So. It is Mother's Day weekend, which means it's time to reflect on one of the biggest blessings in my life...motherhood. Truly, being a mom is one of the most amazing things I have done in life. But, I have a secret to tell you. Are you listening?? I love my kids more than than life itself. But, I don't always like being a mom. *insert gasps, shock, and awe* I know...I know! It's horrible to say out loud. But, it's true. Stay with me for a moment. This statement has nothing at all to do with my girls because they are absolutely amazing, as I tell any and everyone who will listen. It has everything to do with my internal struggles as a mother. Yes, I admit it, even the woman dubbed "super mom" has serious motherhood struggles.
Although I do my best and get lots of praises for my mothering style, it's not easy and I feel like a failure as a mom so many times. My biggest wish is that there was a legit parenting manual that I could have read during home economics, when I toted that fake baby around for a week, that would have given me all the answers. Reality is there is no right or wrong way to raise a child and no two children will be raised the exact same way. I have realized that my children are a direct reflection of who I was in life at the time that I started raising them. They are both so different and that is because what I had to pour into them has been so different. Lakyn is just like 20 year old, timid Angela, while Lyla is like 30 year old, confident Angela. And that's okay.
Most days, I feel like I am killing it as a mom. Then there are other days where I am just happy if I have kept them alive for another day. I often get so overwhelmed that I just sit in my car before I go in the house to have a few more moments to myself or I steal a few moments to myself in the bathroom to cry silently and get it out. There are times when I wonder what my world would look like as a single woman with a successful career and no kids. Would I be able to travel and be free? Would I have accomplished more? As a single mom, the only time I am "off duty" is when they go to their dad's for the weekend. I often find myself crawling to those biweekly Fridays, only to spend the next 48 hours sitting on the couch waiting for them to return. Because what do I do without my kids?? Who am I without them? I feel like I am no longer Angela and, instead, am only Lakyn and Lyla's mom.
But, then, there are those times when they say or do that small thing that melts my entire existence. There are those times when they do something so amazing that I just can't contain the beams of pride. There are the times when we make more special memories that I would never have had without them there to walk with me in that moment. There are the moments when I stop, breathe them in, and fall in love with them over and over again. You see, being a mom at 19 then again at 30 was not my plan. But, those two girls, at very different points in my life, have saved me from myself in more ways than they will ever be able to fathom. As I type this, my eyes are literally filled with tears because I never knew I needed them until they were here.
On this day and everyday, I just want all of us amazing mommas to remember a few things about this hood:
1. You are a mom. It is not your entire identity, but it is a huge part of who you have the honor of being for as long as you have them. Don't lose yourself in that one part, but do not resent it either. You are blessed to have that title.
2. No one, not one of us, gets it totally right.....and that is okay. Do the best you can, give them the best you have, and they will love you for it. And when you do get it wrong, that's okay, too. You are learning and growing right along with them. So, apologize often, talk it out, and press on.
3. Relax, Relate, Release! Life is so tough. Give yourself a little grace, mom. Take the time to take care of you...to say "I just need a moment". Find a way to make self-care a priority. I know...who has the time for that, right. You do!! You have to. Because when you make time to relax, you can relate better to your littles, and you can learn to release all of those expectations that you and society have placed on you and just be happy. YOUR KIDS NEED YOU TO BE HAPPY!
4. It's true that you aren't "one of their little friends". LOL! But, it is okay to have a close, loving bond with your children. My girls have literally become 2 of my best friends and I cannot wait to see the amazing women they become.
On this Mother's Day and everyday, my hope for every momma out there is that you are able to take a step back and revel in the amazing gift that God has given us...the gift of motherhood. No one said it would be easy....but, man is it worth it. Happy Mother's Day!
Light and Love....