in my heart grew even more - and I didn't even think that would be possible. By then, I had made the decision to go to college. I was back to trading in sleep so that I could go to classes, work, and come home and spend time with my children - all of them. Each year in school got more demanding and more difficult - but my children are what got me through it. The words of encouragement, the little notes they left....all reinforced my dedication to do what I had to do.
I realized a few years ago that being a mother isn't about the things I can buy for them or the house we live in. Being a mother is providing love, support, encouragement...and being a role model. My life as a mother may have started out on the rocky side - but I have made it my dedication to be the best role model I can be, give them all the love I have in my heart, and encourage them to follow their dreams.
When my Peanut tells me she wants to be a lawyer one day - then a lawyer she shall be! She can look at me and know that despite the obstacles that were thrown in my way - I worked my way through them to fulfill my life long dream. She is like me in so many ways. I love her passion, her dedication, and her loyalty. Anyone that knows her is blessed. I like to think I had a hand in that.
When my Butter has a rough day at school, and feels like the world is his enemy... he will always know that there is one person that is never against him. I will listen to him yell. I will listen to him scream. And then I'll be there to give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be OK. He knows my love is unconditional, and I know that one day he'll look back at some of his life events and see one person in the picture every time - the person that was always there for him. Me.
When my Jelly comes to me after a long day at work, she knows she will never be turned away. She knows I will never be too tired to read her a book, to give her snuggles, or to listen to her amazing stories. She is still so young, but that means I have a lot more time to shower her with love.
Being a mother has nothing to do with working long hours, giving up sleep, or putting food on the table. It's about love. It's about hope. It's about the sight of seeing them sleeping in their beds. It's about listening to their stories. It's about kissing a boo-boo. It's about being a shoulder for them to cry on. It's about enforcing consequences, even though it breaks your heart to see them upset. It's about watching band concerts, school plays, and youth sporting events. It's about bath time and bedtime stories. It's about being there...always...no matter how old they are.
I am not a perfect mother. There are no books written about my parenting skills. I make mistakes, constantly. I am still learning... and will always be learning. But, at the end of the day, I know I am a good mother. I love my children with all my heart. There is nothing in this world I wouldn't do for them.
To be a mother....is the most precious blessing I will ever receive.
Till next time. ;)