Maybe I won't win the Mom of the Neighborhood award this year because we have rules. Lots of them, apparently. And if you want to play here, you have to follow them. This includes having to be nice to baby sisters and younger neighbors. But, hey! At least we're consistent!
Maybe I'm not deserving of the "Best Mom Ever" mug or button or glow-in-the-dark keychain because there really and truly probably is a better mom than me out there.
And I'm okay with that.
Because I'm doing the best I can. And I know my mom did the best she could. And I hope some day my kids realize that we moms aren't perfect. And no matter how hard we try to be, we'll always fall short.
But we are trying our best.
Maybe I'm not Mom of the Year. But in the past year, I have been a chauffeur, a cook, a housekeeper, a body pillow, a one-man haz-mat team, a referee, a shoulder to cry on, a would-be ambulance driver, a medicine administrator, a boo-boo kisser, a consequence deliverer, a tutor, a fundraiser solicitor, a verbal wikipedia, and a brave enough soul to do at least one project with glitter and a toddler.
I have given more hugs, changed more diapers, answered more questions, and smiled at the always surprising randomness that comes only with being a mom more times than I can count.
I have also raised my voice too much and too often, lost my temper over inconsequential things, and pitched a few fits that put my toddler's foot-stomping to shame.
(That's transparency, folks.)
I'm not perfect. Not by a long shot.
My children afford me a small glimpse of the grace of my Heavenly Father. I mess up daily, and yet they always manage to forgive me and love me anyway.
Thank God for that.
Some days are hard, but all of the days are rewarding, even if it's after the fact that I realize that. There are times when I find myself wondering, "Why did I even have kids anyway?" Then I wander into the living room and find them folding towels (or should I say "folding towels"?) together. And then I remember...
It's so I don't have to do chores all by myself anymore.
Okay, that's just a small perk. But even that heaping pile of disheveled towels is an example of the amazing blessing it is to be called by God to be a mom. He picked me for this adventure, and he gave me these three perfectly imperfect children.
It's no small task, and maybe I won't win Mother of the Year, but I do know this...
...I'm going to be the best I can be.
And I'm just going to love them.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the beautiful, talented, inspiring, less-than-perfect women in my life who have taught me so very much about being a mom. You rock my socks off!
To the women whose mothers have already left us, and whose babies were taken before the rest of the world could love them along with you, my heart is with you today. Big hugs and love from me to you.