(Mary Ann and her grandson Benji)
I never thought much about being a mother. I mean you grew up, got married and had kids. Everyone did it; everyone that I knew anyway and they didn’t seem to make much of a big deal about it. But it is a BIG deal. I had so much to learn about being a mother.
It doesn’t come naturally to everyone.
It isn’t always a piece of cake.
Sometimes it is overwhelming.
You often do not know what to do next.
If you just keep at it, it will be the very best thing you ever do!!
I would do it over again even though there were some very hard times.
Now I am in my sixties and I look back with fondness. I look at pictures of my sweet children and I am sure that I did not see how wonderful they were then, not clearly enough anyway. It is so easy to get caught up in the work of being a mother that you forget to pay attention to the joys of being a mother.
(Mary Ann's "babies" from left to right: Jodie, Seth, Jenny, Marie, Andrew, Barry, and Kate)
Here are just a few things that I would do differently if I had it to do over again:
I would realize that hearing a child call “mom” is a magical sound even if they say it 100 times a day. The time will come when you will miss it!
I would cherish every wet and sloppy kiss because no matter how many you get they will never be enough! You will want more of them long after your child is grown.
A clean house is not more important than a sweet relationship with your child. Messy bedrooms eventually disappear and so does the child – into adult hood – and then all you have left is a perennially empty and clean room and hopefully a child who wants to come home on occasion and fill it back up.
Conversations with a child are amazing, if you take the time to listen.
A child’s laughter and joy is contagious if you are paying attention. Catch it because it is great.
Being the care taker of another persons learning and personal growth is an amazing stewardship and is worth all the time and effort it takes to do it with kindness and gentleness.
The huge reward for raising a child well is another adult friend and grand children! Now that I am a grandmother I have learned most of these things. Moving at a slower and gentler pace is what grandparents do and so we see a bit more clearly and we enjoy a bit more deeply. Any mother who is clear on the importance of being a mother and is willing to make it her number one priority for a short while can have these things long before she is a grandmother.
It is truly a short time so enjoy it.