I started writing this post with the title: Why I Love Being A Mom. I transitioned into something very different from my initial thoughts...and I am so happy that it did. There is wisdom here that I pass along to young women whenever I can.
There are so many things that make being a mom one of the most rewarding titles in the world. Honestly there is nothing that you will put so much time, tears, frustration, and love into (other than a marriage) which yields such enormous rewards. Those rewards don't come wrapped up in pretty paper and bound in elegant bows...they come in priceless moments and the eyes of your child. There is no price tag that can be placed on that nor is it possible to give an adequate comparison to it.
Yes, being a mom can be beyond exhausting and try your patience more than heavy traffic, but there are these little nuggets that make it all worth it.
I look at my girls and I can't help but be amazed. They have so much talent and creativity between the two of them. Grace is a living music box, singing and humming all the time. Rose is my little fashionista and artist. There is a little of me inside of each of them...which is just thrilling because it allows us to have connections and interests to keep communication open. With the Tween years in full force now, communication is something that is highly valued in my eyes. I need to have this groundwork in practice and a solid foundation laid so that it will continue into the Teen years.
My son can drive me absolutely crazy...somehow my reaction to crying and fits is different at 40 than it was at 30. I have a much shorter tolerance to them than I used to. He's only 8 months old but has his little temperament gauges working just fine, and he knows how to get Mommy's attention. The funny thing is that he can go from full blown crying to hysterical laughter in a matter of seconds. I LOVE THIS!!! The little bugger is so ticklish that he can't help it...laughter just pours out of him if I can get a tickle spot just right. It's pretty much convinced me that he is going to be an even bigger clown than his 8 year old sister is.
I never thought that I'd be raising a 10 year old, 8 year old, and a 8 month old at 40...my plan (which I naively established in my teens) was to be married at 21, have my first child by 24, and somehow end up with 4 children very neatly spaced out at 2 1/2 years apart in age. HA!! Yeah, right. Not only did NONE of that happen, but if I had married at my "ideal" age I would have surely gone through a divorce by now just based on who I was involved with at the time.
At 25 I had finally got my act together and really figured out who I was...not who I was based on who I was dating at the time. Let me just throw this HUGE tidbit of knowledge out there for anyone who has a plan in mind like I did...FIRST, take some time to just be alone. Go out to movies alone, dine alone, hit shops and museums and art galleries alone, take a little trip to a new city alone...figure out what you truly enjoy, what interests are 100% you and not influenced by a beau in your life.
Remember when Julia Roberts' character in Runaway Bride finally took the time to figure out who she was and what she enjoyed without a man in her life? (yes, there is a great lesson to learn in that movie) THAT is exactly what I believe that EVERY woman should do. It's so easy to become a chameleon and blend into someone else's world forgoing things that are truly you so that you can be together with the current one that makes your heart go pitter-patter. Trust me, I can easily be the most amazing chameleon in the world. DON'T EVER DO THAT!!!
That one mistake is the huge gaping whole in the middle of the foundation of so many marriages. How do I know this? Just look at what divorced couples go through. Someone was a chameleon at some point in the relationship in the majority of the examples I have come across.
Take it from someone that has walked the walk. Thank GOD that I never went down the aisle before taking the advice that I am now dishing out here. For 1 year I purposefully stayed out of a relationship and really spent time getting to know ME. Even though it was a bit awkward at first and I longed to be "in love" again, it was 100% the best thing in the world that I could have done for myself and my future husband.
This year marked a 10 year anniversary for my marriage...and had I not taken the time to just be me there is probably a very good chance that I would not have celebrated 10 years last March. I am wife, mother, daughter, and sister...but I know who that person is and I do not conform to fit an image of those titles based on who those titles associate me with. My girls are being taught to find who they are...not who their Daddy or I dream them to be, but who they truly are inside. And my son will be taught the same thing. I want to see the gifts and talents and desires that God has put inside of each of them bloom into amazing adults one day. And I know that they will.
The best gift that you can give yourself is finding who YOU are without someone else's likes and dislikes being the boundaries that you mold yourself into. Love YOU. Find YOU. Know YOU. THEN share the real YOU with the one that makes your heart pitter-patter.