Life as a mother has been both rewarding and difficult. Some days serve as reminders of how truly blessed I am to have three children who share their heart with me. Then there are days that I’m praying for peace even it’s just for five minutes (honestly, I’m surprised that I haven’t lost half of my hair yet). The difficult times don’t represent regret but the reality that parenthood is hard.
My kids have taught me so much about humility, love, and having faith. There are many articles out there on how we should raise our kids and the values we should instill in them. However, I think adults have a lot to learn from children. So, I want this post to serve as a note of the ways in which my kids have taught me to be a better me.
My kids have taught me so much about humility, love and having faith.
When my patience lack, my kids are the first to feel the sting. I remember being frustrated the other night because my daughter absolutely hates frosting and was upset that I placed frosting all over the cake her father baked. I retreated to my bedroom and asked myself how I raised an ungrateful little human. When I was getting ready the next morning, my daughter came to my room, wrapped her arms around my waist and told me, “Mom, I’m sorry. I don’t want you to be sad.” It’s amazing how kids are like sponges absorbing everything they see and hear – both the good and bad. Yet, they can be more humble than adults in admitting their mistakes and in forgiving when others wrong them.
When I was younger, I couldn’t have imagined that I would ever hand out a part of my heart to a partner or to kids. Yet, life had a different plan for me. My kids can bring out the Incredible Hulk in me, but I never knew how much my heart could expand until I had them. Kids need us to protect them, to encourage them, and to love them. In return, we receive their love unconditionally. When we consider our children’s unconditional love we, in turn, learn to love ourselves. Sometimes I feel like an absolute failure, but when my children tell me how much they love me or how great I am at cooking when I clearly suck, it gives me the strength to think of my positives. And that positive feeling spreads in reminding others around me that they’re also awesome even when they feel like they suck. The love my children have for me as their mom is something that fills my cup and increases love – for myself and for others – in my life.
One day I was driving my six-year-old to the bus stop when he proceeded to ask me if I wanted to learn how the world was created. Sure enough, he taught me what he knew from the Gospel and it made me wonder why I didn’t think about God in my daily life as much as I should. Frankly, I think it had less to do with God than it does with having faith because having faith is believing in something that you literally cannot see and I tend to forget about things that aren’t physically present in my life. The fact that they believe that there’s something greater out there who hears them, who loves them and who created them is inspiring considering the fact that my faith is like participating in a tug-of-war. Their spirituality contrasts how much I need to work on mine and it gives me hope that God loves me by showing His love for me through my kids.
10 minutes is all it takes to read a book to a child (okay, maybe five if you really need to make it work into your nightly routine). Yet, sometimes those few minutes are so. dang. long. An hour at the park can be a pain. Making slime from scratch is a mess and a waste of time. At nighttime, kisses on the cheek are given out via an IOU. And we feel this way because we’re adults right? We’re just too busy, have too much to think and do, and our time is just too precious to squander. But give 10 minutes, an hour, or a whole day to a child and those memories last forever. Kids teach us to be aware of how we’re responding and to be present at the moment so that we can create and then appreciate the beautiful moments in our lives. If we aren’t present to create those moments, we won’t have anything to appreciate.
Give 10 minutes, an hour, or a whole day to a child and those memories last forever.
For Mother’s Day tomorrow, I want to thank my kids for being in my life. Without my children, I wouldn’t have the title of “mama”. I’m so grateful and blessed to be given the opportunity to have this role as I know others are struggling with fertility and would wish, more than anything, to be a mother. So thank you, little ones, for your unconditional love, patience, and forgiveness.