In eight and half years, I've been both a breastfeeding mom and a formula feeding mom. I've gotten an epidural and delivered without drug intervention. I've bought baby food and made my own baby food. I've used cry-it-out and co-slept. I've worked out of the home and become a stay-at-home-mom. I have stuck to a rigid sleep and feeding schedule and have flown by the seat of my pants when I heard my baby cry ("It's only been 45 minutes since she ate? That's okay, just hand her over."). I have sent my kids to daycare, public school, kept them home with me, and brought them home for the new adventure of homeschooling. I've used a stroller, walker, and bouncy seat, and I've worn my baby. I have cried frustrated tears over nap-times gone terribly awry, celebratory tears over milestones reached, and bittersweet tears over the realization that my babies aren't babies anymore. I've patted myself on the back for attempting art projects with enthusiastic toddlers and cleaned up seventeen tons of glitter and glued-on paper bits (give or take). I've fed my kids processed foods, and, well, that one has no opposite counterpart. They eat grapes and apples from time to time. That makes up for it, right?
There is no book that can teach you how to be a mom. Actually, there are thousands of them, but I can't in good conscience recommend a single one of them. Learning how to be a mom comes from on-the-job experience, and hopefully from the examples of other fine mothers in our lives.
Today, I had the honor of sharing Mother's Day with two other big events - Sarah's 3rd birthday and Leah's dedication at church, in which we commit to raising her in a Jesus-centered home.
I may not know everything there is to know about being a mom. I've made plenty of mistakes, and I pray that I've learned from them. But one thing I do know is that I am blessed. I have been gifted four precious children, and I hope that we can do right by them in the time we have together, however long or short that may be.
Reflecting on the three years we've been given with our spicy, spunky Sarah...
(That "three" thing is hard to figure out.)
She's given us so much - experience with head wounds, creativity when it comes to hiding candy in the pantry, and speed from chasing her down beaches and through department stores, to name a few. Our lives would certainly not be as exciting without this hugging and "quizzing" little girl. And based on how hard it was for me to find photos of just Sarah, I'm guessing Abby's life would be lacking without her best friend and little sister too.
And we're hoping for a similar friendship between Sarah and this little girl.
Today, I'm thankful for the multi-generational faithfulness of my parents...as they prayed for us, their children, and for our children, their grandchildren. And feeling blessed to have a rare Mother's Day in the same state as my own mom this year.
To the mothers out there, it's okay if you're not perfect. None of us are or ever will be. Your kids will appreciate that about you someday. And I really think they'll appreciate it even more if you can admit it, and live with that than if you keep aspiring for the unattainable.
Happy Mother's Day to the amazing moms in my life!
And Happy Birthday to my precious Sarah!