Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Man. Whoever said motherhood was a breeze was LYING!

Wait a minute. I don't think anyone has ever said that. And for good reason, too! This whole parenting thing is HARD WORK!

The past few weeks have been pretty tough. Jack and Ben are now walking (!) which presents a whole new adventure for this mommy. They love exploring their new world and can now access it all in record speeds and in two opposite directions. They're also teething, battling colds, ear infections, a rash on their faces, not sleeping and we are now the (proud?) owners of a nebulizer, a tool to give breathing treatments to the boys when they wheeze. I've spent more nights on the couch with one - or both - boys in the past month than I have in my own bed. My husband has been a huge help, doing even more around the house than he always has, taken the boys for rides in the van or the stroller so I could get work done around the house and even taking the night shift so I could rest even when he had to work the next day. (I know. I'm blessed!)

Still, it's been tough.

My mind has wandered - more than once - to my life as a public school teacher. If I had a few days like this in the classroom, I wouldn't hesitate to organize a personal day. After all, I was granted three a year! A whole day to relax, gather my thoughts, and get work done, all while knowing my students were being cared for by someone qualified, patient and as organized as I'd like them to be.

Okay, that last sentence about the qualified substitute was completely false. By my sixth year teaching, I wouldn't have minded if my teacher juggled and did magic tricks the entire day... as long as the kids were still alive! It didn't even matter if I had more work to do when I returned (which I almost inevitably did.) It was about the time away that made me feel like a better teacher. A more sane human being.

Then I had kids.

Moms don't get holidays. We don't get paid vacations or even weekends. We don't get progress reports or little notes on Christmas from parents telling us we're doing a good job. Moms don't get personal days or sick days. Heck, we don't even get a paycheck. Motherhood is a full-time job. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year.

True, I could get a babysitter. I could hire a nanny. I could ask the girl down the street to play with the boys while I laid down in the other room. Trust me, I do find ways to get out of the house (thanks to my husband and my mom!) But that's not my point.

Being a mom is so much more difficult. You can't pass the buck to someone else or blame someone else for your circumstances. It all starts and ends with you. It is a huge burden, but a great blessing. There is no greater job on Earth than that of being a mother.

So even though I missed the official day we celebrate mothers, I'd like to take this opportunity to honor those of you that have been nodding your head in agreement.

You are not alone.
You are not the first to brave this world of parenting, nor will you be the last.
Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for those you love.
You may not always be recognized, but you are well-known.
The investments you are making now will reap a huge return in the future.
You are raising the next generation.

So take care. Smile. Breathe. You are doing a very good thing. A great thing.

A God thing.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Retrospect

Mother's Day 2010 
Ben, Andy, me and Jack

Mother's Day 2009
Ben, Andy, me and Jack

The boys were only 5 days old when I celebrated my very first Mother's Day!