*I never really planned on being a mother, not that I didn’t not plan it, either. I was just never the mothering type as a girl.
I didn’t really play with dolls or Barbies. While most little girls transformed cardboard boxes into beautiful houses in which to raise their babies, my cardboard box became a boat where I was a park ranger that gave people tickets for cutting down trees. (True story. You can ask my mom how long that giant box lived in our great room.)
When I got older, I didn’t do much babysitting. I tried it once, and after dealing with annoying kids for what seemed like forever, I earned a measly two bucks. End of career.
And so it goes that I never daydreamed about being a mom when I was a girl. (True story. You can ask my mom how many times she has recently said to me, “I still can’t believe you have THREE kids,” because even she has a hard time believing the maternal transformation.)
I don’t know when it actually happened, if there was some deep inner-body hormonal change that clicked without me knowing, but now that I’m a mom, I could imagine it no other way. I have three children, all of whom have challenged me in one way or another before I ever even met them, and continue to challenge me to this day.
There are days I want to stick a price tag on their foreheads and leave them on a corner, and other days where I seriously consider keeping them home from school just so we can snuggle in bed and read books all day long. But whatever the way we’re feeling on any given day, I know deep in my heart that I would do anything for these three tiny people.
For me, being a mother means that I will do whatever it takes for my children to do well, be healthy, and live the best life that they can. I feed them good food, teach them good lessons, and give them more love than I knew was humanly possible. The beauty of it is that I know I should do this not only instinctively, but also by example. My mother lived her life selflessly while raising me.
But don’t take my word for it.
I asked a group of friends to finish this sentence, and I hope you all grab a box of tissues and enjoy these answers from real mothers as much as I did.
Being a mother means…
…a new appreciation of all the things your own mother went through to help you grow into a beautiful young lady! Now I get it! I love my mom!
…entering into something without any instruction manual but knowing everything will work out in the end... with the help of your own mom.
…a continuous state of chaos.
…teaching your children proper morals and values of life and hoping that along the way they learn from their mistakes without compromising their dignity.
…one less row of Oreos for myself and 4 extra hand prints on my heart... and my stove.
…knowing that you would give your life for your child in a heartbeat if you could...but also accepting that sometimes life doesn't work that way.
… appreciating your own mother.
…loving your baby everyday even when you don't know how long you get to.
…watching your children grow up to become your best friends!
…not getting paid for the best, but hardest, job on earth!
…having more love, happiness, worry and anxiety than you ever thought was possible.
…loving your children, even through their teenage years.
…never being allowed to get sick yourself, ever again.
I’m not sure if any of these fabulous moms planned on being a mother or if like me, something just happened. Either way, there are some lucky kids out there. Including me.
Happy Mother’s Day! Especially to you, Mom. :)
*Child #2 was taking the picture!
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- Karrie McAllister writes and mothers from Small Town, Ohio, where she also doubles as the local preschool music teacher and is working on setting the world record for most coffee consumed in one motherhood. Her column has appeared on numerous Web sites and newspapers, and she blogs about living inside and out in a world of children. Contact her at KarrieMcAllister [at] aol.com