Sunday, May 10, 2009

Motherhood Lessons on Mother's Day

This morning at church, Fr. Clint said 90 percent of life is just showing up... even when as a mother you may need a break and want to make a run for it. How pertinent.

Every mom runs into times when it seems she could pull her hair out but instead she pulls her hair back and continues to rear her children. The job doesn't get much thanks yet we continue. Why? Here are a few of my favorite reasons to continue being a Mom and the best Mom that I can be:
  • her big brown eyes continue to look up to me. I don't want to set anything but a good example.
  • when I make her blueberry muffins on a week crazed with meetings and the swine flu, she smiles and appreciates it.
  • I can do small things and she notices.
  • My mom would have done it. I had a great example to follow.
  • It can actually relieve my stress to cook with Little K and watch her stir the pot or finish a puzzle or go for a walk. Taking time out to focus just on her reminds me of the simple things in life that bring joy.
While my list could go on and on, I'm sure each of you also have your own list swimming in your heads. Good. I also know there are days when I need to look back at this list. At least now I knwo where to find it.
Fr. Clint also retold a story about when he was in seminary and attended a Q&A with the bishop. When Fr. Clint asked what the bishop thought about priest burnout, the bishop responded that he didn't believe it was possible. "To burn out, you must first be on fire," he said. Our congregation laughed and I did, too, but I thought of the fire differently.
Is your parenting spirit on fire? Alive and visible for all to see, including those little feet behind you? I want to be someone who is obviously so happy to be a parent, that others don't have to ask. They will know I am thrilled by the way I look and act. Don't get me wrong, I know there are those challenging days. When I need a boost of fresh air, I'll remind myself of the reasons I continue to nurture my child and why motherhood really matters. I have an impact.
The sermon this morning also reminded me how important it is to stay connected to others as a way to avoid burnout and stay charged. From parenting groups to volunteering through Church and talking to a friend or family member, when we feel connected to another group, we feel supported. I have found that the connections that I have made in my community and in Little K's school have been so positive. We share our child-rearing experiences and work challenges but walk away knowing that most other parents are facing similar obstacles. Together, we can try again tomorrow and know that a spare spit rag or party costume is just a call away.
Even if I am a bit lost from time to time, or frustrated by the sassy young girl that I call daughter, I will show up and I will be on fire. See you there.
Until the next nap time...