Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Secrets of Mom-hood

1. Guilt is as accurate as a thermometer for diagnosing illness.
I'm actually talking about myself here, not my kids. They aren't old enough for that yet. Someday...

I don't get sick very often, and when I do it is usually just run of the mill bugs - cold, sinus infection, allergies. As a stay at home mom, there is no "time out" button, or "day off" option. This has allowed me to develop a very discriminating system for determing whether I consider myself "sick" or not. Guilt. If I am sick, but have the energy to feel guilty about all of the everyday things I am not doing (playing with the kids, housework, cooking), I am not officially sick. When I stop caring about that stuff, then I get to wear pajamas all day and make Eric cook!

2. Birthdays for small children are about parents more than kids.
I will never forget my daughter's first birthday. What a momentous occasion! Her first bite of cake. Her first "party".  She had no idea what was going on, of course. Frankly , I think the idea of a party for a 1 year old seems silly. But we had the party and I learned secret number 2. It was all for me! All of those cheering people and friends gathering around thought they were applauding my daughter on her big day. Nope! I was off in the kitchen getting more paper plates and soaking in the positive vibes. I survived my first year as a mom! (And, at that point I was close to 5 months pregnant with my son, so that was with extra emphasis on survived)  Every birthday party I have attended since my daughter's has brought this memory to mind and I always take time to say a little prayer for Little One's mom. Thank you that she survived the year too! If I've attended a birthday party for your child, know that I was there thinking of you!  Do other moms feel this way? Not sure. No one else has ever really talked to me about this. But I definitely feel like that first birthday welcomes moms into a new club... we are surviviors of our children!

3. Moms are always fabulous!
My daughter taught me this one.  Whenever I ask her how I look, no matter if I'm wearing pajamas, workout clothes or a party dress, she always describes me in glowing terms.  Her mommy is always "beautiful", "a princess", "fabulous", "fancy" and/or "very gorgeous".  She must only see the best parts of what is inside me!

4. Moms don't have secrets.
Bought a latte at the grocery store this morning? My coffee-disapproving husband is sure to hear about it when he gets home from work.  Not that I ask the kids to keep secrets from anyone. We don't even discuss such things and I would never ask them to do something like that. But one would think that they might forget some insignificant details of our day, like that I got a caramel latte at the store. But, no. Hours later, something conspires against me and suddenly my kids are ordering "caramel lattes" from each other in the play kitchen. Or telling Daddy about how they got to have ice cream on the way to softball practice. They can't remember what they did today, but they can remember that my coffee was "iced" or that I accidentally said "dang it" when I stubbed my toe.

5. What a limited understanding of "love" we have!
My mind cannot comprehend all of the different kinds of love I have experienced in my life. Loving your parents, loving your sibling, loving a pet, loving friends, being "in love" as a teenager, romantic love, the love you share with your husband or wife... (my husband might add "loving your car", but I don't really get that one!)  None of it prepares us for the love we feel for our kids. No books or advice from other moms can describe it either.  How fully I love my daughter! And when I was pregnant with our son, I worried about how my heart would have room for him. And then, he was here and there was a full heart of love for him too! That love gave me a much greater appreciation for my own parents, as I can only now hope to understand how they love me. And thinking about that makes me think about God. How great is His love for us beyond even this? Uncomprehensibly great! Fullness beyond fullness.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

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