The Best Mother’s Day Gift: My Children

Yesterday was my son’s  7th birthday. Seven years ago, one week before Mother’s Day, he made me a mother.

Four years later, one week after Mother’s Day, I became a mother again. This time, to a daughter.

Best Mother's Day Gift My ChildrenI was gifted with two amazing little people.

There are some ways that bringing my babies into the world was not the most pleasant experience. When Ben was born he had some sort of bizarre vomiting and choking issue that awarded him three days in the NICU.  When Genevieve was born, my husband’s somewhat estranged mother sent hateful, accusatory, and demanding emails to me when I was still in the hospital.

In spite of the worry and upset associated with their births, nothing could take away that amazing feeling I had after giving birth. The hormones, freeing your body, and seeing that new little person you created, combines into the greatest cocktail of your life. It makes you feel light and airy. Energized. Deliriously happy. I’m sure there is a drug out there somewhere that makes you feel the same. I have often mentioned I wish I could bottle the post-birth euphoria, but without that sweet little baby, it just wouldn’t be the same.

There are some ways that being a mother is not the most pleasant experience. The hormones subside. The fatigue kicks in and never really goes away. New worries pop up. Maybe you allow them to dictate what kind of mother you will be. The kind of mother who is filled with self-doubt, stress, and worry. Maybe you don’t ever become the mother you thought you would be.

Motherhood is hard and overwhelming.  I’m sure fatherhood is too, but in my home, as in many others, I am the default. I do the lion’s share of the loving, the planning, the breaking up of fights, the discipline, the handing out disappointment.  It’s tumultuous, and many times I don’t know if I am coming or going.

It’s truly draining.

Motherhood is also glorious. On my children’s birthdays, I am almost able to recall that hormone cocktail feeling, when I recount to them their birth stories. I look at them and see their tiny infant faces, which I can still see through their growing kid faces. Everything stands still, and nothing else matters.

It’s truly refreshing.

The best gift I ever received for Mother’s Day was my children, and they never fail to give to me every day.

They give me eyes to see myself.

They give me love when I cannot love myself.

They give me pause to forget the stress and see the beauty and humor in every day.

They give me their trust, that I will love them and care for them unconditionally.

I often feel like I am not the mother I wanted to be. I am impatient. I’m overwhelmed. I’m annoyed. I yell. I am not always in the moment. The list could go on.

Yet, they continue to love me unconditionally, because I am their mother. And I them, because they are my babies.

That is the greatest gift of all.

*This post has been submitted to NerdWallet’s Mother’s Day Your Way Contest.

Blow the Stress Bubble Away and Just Be Thankful

It’s no secret that I live in a bubble of stress. Much of it is self-imposed, I can admit. This little bubble of what-if, prep for the next step, and be prepared is hard to shake. Hard to blow away.

And the last couple of weeks have not been easy. Work is busy, yet I’m still broke. My kids’ behavior is out of control. A couple of weeks ago it was my son. Now it’s my daughter. If you can call issues with a two-and-a-half year-old behavior issues. I feel tag teamed. By kids. By life.

As if any day isn’t hard enough, balancing work and kids, today is a no-school day. And for some ridiculous reason, I thought I might be able to work. Which I did. I started at 3 am. Got a lot done, was ready to crank out more, and then they awoke. It was downhill from there. Despite my efforts to take a break and have fun cooking, setting up crafts, Christmas TV specials.

It didn’t work out.

One of my biggest complaints today is the amount of things that have been spilled. Food while cooking. Beads while beading. Half a bag of un-popped popcorn they were arguing over. Iced tea all over the basement rug. A huge bowl of snacks.

Fortunately, by the time the bowl of snacks was spilled, and I thought I just might explode, I laughed. I give up, and it’s okay. No, it’s not okay. It’s wonderful!

With that laugh, I let down my guard and my little girl crawled up on the couch next to me. She put her arm around me and kissed my cheek. She loves me. In spite of me. And I her.

I look over at my little boy and smile at him, and he gives me the sweetest smile back. That boy has the most wonderful smile. Eyes twinkling say, “I love you mom, thank you.” No buddy, thank you. I love you to the moon.

thankful for my children from the laine list

Both of you.

And now I can blow that stress bubble away and just be thankful.