Something that makes me incredibly sad is when parents don't appreciate their children. Sure, I'm guilty of the same thing. Probably ten times today alone. But, they are blessings. Every single one of them. We jumped through a few hoops just to get them (okay, except for Nathan...he was our little surprise...but no less loved and wanted).
Some of this attitude comes from our own selfish desires and agendas. We have plans and woe to anyone or anything that gets in our way. But much of it comes from society's view of children. That they are inconveniences. Burdens. Projects that you have to complete. When I am out and about with my children during a "school day" (when kids are typically in school) I often get these kinds of comments: "I could never...[insert "be with my kids all day", "educate my kids", "give up my days", etc]. Comments that make me out to be a martyr. And while it would be nice to occasionally grocery shop alone, I LIKE having my kids with me. I had them because I want them around. I'm not saying that everyone should homeschool Definitely not saying that. If it's not for you, that's fine. Every family has to make their own decisions based on what is right for the ENTIRE family. But your kids will know if you want to be with them. They'll know if you consider them to be blessings. Or if you consider them to be burdens.
Lately I keep thinking what could be worse than the trials of motherhood:
- a baby that doesn't sleep through the night
- a pre-schooler that doesn't sleep through the night
- all of your tape being used up-on a folded up piece of blank paper
- your lipstick being gouged, smooshed and suddenly GONE!
- all of your money going to sports and extra-curricular stuff-and when I say all...I really mean it.
- screeching kids-sometimes I think my eardrums are bleeding
- feeling like if you hear "mommy..." one more time you'll move to Yemen-with no forwarding address
- a spare tire around your middle and no time to exercise it away.
- dishes out the wazoo. where do they all come from?
- washing clothes that WEREN'T EVEN DIRTY!
- stepping on legos. Ouch.
- furniture that belongs at the salvation army.
- a "tween" talking back to you (but you do correct her. you must!)
- never finishing anything. truly.
- lots of beauty rest. empty arms in the night.
- never being given the empty paper taped up with all of your tape as a "present"
- no pictures of the offender with said lipstick all over her face
- no baseball or soccer games to watch. no kids to congratulate on their awesome play or console over their missed goal
- silence. as a parent silence is golden. but only because it's rare. when there's too much...it loses value
- never being called mommy.
- no spare tire. no stretch marks. plenty of time to exercise. but no one to chase.
- no family to feed (or conversely-no food to feed your family)
- no grass stained baseball pants. no spaghetti stained t-shirts.
- no lego creations that must be given sufficient "oohs and aaaahs"
- furniture suitable for a better homes and garden photo shoot
- no daughter to be your best friend when she grows up and appreciates the corrections
- everything finished. and nothing to do.
When I was pregnant with Haley (my 3rd) and a little frightened of the changes a third child would bring to my (fairly orderly) household, I was told by several "moms of many" that the third child was the hardest to adjust to. After that it really didn't matter. (That didn't bring me much comfort by the way!) Well, after Nathan came (and I chanted that bit of "wisdom" to myself daily while pregnant with him-my fourth) I found out that it's not so much the truth. Four is more than three. Therefore, four is harder than three. I am still only one.
But, harder than raising four children?? Imagining my life without any ONE of them in it. Imagining that the fertility treatments didn't work. Or that I were to lose one of my children.....
So, if you see me in the grocery store with all four of my children (because that's usually how it works) don't feel sorry for me. Don't feed the idea that moms are to be pitied if they have their children with them. Don't be fooled by those gray hairs and the wild look in my eyes...I'm blessed!