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This post is dedicated to my Mom.
Ah… morning naps. I love morning naps. For me, morning naps top afternoon naps, hands down.
I was up with my baby from 5-7am this morning. He was having trouble sleeping on account of his yucky cold and just wanted to be held. Even after falling asleep in my arms he would wake up the moment I tried laying him back down in his crib. He would cry and wail, triggering more snot, which in turn triggered more coughing. So I held him.
I loved cuddling with him for two hours, don’t get me wrong, but I was exhausted by the time my 7 year-old skipped (yes, skipped) into the living room at 7am, ready to play. So my sweet and thoughtful hubby let me take a morning nap while he fed and watched the kids for a couple hours.
It had been a very long time since I had taken a morning nap. It was lovely. I woke up feeling refreshed— and felt inspired to write this post.
As I lay there in my bed, getting ready to get up and tackle the busy Saturday, I remembered back on the morning naps I took when Aden was a newborn. We had just brought him home from the hospital, and Danny had to work 24-hour (sometimes 48-hour) shifts, so my mom graciously came down to help me out my first week.
My dad was there for a couple days too, but my mom stayed a full five days. I was nursing Aden round the clock, so the spare moments I had to myself, she was able to watch him for me, so I could nap, eat, shower, whatever I needed to do. Even just one hour of napping made all the difference!
She helped cook meals, wash dishes, do laundry. She picked up my oldest from school, played with him, and she helped with errands and homework. She took care of her baby (me) while I was taking care of mine. I will forever be grateful to her for coming down that week. She was a life saver!
And in typical If You Give a Mouse a Cookie fashion, one memory led to another, and then another, and then another. Memories of all the times my mom was there for me, supported me, and sacrificed for me.
Moms serve wholeheartedly.
Not only do moms change the diapers, wash the mud/food/poop-covered clothes, cook the meals, spoon-feed the meals, wipe the faces and noses, give the baths, brush the teeth, and rock the kiddos to sleep. Moms also kiss the boo-boos, wipe the tears, and give the special types of hugs that only moms can give. Yep, moms are pretty amazing.
Now don’t get me wrong. Dads are amazing too! But today we celebrate mothers. And let’s face it, mothers (depending on your individual household roles and responsibilities) usually do more of the caregiving than dads. Moms are just created that way. We are nurturers, just like the “hen [who] gathers her chicks under her wings.” Luke 13:34.
When you become a mom, your heart swells with love for your child, and sometimes it feels like bursting whenever you celebrate life’s joys with your little one. First smile, first word, first step, first birthday, etc. Even every-little-day smiles and giggles puts a twinkle in your eye and laughter in your heart. Kids are so much fun.
As a mom, your heart can also burst with ache. My heart aches for my children whenever I see them sad or hurt. I just want to reach out and hold them and take away all their pain. It also aches when I think about how fast they’re growing up, and how a part of me wishes they could stay little forever.
Moms make a lot of sacrifices.
You lose your time when you’re a mom. You’re on your kids’ timetable, not yours. Forget your quiet, calm mornings, your long hot showers, your relaxing shopping trips. Throw it out the window. You won’t see those again for several years. You’re lucky if you have time to finish your meal at lunch or dinner, but even then, it’s probably cold by the time you get to it.
Forget privacy. You have a handful of seconds to pee, while talking to your child through the door. You have maybe a few minutes to shower, again talking to your child through the curtain. Intimate time with the hubs is more-often-than-not interrupted by a woken, crying baby who needs a (poopy) diaper change. Romantic, right?
Forget high heels and trendy outfits; after all, you’ll probably get spit up or food stains on your clothes anyway. No more wearing jewelry unless you want it pulled on or broken— Aden once pulled an earring out of my ear (ouch!)
Yep, we moms sacrifice a lot. Time. Privacy. Personal goals and activities. Waistline. Clean floors. Naps!
And let’s not even forget the 10 months of pregnancy! Back aches. Nausea. Nose bleeds. Swelling. Cravings. Sleeplessness. Mood swings. Spider veins. Stretch marks. Dare I continue?
And, of course, there’s all the other roles we moms have to find time to fulfill: being a wife, homemaker, employee, church member, neighbor, daughter, sister, friend, meal planner, grocery shopper, cook, chauffeur, bookkeeper, activity coordinator, costume-designer, story-time teller, nurse, etc. etc.
But even despite all these “sacrifices”, our kids are SO WORTH it. For moms, sacrifices become privileges and blessings.
We WANT to serve them. It is our JOY to serve them. Everything that we GAIN with our children outweighs the temporary “losses.” Some of the sacrifices are just short-term, just for a season. But our relationships with our children- and the love for them that swells in our hearts- last a lifetime.
You’ll eventually get your “me” time back— and enjoy it— but there’ll be plenty of days where you wish you could go back to the days where it was “our” time. The days where you felt needed by your little ones. There’ll be days when your adult children need you as well, but it’s a different kind of need.
And even though the sacrifices are worth it and there’s an abundance of JOY in motherhood (yes, even in poopy diapers and temper tantrums), it’s nice to hear “Thank You” from time to time. It’s nice to feel appreciated. I think most if not all kids (young and grown) deeply appreciate their moms, but their moms won’t fully know it unless it’s actually expressed to them.
So, to my mom, THANK YOU.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your sacrifice. For your love. For all the long days and late nights. For carrying me in your womb for 10 months- TWINS even!
For all the meals, birthday cakes, hand-made costumes, music lessons, sports activities, homeschooling, braids and pigtails. For all the times you kissed my boo-boos and nursed my colds, fevers, and chickenpox. For all the times you rocked me in the rocking chair, sang to me at night, and took me out for one-on-one dates of té con leche or submarinos. For teaching me how to read music, how to cook, how to cross-stitch, and more importantly how to follow Christ.
Thank you for always being there for me and supporting me, for being my biggest fan. Thank you for showing me how to serve others and how to be kind, patient, and forgiving.
Most important of all, thank you for loving the Lord, teaching me about God, and living your life by Christ’s example. Thank you for guiding me in my own journey of being a wife and mother. I love you so much, Mom.
I’m thankful for my mom and for the gift of motherhood not just today, but every day.
Have you thanked your mom recently? Thank her often, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day you can. It’s a lifetime relationship. “Arise and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:28.
“Thank you, Mom, for…” Fill in the blank. Now go tell her.
And to all the moms….
Go out and celebrate! Get pampered. Have some chocolate. Order the margarita! Enjoy the flowers and hand-made cards or crafts made by your precious little ones which you will treasure forever and ever. Soak in their love, hugs, and slobbery kisses… let your heart burst a little— or a lot.
Happy Mother’s Day,
— Amy, aka “Mommy” to Caleb and “Mama” to Aden
Resources for Moms: