With Mother's Day around the corner I have been contemplating my own role as a mom. For 9 months, more or less, I carried my babies inside of me, just beneath my heart. When my sweet angels were born I held them close. I nursed them. I changed everything about my life to be their mother. No sacrifice was, or is, ever too great for my children. I know you other mothers can relate.
When they were hospitalized, which was far too often, I slept in a chair by their bed for days on end, only leaving every other day for a quick run home to shower IF I had someone else I trusted to stay by their side while I did so. My life's mission was to be the best mother possible for these little miracles entrusted to me.
I never really thought much about them leaving one day. Of course we all want our children to become independent, successful, happy adults with lives of their own. But still, we don't think much about the separation anxiety that we, as their moms, will feel when they finally leave the nest.
Grown and Gone
All five of my children are grown now. Some are married, some in school, some are working and some are working at the hardest job there is, being full time mothers and homemakers. Words cannot begin to convey my pride in these amazing human beings!
But no one could have prepared me for how strange it feels to not be able to speak to my kids every day, let alone not be able to see them! If I could, I would check in with every single one of them every single morning and every single evening, just to see how they are. How did they sleep? How was their day? How are they feeling? What new and exciting thing happened to them that day? Did they have a rough day? Was their heart broken? Did someone let them down? But mostly, I just want to be able to tell them I love them. I wish I could hug them every single day, like I did when they were little, and tell them how proud I am of them. So many times I have to resist the urge to pick up the phone and call them because I don't want to intrude or bother them with too many "just cuz I love you" type of phone calls.
I want them to know that they changed me forever and for the better, I think. They taught me about forgiveness, patience and unconditional love. They taught me how to play and be silly, no matter how old you are. They taught me about sacrifice and putting others before myself. They taught me the meaning of true joy. They taught me that miracles do happen! They taught me about faith and the importance of leaning on my Heavenly Father and trusting Him, even when I might otherwise have given up hope.
What kind of person might I be if I had never had children? I don't know. I can't even imagine, nor do I want to. Because I had children, I became a mother in every sense of the word. It is not something you ever stop being...or doing. Being a mother is an action, deep down in your soul. It isn't just something you do, it is who you ARE! My children will always be my babies. My love for them grows stronger with every passing day. Their joys are my joys. Their sorrows break my heart. Their triumphs make me more proud than I am of my own victories at times.
So, am I proud of my kids? More than I could ever possibly express. But am I proud of myself as well? You bet I am! In an instant I grew from being a rather self-centered teenager, (weren't we all?), into a loving, giving, kind, selfless individual who would do anything in the world for my five children. But these qualities have also bubbled over into every other facet of my life.
I am able to feel true empathy for others. I find more joy in service than I would have ever thought possible. I have no problem putting other's needs before my own, when appropriate. I love with my whole heart. I forgive easily.
I feel so blessed that I learned, with the help of my children, to trust God in His infinite wisdom. Because of that trust I opened the doors to "A Meditation Celebration" and have had the honor of working with so many very wonderful human beings! So I have taken these attributes that my children so graciously taught me, and turned them into a business. As a spiritual life coach and meditation guide, among other things, I am truly able to help people. I understand people on a very deep, emotional level and my desire to help them find peace and balance in their lives is very real and sincere.
Because of my children I learned to follow my heart and my joy. Because of my children I learned to sacrifice, so even when I cannot see or speak to them for days on end, I know it is worth it because they are living their lives as the happy, independent individuals I raised them to be.
The Hardest Job in the World!
Is it easy to be a mother? No. Emphatically, NO! It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I literally put my life on the line, losing 15 children to miscarriage and stillbirth, to get my 5 survivors here. I was on partial to full bed rest with each and every baby. All of my pregnancies were declared "high risk" and my deliveries were long, painful, complicated and often terrifying. But they were also worth it. I would do it all again, not just to have these five incredible human beings call me "mom," which truly is an honor, but also because of the growth, insights and lessons I have learned through them.
Could I have done a better job as a mother? I am sure I could have, especially if you ask them. But did I do the very best I knew how, given the knowledge, skills and talents I had? You bet I did! And I continuously work and put forth effort to improve my skills as a parent, even to this day. I will continue to try to be everything they need me to be, including the most adoring grandmother to their children that I can possibly be. I will not ever stop putting forth effort to be the best mom imaginable, the mom I feel my children deserve.
Gratitude on Mother's Day
So this Mother's Day, I will truly be thankful for the person I have become by being a mom. I will be grateful to five very special people, who I made within me, just under my heart, so many years ago. I will be thankful to them for teaching me all that they have, and for showing so much patience, understanding, love and forgiveness to an imperfect woman who gave them life and did, and continues to do, the very best she can in every way for them.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out their, and to the children who made us mothers.