Motherhood. It's not for the faint-of-heart.
No job is more demanding, challenging, or fulfilling!
You never know what each day might bring.
It involves a lot of cuddling, teaching and protecting when neccessary.
(Not to mention nose-wiping, spill cleaning, fight-settling, and bedroom purging)
Or is that just at my house?
A lot of feeding, food gathering and preparation.
And hearing children complain about hunger or even the food that was prepared for them.
Being in high-demand. At no other time of your life will you feel so very wanted and needed.
"Mom? Are you there Mom? MOM! Where Are You!?"
"....Oh, you're in the bathroom? Sorry. But when you come out, I have a question for you."
*knock, knock* "Mom, I know you're in the shower but I need to know if I can call my friend and have her over today. Also, can I have the last two pieces of bread for toast? And, by the way, the boys aren't turning off the t.v. like you said they should. And I wanted you to know that I finished my book. Can we go to the library today?"
Children reach certain ages where it suddenly seems okay to either talk all-the-time or voice their opinions in a heated manner.
And you stare at them and wonder who they are. And where they came from.
And where your real children might be.http://www.flickr.com/photos/enuwy/2556986390/
As teens they have ravenous appetites and you see them eyeing that last pork chop or piece of chicken. Then you see your husband doing the same....and you quickly grab it and throw it into the fridge as a left over.
Before someone gets hurt.
Funny no one ever does that over the salad....
Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes, different ideas and talents.
I truly believe each mother receives inspiration for her children.
And I have some thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of mothers.
I see some of the following characteristics in myself from time to time as well as other mothers I've known throughout the years.
Consider the following:
Cons: Always on the fly, always in a hurry to get everything on her list accomplished. Has a hard time slowing down and 'smelling the roses.' Not always very accessible to her children. May have them over-scheduled.
Pros: Great at multi-tasking, usually very dependable and punctual. Accomplishes a lot!
The Mother Hen.
Cons: Can be over-protective, too watchful of every move her children make, a micro-manager of the worst kind.
Pros: Can be sweet, generous and always there for her children. Her children are comforted knowing she's so accessible and willing to listen.
Cons: Can talk too much. Often telling every detail of her life and her children's lives to others. The children have no privacy and even the checker at the grocery store hears the story of their birth or the fact that they have a nail-biting habit or got a 'D' on a test.
Pros: The children grow up in a very verbal atmosphere, learning the art of language from day one.
Cons: This mother is often a martyr. She is so focused on her children and their needs that she doesn't take care of herself or her marriage, for that matter. She often dress shabbily, needs a haircut, and rarely buys anything for herself without feeling guilty. Her children may come to disrespect her and her husband may wonder where his wife disappeared to.
Pros: This mother is truly giving and Christ-like. She sacrifices much for those she loves.
But there must be a balance.http://www.flickr.com/photos/rick_leche/415725072/
Cons: More and more mothers these days fall into this category or even the next. They are often seen shopping for themselves, getting their hair and nails done, and dropping their children off at daycare in order to have a lunch date with their girlfriends and spend even more time being self-absorbed. They may think of themselves as a 'trophy wife' and can even go so far as to have their children through a surrogate in order to keep their girlish figures. You can find sexy pictures of them on their Facebook or Myspace pages, right next to their family portraits.
Pros: It is important to feel good about yourself.....but tempered with a little modesty and compassion for others.
gari.baldi's photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/garibaldi/539405776/
Cons: Sharp-eyed and often sharp-tongued as well. This mother can be very demanding and expect only excellence. She often has her children in a myriad of activities; requiring them to be the best at everything they do. She's known to brag about her children while also giving unwanted advice about other people's children. More often than not, her children feel they can never live up to her expectations.....or they turn out just like her.
Pros: Having a high standard can be a good thing- as long as this mother realizes her children are....children. And lets them have some unstructured fun!
Cons: Picks at everything, cannot ever be pleased. This mother is perpetually unhappy with any and all results of her children's efforts.
The Biddy Hen.
Cons: A cross between the Magpie, Eagle and Crow. She is a major gossip, critical of others and likes to poke her nose into other people's business. She gives unwanted advice and loves to spread rumors.
Pros: May mellow with age....or get worse!
The Blue Jay.
Cons: Aggressive in her mothering, this woman can come across as nosy and domineering.
She often feels she knows what is best for other people's children.
Pros: She is often the director and planner of activities for children, a mover and a shaker.
The Sea Gull.
Cons: This mother can often be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal. Lives a highly unstructured life, allows her children to live the same. This often creates very unruly children- known to be rude to adults and disrespectful of personal property and any authority. There are rarely any boundaries set, anything of importance accomplished. These children may have a hard time living and functioning in 'normal' society.
Pros: The children get plenty of unstructured play time, which is important in their formative years. They tend to be highly creative, flexible people who have no problem thinking 'outside the box.'
There you have it.
A few of my observations and ponderings on motherhood.
While I try very hard to be a good mother, I am hopelessly imperfect.
Thank Goodness we aren't graded on a curve, but by our own personal impressions, talents and skills.
And while we may teach our children many important things.....we are, BY FAR, learning so much more.
A few more thoughts, from what I've learned:
Bounce ideas off of your friends, share stories (privately and using familial tact) and learn from others. Women and mothers of the world are the greatest resource out there!
And don't be afraid to see life from different points of view....
Seek out wise women.
Many mothers whose children have grown are full of wisdom and great advice.
And they have that great gift called hindsight.
But most of all,
Cherish this gift of motherhood.
There are many seasons of life but no other season is so fulfilling, so needed.
No other season brings little voices that call you 'Mama', little hands that slide notes to you under the door, unconditional hugs and kisses, teens that are impressed by your knowledge, children who think your cooking is better than anyone else's.
Eyes that light up with wonder, firsts of every kind to witness, skills to be taught and learned.
Children are truly a gift.
So, be like the Chickadee. Full of good cheer, kindness, and warmth. Bustling around, busy at her work and leading a wonderful life.