This post was most recently updated on May 9th, 2016
Today is Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day. My husband is in the field … where he’s been all week … cutting the rye for hay. A process that was supposed to take 2 days. And is now in it’s 6th day because of breakdowns on virtually every possible piece of equipment that can break down, including my husband. It’s been a stressful and harried week.
As I am writing this blog post, I’m being interrupted more times than you can imagine by my children. One wants to know where he’s supposed to put the garden stakes I asked him to cut. Another wants me to watch him drag his stuffed dog behind him on Pig. One wants to take her mp3 player outside and the other asks if I can help her find her favorite leggings. Then the dog (unable to climb stairs by herself since her back injury) wants to go outside to pee. Then she wants to come back in. I have to carry her both ways. Then the three kids still in the house all start fighting over something stupid and I banish them all outdoors. It’s kind of a madhouse.
But it’s my madhouse and I’m just crazy enough to appreciate it. Most of the time.
Now, I know Mother’s Day can be as painful to some as it is joyful to others. And my heart aches for those women who long to be moms and have obstacles to overcome. I never had to deal with infertility issues or miscarriages so I can’t know exactly what that’s like for them. I thank God that I’ve never lost a child and don’t know that pain firsthand. But I do know how empty my own life would be without my children, so I can certainly hurt for those who have. My mother is still living and I get to see her quite a lot – I haven’t had to experience that loss. I have friends who have, though, and I know how they struggle – even years later. It doesn’t get easier. But I am one of the lucky ones, and I know it. And I am so very grateful.
All week I’ve been seeing my public school mom friends posting about the last week of school – 8th grade camp outs, field days, awards programs, graduations, etc. It’s been so fun seeing how their kids grow and change over the course of the school year and I totally get how stoked their mamas get about marking and celebrating these milestones. I like to do that, too.
As a home school mama, I have been pretty lazy about marking graduations from pre-school, kindergarten or 8th grade. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. Then I realize that I’m marking milestones daily with my kids. I get to spend every single day with them and I witness them growing and maturing and learning every minute. That’s so awesome! And I’m so lucky!
I don’t have to miss out on any of the precious little details that make up my kids’ lives – like the way Finn plays so imaginatively with his toys. Or how good Piper is getting at making little treats in the kitchen. The way Meara never walks anywhere in the house, but instead, twirls and skips and dances. Owen’s corny jokes and his obsession with politics. Each child is unique and interesting and I get to know mine in a way that a lot of parents just don’t get to know theirs, because I get to be with mine – more than I’m not. Every special moment, the quiet ones and the loud ones – I’m there. It’s good.
Growing up, my mom worked outside the home as an RN, which left her little time to spend with me, or to attend my activities. At least, that’s how it seemed to me as a child. Looking back, (and knowing from experience how exhausting parenting can be), I’m sure there were times she may have wanted to, but just didn’t have the energy after working all day, to craft or cook together or play games. While I had a happy enough childhood, I envied my friends with stay-at-home moms.
My own vision of motherhood was influenced by my own mom, of course, but also by my maternal and paternal grandmothers – both homemakers from the Depression Era. Each of them showed me even more facets of motherhood than I knew even existed! Additionally, our fairly large extended family included aunts and girl cousins, in different stages of motherhood; and watching them gave me even more food for thought about what kind of mom I could be – what kind of mom I wanted to be.
I realized early on that when I had kids, I wanted to be at home with them. I wanted to be there for everything and make sure they knew they were my priority. What I didn’t know, was how much I would love being at home with them. Aside from the madhouse moments when I just want to scream and lock myself in the bathroom for a moment of ‘alone-ness’, I adore being a mom. And even in those moments, I feel blessed. So many parents (not just moms) miss out on so much in their kids’ lives. The drama, the chaos, the mess, the laughter, the overwhelming, all-consuming, heart–wrenching love – simply because they’re not around. But not me. I’m in the middle of it daily. And I love it. Love, love, love. IT.
Every moment of diaper changing, lost sleep, refereeing, answering of endless questions, shoe tying, butt wiping, bedtime lollygagging, and carseat wrestling is an affirmation that I am doing what God put me on His earth to do … be a mother. I feel in my soul that I was made for this. I was meant to be a mother to these children – to find joy and fulfillment in this exhausting, frustrating, heart-squeezing madness. <3
On Mother’s Day tomorrow, I will most likely be spending the day in our camper, cleaning and scrubbing and prepping it for sale. It will be neither fun, nor relaxing, as my darling husband unplugged the power cord to the camper while welding a few weeks ago and didn’t remember to plug it back in … until a week later. Which was more than enough time for the few packages of meat we had stored in the freezer to thaw, spoil, and stink. Of course, I just found out about this little event … Happy Mother’s Day to me! lol
So even though I won’t be getting breakfast in bed or a fancy meal or lavish gifts, this Mother’s Day, I really don’t care. I get to spend time every day of the year with my babies, who are rapidly leaving childhood and I will treasure every moment of every day; because I know that all too soon they’ll be out of the house. And then, if they present me with Mother’s Day gifts and cards and meals and visits, I might be a little sad, remembering the years when every day was Mother’s Day instead of just once a year.
By the way, one of my big goals for 2016 was to take more pictures WITH my family, rather than always being the one behind the camera. I’m making progress, but the problem with others taking the pictures is that you often don’t get the most flattering photos. So … sorry about any *scary Mama* photos in this post – I tried to edit them to a less terrifying level. 😉 You’ll probably notice there are a lot of pictures of me with my girls and not the boys … because they are much more interested in selfies with Mama than either Groot or Finn! lol
To all the MOMS out there – whatever your situation or whatever stage of motherhood you find yourself in … Happy Mother’s Day!
Love & Blessings,
That Farm Mama