Before I start my post, I want to say that every Mother's Day, I remember those who are single and would love to be married and have children. I also remember those who have not been able to conceive. I say a special prayer for all those who suffer when it comes to Motherhood.
So as usual, Mother's Day is on a day when Dennis works, since he works on the weekends, so that means my special day was just a regular day. I have gotten better at accepting this over the years, though I used to get a little resentful as I would watch Moms all around recount their days of breakfast-in-bed, going to the spa, or just sleeping in while I continued to work. We do celebrate Mother's Day the next day though, so I knew I had nothing to complain about.
Still, yesterday was a difficult day. I had had some hard days before yesterday and basically my "bad day" continued on throughout the weekend. My lowest point was when I noticed with disgust that one of my kids did not eat her lunch, even though I had done everything I could to make her lunch more appealing to her. I stepped out on the balcony where she was jumping on the trampoline and pointed out to her that she did not eat her sandwich. She said a casual (and too cheerfully) "Sorry!" as she continued to jump. I tossed the sandwich out for the birds, and as I watched our limited food supply go wasted on ungrateful kids, my anger grew. I took the plate that the sandwich was on and tossed that out over the balcony as well, to show my kids my disgust with them. However, not only did the plate fly directly into a tree and smashed into billions of little pieces, my kids didn't even notice the thrown out sandwich or plate, so busy were they with their fun.
I was chagrined by my behavior. I knew I was getting exactly what I deserved as I picked crumbs of broken glass out of the grass. But I was just so angry and tired. Motherhood is wonderful, but motherhood is also really tough.
The time spent picking glass out of the lawn gave me time to think of a punishment for wasting food; at snack time, when everyone else got cookies, this child got a bowl of peas. I know my kids and they would rather skip a snack and be hungry rather than eat peas, but I would rather they not be hungry and eat something nourishing. Lesson learned.
This is motherhood. Being the constant example, the teacher, the nurse. It is tough. It's exhausting and it calls for a charitable heart.
My heart is not always charitable. I'm good at helping others but within my own family, it gets tough. They know where I live and they keep coming back, asking for more. They don't know what privacy means, and a closed door to them just means it's something to speak through or knock on. Hardly ever am I able to go to the bathroom by myself, or take a shower without jumping out of it and throwing a towel over me because a child is screaming bloody murder. I make meals that are hardly eaten and sit as patrol at the dinner table to make sure they're eaten. On days I get to sleep in, I drag myself out of bed because I cannot reason with myself that Dennis made sure that the kids got their school snacks and that it was the "approved snack". I skip getting myself a pair of shoes that are badly needed and buy my kids some badly needed pants instead. This is motherhood, this is why I am exhausted and cranky sometimes. This is why plates go flying off the balcony over uneaten lunch.
I have met moms who just seem like they're good at being moms. It seems that they love to serve their family, they naturally know how to cook, and they know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods are. They hardly get irritated and can't wait for their kids to come home from school. They are the "super moms" who seem to do it all with never-ending energy and a smile.
And then there are the moms like me, who secretly wonder if they really should be moms. I don't know how to cook, and I'm terrible with cleaning. I have to google "healthy snacks" in order to understand what "healthy" really means. I throw perfectly good plates off the balcony into trees instead of keeping my temper; I am "done" when I am overloaded. I often ask God why He made me a mother, because I am just not good at it.
Then He gave me five children--FIVE--to help me become a good mother. He stretches me beyond my limits to make me more than I what I think I can be. He has not helped much with cooking, but He has helped me figure out some creative meals. I make mistakes for which I must apologize for and my children know that I have a temper, but they also have seen what it means to humble yourself. He makes me open my door rather than keep it shut, to let people in and serve when I am tired. He gives me rest at the end of the day, and the pride (the good kind) to realize that I can do it and I did do it. At the end of the day, my family is fed, they are clothed, they are happy (for the most part) and they have been disciplined and loved and uplifted.
I say it every year and I guess I will say it again. My kids make me a super-mom. I am not super mom by what I accomplish but I become super mom because I am pushed to be the very best person for my children. That is huge. That is amazing. That is motherhood. I do not have the qualifications to be a good mom and I believe that is exactly why God made me one. A mother is a disciple, and we are all called to be disciples to one another.
But even God knows when I am "done". Because after I picked up every tiny shard of glass (that plate EXPLODED), and after I calmly taught my daughter how important it is to eat her meals because snacks are very limited around here, I looked at the clock and saw that I still had two hours before Dennis came home. And suddenly, I felt very tired. I wasn't sure if I could make it the rest of the day without becoming overwhelmed again. I played with idea of begging Dennis to come home early....I was so very tired. I just needed to lay down for a while and then I would be better. After all, it's Mother's Day...
So I picked my phone up, and just as I was dialing his number, the door opened, and there stood Dennis with a cake in his hand. He came home two hours early. Just when I needed him. And he had cake.
God knew what I needed. He knows when I need to stretch myself a little bit more, be a little more generous, go a little bit further. But He also knows when I need a break. At that moment, I felt so loved, not just by Dennis, but by God.
I want to say that I took the cake and went to my room and shut my door, but I didn't. I spent a little time with my family. For those few minutes, I enjoyed my motherhood. Then, I went to my room and laid down, and rested while Dennis took over with the kids.
Best Mother's Day present ever.