I’m sitting at my desk today, half recovering from all the activities of the weekend and thinking about what motherhood means to me. I’m coming off the high of my favorite Mother’s Day as a mom, and I’m feeling really introspective. I can understand that Mother’s Day can be fraught for some. A year or two ago I can remember thinking that I’m just not good enough, not doing enough, not strong enough. There are so many ways that the joys of others can seem like an assault when we’re not seeing things clearly. I think social media only magnifies that if you fall into that trap. I have.
My own relationship with my mom is so strong, and before being a mother myself, I had always enjoyed Mother’s Day – the presents, the special dinners, telling my mom how much she meant to me. It wasn’t until I had my son that my perspective on Mother’s Day and motherhood in general changed so much. I guess none of us get to really understand how much our mothers do for us, or give to us, or sacrifice to us until we become mothers ourselves. All this you know if you’re a mom, I’m not treading new ground here.
But what I’m starting to understand is that it's not the sacrifice of motherhood, but because of it we are so profoundly changed. I think I resisted this change, even resented it a little bit. I didn’t like how my mind was never my 100 percent my own – what and how my son is doing is never far from my thoughts. It’s harder for me to concentrate. I was never a worrier, and sometimes my mind races even though I’m demanding that it stop.
My son has had some challenges – some that are not unique to many parents’ experience, and some that are. I’ve never liked feeling out of control, and my parenting experience has felt a little like being in a freefall. But somewhere in this last year, I’ve found my footing. I feel stronger. I’m more confident in myself as a mom, more at peace with those little thoughts and worries that pop up. I’m seeing my little buddy blossom and grow and learn new things and overcome difficulties, and it makes my heart swell and my eyes fill up with tears as I write this sentence.
As much as we have a God-given responsibility to raise our children to love God and honor others with their hearts and hands, I’m not so sure that we as mothers aren’t the ones that come out on the other side changed even more. At least that’s the way it feels for me.
Motherhood, just like other parts of life, has its ups and downs. Today I’m thankful for the opportunity and blessing it is to have a mom who loves and to be a mom who loves. I’m resting in the joy that I’m the right mom for Reid, and he’s just right for me. He'll keep changing, and so will I. Whatever comes our way, we’ll get through it together.