Monday, May 11, 2009

Being a Mama

Yesterday was nice... a nice, quiet day. Well, maybe it wasn't all together quiet, but still the same a day devoted to the appreciation of moms. We slept in until 8:30, which is much appreciated around here as we rarely sleep past 7:00. Then Scott cooked breakfast, which is good as it gave me a chance to fold some clothes while Madalyn asked her daddy a half a million questions while he turned bacon over in popping hot grease. Seriously, the questions from a four-year-old are a lot cuter when they are being posed to someone else and you're simply listening in on them.

I cleaned up the kitchen after breakfast, however. The OCD in me has a hard time letting anyone clean up my kitchen.

We then got dressed and headed down to Millbrook for our nephew's second birthday party. This worked out fine as we killed two birds with one stone - attending a family birthday party, and Scott seeing his mom and grandmother at the same time. And I managed to avoid having to cook or prepare the second meal of the day.

We returned home in the late afternoon and watched the kids swim a little while Scott grilled some dinner. My neighbor and I enjoyed a little Crazy Mama's Day lemonade and chatted about the joys of having your own day. Let's see if I can remember any of the joys we listed... hmmmmmm. Let's see here... I'll get back to you on that one.

If I seem slightly unappreciative of the day itself, I might be. Some how, every year, I end up not seeing my mom at all. And I haven't really figured out how that works yet, but there's always some reason. And that just kinda makes me sad. It seems like it has been harder since we moved to Alabaster. It's not that far away, but it's just far enough. And then it's an issue of my husband making his own plans. Then I have my own ideas about what I would like to do. And then in the middle, I have my kids. So what I would like to do tends to get put to the side. And then this year, a birthday party was thrown into the mix. So, another Mother's Day without seeing my own mother - the woman who means the most to me in my life.

Being a mom is hard. And usually, if you are a mom, you are also a wife, which is even harder. And here lately, I have been struggling with both these roles. It seems it just isn't what I expected it to be. I don't think I thought it would be a fairy tale, but I didn't expect it to be this hard. Two little people pulling in different directions, a husband's needs and demands, and then the rest of your family pulling at any loose end they can find. I am somewhere here in the middle, though nothing revolves around me at all. I hold it all together, but I do nothing for myself. It's the ultimate oxymoron.

I look at my life and my struggles and I see how hard it is for me. And then I think about what my own mom went through, and I realize I never saw her complain. I never knew if she was stressed about life. Did I see the stress and she just excused it as something else (like I do sometimes with my kids)? She never seemed worried or frazzled or shaken. We moved to three different states, my brothers found trouble as teenagers, I had my heart broken a gazillion times, I had jaw surgery and braces, we had financial difficulties, my brothers played basketball and baseball, she worked full time for most of my life, and I can't remember a time in my childhood that I heard her complain. She was and still is an amazing mother. Still the rock. Still the glue. Still solid through it all.

I just asked my mother the other day how she has done it. She and my dad celebrated their forty-something anniversary. I mean, how do you do it? Day after day after day. On the days when you would rather do anything else in the world than be a mom or wife (or either). How do you pull it all together and do it anyway? Is it worth it all in the end? Does this part get better? It must - this part - this in the middle part where you feel like it's such a struggle to get by in every aspect of your life. Still trying to figure yourself out. Still trying to decided what kind of spouse and parent you want to be. And to think my mom decided all that right in front of me and I never even knew it. Never had a clue.

I sure do hope my kids can't tell how un-pulled-together I really am. How I just fly by the seat of my pants during most situations. How most times I struggle to find words to explain things. But how much I truly try every day to be a better mama than the day before. Gosh - it's hard.

The close of my Mother's Day was the greatest part of the whole day. We had tucked both kids in bed, and Madalyn called me back in her room to tell me a secret. It's always so interesting the secrets she tells. Of course, when her daddy told me it was her mama she wanted, I confess, I rolled my eyes. But as I leaned down and asked her what she had to say, her little words made the trip back up the stairs worthwhile.

"I lub you, mama."

She then informed me she had another secret. I mean, what could be any better than the first?

"I lub you da most."


Nana's Notes said...

Don't you see the difference in our blogs? Of COURSE it gets better and better and better and it is CERTAINLY worth it all. Afterall, you are lubbed da most already!!! What else matters?

lsdesmarais said...

What precious "little" words! It seems our sweet babies know just when we need to hear them. And by the way, I think you are a great mama.

ctstrickland said...

Let me see now...your aunt and your cousin have written in. What about another aunt. All you can do is try and I can tell you try real hard. That's all God ask of us, is that we try. You and your mom are both great mothers.... You put up with my brother!

Tori said...

You pull everything together beautifully. I don't know how YOU do it!! Those kids are incredibly lucky to have you as their mother.

I lub you too!

Erika said...

Well, you know it goes without saying that I lub you too!