I was standing in the kitchen with my mother. Our house was milling with the sounds of a family with four children. The background noise buzzed with kids playing, the dog barking, the T.V. blaring, the phone ringing, doors opening and closing, the dryer humming from the laundry room, and the timer going off from the oven to announce dinner was ready.
My mother was a “stay-at-home” mom and worked harder than anyone I know. She was a volunteer extraordinaire, was multi-talented, and used her gifts in many ways to bring value not only to our home, but to our community. I was young but old enough to recognize her capabilities and all that she juggled.
As I stood in her presence, I do not recall what I said but do remember asking a question about the very large undertaking of motherhood.
In the middle of our busy routine her words of wisdom were planted into my memory, which grew a healthy expectation that would give me long term perspective and strength. Her answer was loving, matter of fact, and truthful. Responding in a pleasant tone she replied,
“Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but it is the best job in the world”.
This was one of the best things she ever said to me. Her response made me feel secure. She loved being our mom and appreciated it even among the chaos. Her comment was lighthearted but held the weight to root itself and offer a realistic picture that motherhood is not easy……and the fact that motherhood is not easy is o.k. and totally worth it.
Her statement held a healthy balance of truth and joy, which allowed me to approach motherhood knowing there would be difficult moments. Her words laid the ground work to paint a realistic portrayal of a mother’s point of view.
Her response empowered me with a healthy understanding that would set the tone for my own expectations as I became a mother.
My mother’s response gave me strength as I entered mother hood and began to manage my own three stair steps.
My mother’s words did not mean I would not have hard days. Of course, there have been days where I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Of course, there are days where I feel as if I have lost my mind. I lose my patience and get bogged down from the tasks and schedule. It is in those moments I remember my mother’s words and I know my feelings are normal and that I am not alone. Hard days are a part of life. It comes with the territory, which in turn helps me to know that a hard day is not the end of the world.
My mother told me I was worth it. I was worth her time, her sacrifice, her dedication. My mother’s truth gave me strength as a child, a woman, and as a mother. Her words helped me to know that even when I feel overwhelmed I give my children what she gave me. Love, devotion, everything I am……..and it will give them strength just like she gave me. I have had the opportunity to say the same thing to my own children. I pass along a truth as old as time.
Being a mom is wonderful. It is the hardest job in the world, but it is the best job in the world.