Motherhood. It sounds official, important, and majestic.
And IT IS.
BUT - motherhood - being a MOTHER - is a constant, daily, exhausting, never-ending, rollercoaster of a job that has zero degrees or certifications as preparation and the measuring stick seems to move daily. Who is measuring? My boys? The world? My husband? Social media? The boys' future therapists? ME? Let all that soak in for a few moments and then we will dig into this crazy ride called motherhood.
Being a mother is definitely my greatest JOY in life. I have wanted to be a mom since I was a very young girl setting up mock classrooms in my garage for neighborhood children (#truestory) and naming my children in big bubble letters in my third-grade spiral notebook. I babysat my entire neighborhood it seemed, and I was going to be a mom as soon as I got married and worked 2 years as a nurse. I would be 24 and my life would be perfect.
Then life happened. For lots of reasons, and over many years, I thought motherhood was not in the cards for me. I was devastated. I wasn't sure what life would be without ME being a mom. I was destined to be a mother, right? That was the PLAN. I live by and stick to the PLAN.
Fast-forward to age 34 and my first baby boy was born screaming, dreaming, and wild, and he hasn't stopped any of those yet! His 8 year old brother was waiting on him in the waiting room bursting with excitement. 2 years later, God gave me the sweetest, big-hearted, most mellow fellow in the universe and God's plans for me and my motherhood journey were complete.
All those nights I looked to the starlit heavens with tears in my eyes wondering when it would be my turn ended. All those Happy Mother's Day cards and texts I sent out with awkward responses like "um, thank you- hope you have a good day too" were over. Some women may say motherhood doesn't define them or isn't their purpose. I do love other things. I enjoy hobbies and my career and a good live band or a breeze on a boat. I will sit on any cabin deck in the mountains and drink any cup of coffee if it's made right.
But being a mother is and will always be my MOST IMPORTANT JOB. And every time I look at my green-eyed boy with the world's longest eyelashes acting on stage, or admire the kind, responsible young man my step-son has become, or listen to my big-blue-eyed baby boy tell me how he wants to help someone in need, the world drifts away. Nothing else matters. If I had never made a proper diagnosis, helped someone who was in pain, or received any trophy, plaque, or ribbon for my efforts, I would be just fine. My real work is being done every single day and will continue until I leave this Earth. Those 3 boys are my purpose in life. Thank you, Jesus, for answering my prayers in Your way on Your time.
HERE ARE 14 LESSONS I LEARNED IN MY FIRST DECADE OF MOTHERHOOD. I'M NOW IN MY SECOND DECADE, BUT I'VE HAD MOST OF THESE DOWN FOR A LITTLE WHILE NOW.
I think each of these lessons deserves a little more detail. I really had no trouble thinking of these, since they have honestly been LESSONS LEARNED. These are all things I literally did not know until I knew. And what you don't know, well... it's just better that you know these. 🤷♀️
My own mother told me many years ago that motherhood would be both the hardest and the MOST IMPORTANT job I would ever have. She has never been a step-mother. She has never been through a divorce and tried to navigate a second marriage with a man who was also navigating a second marriage. She has what some might call a wonderful, life-long, high-school-sweetheart partnership that is still going strong over 50 years later. She had 2 smart kids who were active in sports and music and for the most part well-behaved. She wasn't working as a nurse practitioner bringing work home every night, and she wasn't commuting over 8 hours every week.
And she still said it was the hardest.
And the most important.
Odds are that I don't know you. I don't know how many people live in your house or what kind of childhood you had. I don't know how many times you've been hurt or who exactly caused your pain. I don't know how demanding your job is or if you even work outside the home. I don't know if you struggled to get pregnant or if you have more children than you ever intended. Your family may be blended or straight out of Southern Living.
It doesn't matter.
If you're reading this, you are most likely a parent, probably a female, and if I were a betting woman, I would bet you are exhausted. You are overwhelmed. You are lonely. You are bored if we are being 100% honest. You are under-appreciated and overworked. And you wanted to know you're not alone. I declare from my Georgia basement with my ice-pack on my already-arthritic knee, you are NOT alone. I am with you. My own mama with her cookie cutter textbook family was with you and is still with you. This is hard work. And it's WORTH IT.
I hope this article brought you some comfort, whimsy, new ideas, or peace. Just remember wherever you are, I am with you. I'm only halfway to 18 on my youngest, so we can hang out for quite a while yet. 🤪
Please help support my fellow hope*writers' work by reading their posts using the prompt word "fourteen"... :
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: 14 Things I Love About the Holidays by Jessica Weaver
14 Truths about Love by Sharla Hallett
Fourteen Adjectives to Cultivate in Kids by Jessica Haberman
14 Parenting Tips to Raise Strong, Independent Kids by Ashley Olivine