Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day.

My dear friend, Alicia just sent me an article, which states that if you combined all the jobs a stay at home mom does and the hours she works, and paid her for them, she would earn a whopping $117,000/year. Fantastic. I'm ready for my first paycheck.
Yet, as I read it and I saw the jobs listed one by one that mothers perform, the thought occurred to me that there really is no way to quantify the position we hold titled "Mother." I believe the daily tasks are just part of the big picture. The picture that changes a woman in indescribable, irreversible ways. Ways in which she becomes only a shell of her former self once her first child is conceived.

Any mom knows, the responsibility to care for a child is not just about feeding and bathing and car pooling....learning the ABC's and soccer practice....helping with homework and tucking into bed at night.
Accepting the title "mom" is about opening up our hearts in ways they could never be opened by anyone else other than the little ones who call us by that name.
It is having our hearts sleep in a bassinet beside our bed.
It is watching our hearts take their first wobbly step and fall to the ground.
It is hearing our hearts utter "mama" suddenly one day out of the blue.
It is dropping our hearts off for preschool, and tearfully tearing ourselves away to allow them to be without us for a few hours.
It is having our hearts made fun of by another child and wishing we could shelter them forever from such cruelty.
It is the thrill of victory and the pride that wells up within us as we see our hearts score their first goal.
It is having our hearts walk outside our bodies, 1,2,3,4,5 or more times over, once for each child we bear.
It is the awareness that our heart will one day leave our home to make a life of their own.

Being a mom is the willingness to let our own "needs" simply fall away to meet theirs.
It is the ability to do more with less when we need to.
It is learning to put on make up at warp speed.
It is pulling our hair that we meant to get cut 4 weeks ago into a ponytail again.

It is getting up during the night to comfort the fears, to wipe the tears, to wash the sheets.
It is the warmth only we can give as we cuddle, cradle, caress.
It is having tiny voices call out for us, when there is no one else on earth that will do.
It is the deep ache of knowing we can not prevent every hurt, knowing that pain will inevitably come their way.
It is the realization we truly have very little control.
It is wanting to pass on what we have learned to them so that they may not have to suffer the way we have.
It is the desire to hover over them, watching, sheltering, protecting, guiding, nurturing, wishing we could follow wherever they go, that our voice would always be in their ear.

Being a mom is knowing true love.
Not the fairy-tale kind of love, but the wonderful and sometimes painful in a way we never knew existed kind of love. The "I will expend myself beyond what I ever knew I would do for another human being" type of love.
It is love that accepts no limits.
It is love that would go to the ends of the earth and back again.
It is love that will stay up all night, cry our body weight in tears, and make us willing to give our lives for that child if necessary.
It is the love that covers them, sacrifices for them and feels for them in ways we have never felt for anyone else.
It is love of a person willing to change the world, make it better for the sake of her children.
Love that makes heroes of ordinary women.

The tasks and duties are part of the package. But any mother knows that while $117,000 would be nice, it is really just financial talk, there is really no way to sum up our Job Description. There is no compensation fitting for this "profession."
Accepting the role of Mother has made us different in a way a career never could. Once our baby is born, there no way to go back, to way to be who we once were. There is no other "job" that could compare.

We do not need a paycheck to do our job.
We will fulfill our responsibility and we will do it (most of the time) gladly free of charge.
And for our efforts we will reap dividends that can not be quantified any better than our job description can.
We are moms, and that is truly pricelss.

Happy Mother's Day to you.

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