I probably won't win any "Mom of the Year" awards with the title of this article, but I will get brownie points for being real. See, parenting is the hardest yet most rewarding job. And, some days, it sucks the life out of you. Even these two handsome blonde angels sometimes show their claws to get their way in the subtle yet frustrating techniques of selfish attitudes and eye-rolling (crafted over many years of tireless dedication).
I love them dearly and would lay down my life for them at any moment. But, there are times when they have literally brought me to my knees . . . praying, crying, and sometimes yelling to figure out what to do next because let's face it . . . parenting is hard. Draining. Challenging. And I don't have all the answers. No two children are alike, which keeps us on our toes. My oldest (Camden) wears his heart on his sleeve and took direction quickly growing up. Whereas, my youngest (Gavin) is strong-willed and speaks his mind . . . and took a lot more energy to discipline especially when he had full-blown tantrums.
Even their food tastes are different. Camden likes the top of broccoli and my youngest the bottoms. Camden likes dry cereal whereas Gavin likes milk saturating his bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Camden is butter-free, but Gavin (like his mother) loves his saturated fat smeared on top of most edible things!
One sees black where the other one sees white. All. The. Time.
My true colors and impatience shine through in moments when I feel like I've had enough of the whining and complaining. No excuse for any misbehavior on my end. I'm the adult in the situation, right?! But we, the big kids, don't always make the correct decisions.
You often hear the joke about "pregnancy brain.” WhatToExpect.com noted that brain-cell volume actually decreases during the third trimester of pregnancy. Yikes! For the sake of my point . . . it sucks the life out of us while ironically we carry a new life in our body. I think my pregnancies took their fair share on me. The brain cells I lost were compensated by the weight I gained - over 50 pounds with Camden and 45 with Gavin!!! Too bad we moms can't use pregnancy brain post-delivery . . . how about we just rename it "parenting paralysis"?
I nearly died during my first delivery experience - it almost sucked the life out of me . . . forever. But thankfully, God spared my life and I get to enjoy hearing my name called countless times a day (ugh!....I'm literally in the next room boys) with these two miracles I am honored to call my kids.
Parenting requires non-stop, unconditional love, attention, guidance, patience, grace, understanding, presence … and the list goes on. We are the doctors, chefs, taxi drivers, teachers, coaches, superheroes, translators, negotiators, secretaries, seamstresses, dry cleaners, psychologists, janitors, photographers, personal shoppers, event planners, nutritionists . . . all wrapped into one. It's exhausting just thinking of all the requirements of being a parent. Who would sign up for a job where there are no breaks or sick days? You're on 24/7/365. There have been studies that calculate how much a mom's salary would be and it is well over $100,000!!!
If I saw an ad for this job, I would keep looking . . . as would every person on earth. People complain when they don't get a 15-minute break during the 8-hour shift, but when you wrap these roles into the beautiful picture of parenthood, every bit of it is worth it! I know I'm only 13 years into this parenting-thing, but I already know and understand that the precious title of "mom" never ends. I will love, care for, and be concerned about my boys until my last breath. And technically, I only have a short period of time left with them in the house in comparison to their time in adulthood.
So, I choose to enjoy each moment, no matter how much time, energy and investment it requires . . . and no matter how many times I hear my name called for getting more toilet paper, buttering toast, killing a bug, zipping a coat, tying a shoe, kissing a boo-boo, and whatever small or large need comes my way.
I'll say it again . . . parenting sucks . . . but those sleepless nights and the tireless effort is small in comparison to beautiful picture of life and the honor of being called mom.