I’m a mom. Sometimes when you see me at the store, I’m disheveled. My hair might have been in the same bun for three days, and I might be trying to ignore the huge milk stain on my shoulder.
I’m a mom. I see your fast car and its impeccable interior. I’m sure you see the large van I drive and if you took a whiff of the scent coming from within, you might hold your nose a bit. I’m fairly certain a rogue apple is somewhere deep within its bowels.
I’m a mom. My house used to be impeccable. You could see through the windows without having to look around smudges. You never had to step on Legos and I am absolutely certain you never would have found weeks old graham crackers in the cushions or Barbie dolls clogging the toilets.
Yup. I’m a mom. All those grand ambitions we have about adulthood, the ones that involved classy decor and attractive outfits and sanitary cars have pretty much been pushed to the side, and in their place are a mild version of what you might find on Hoarders.
But all those years ago, when I dreamt about my future home and life, that wasn’t all that I had gotten wrong.
Now I know because now I am a mom.
That milk stain on my shoulder? That was because I was up all night comforting a sick child, and she spit up milk on my shoulder. It’s there because when a wee one is sick, nothing makes it better than laying up against the heartbeat they heard first.
The toys on the floor? Those are there because I decided today that it was more important to create than to clean. It was because little eyes nearly brim over with tears of laughter when I knock the towers down. They peals of laughter fill the room and fill my heart and fill their little souls with memories.
And those hidden apples in the car… well those are there because I simply cannot remember to check the floors before we come in the house. After all, no one is perfect.
I am a mom. It’s not always pretty. It’s not always easy. It’s certainly not always classy. But it is real, and it’s real in the way that matters more than I imagined anything ever really could.
It’s real because to three little, beautiful souls, mom is the most important word in the English language. Mom is comfort and fun and structure and nourishment and hygiene and wisdom and compassion and justice.
Being mom is being home to someone other than oneself. And being home is a 24 hour, seven day a week calling. It’s what we are when we are with them and when we are away. When we discipline and when we cuddle. When we sleep and when we are awake.
It’s not a job. It’s not a role. It’s not a duty.
It’s who we are even in the midst of everything else that we are.
I’m a mom. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always me. And there is nothing I would ever trade for that.
~ Amanda Knapp, quoted from Mothering Magazine
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