The journey of motherhood is such a blessing. When I found out at age twenty-one that I was carrying my first child I was shocked and then extremely scared. Being so young I was still trying to figure myself out and my roles as a teacher and wife. I feared that I was too young and still too focused on myself to ever be a good mother.
I remember after seeing the positive result on the test how I nearly hyperventilated and my husband so sweetly held me and assured me that everything would be okay. For nine months I became scared every time I thought about raising a child. I read books and watched videos all in hopes of making me a more confident mom. But nothing could prepare me for life as a mother as well as holding my beautiful girl in my arms for the first time. The moment I saw her beautiful blue eyes all of my fears fled from my mind and I felt completely comfortable in my new role as Mom.
Being a mother has been natural for me. Do I do everything the way everyone else believes that I should? No. However, I have still managed to raise a beautiful, caring, kind, and intelligent toddler. When I begin to lack confidence in myself I look at my daughter and realize that I must be doing something right. Motherhood can be tiring and emotional, but it can also be amazing and exciting.
In honor of Mother’s Day today I would like to share 5 things that I love about motherhood:
1. Being a role model: I love that my daughter looks up to me. She’s in a phase where she always wants to do what Mommy does. She loves to go for a jog. She enjoys doing yard work. She asks to go shopping and have “coffee dates” although she orders milk (but has tried to order cappuccinos before.) Her little eyes are constantly on me and I am continually being made aware of that when she repeats my phrases and mannerisms. Being a role model 24/7 is exhausting, but it has actually made me conscious of the message I am sending. I find myself thinking…”Would I want her to repeat that?”…”How would I feel if she acted this way?” and this kind of thinking has helped keep my attitude and behavior in check. I’m not perfect, but I’ve enjoyed having a mini-me along for the ride that is life.
2. Receiving affection: There is nothing in life that a tight embrace from a loving toddler can’t heal. In our home there is no shortage of hugs, kisses, and words of affection. We have always said that we would raise our children to be confident in our unconditional love for them. In doing so our daughter has become highly sensitive to the needs of others around her. She can sense when I don’t feel well and has become a pro at curling up in my lap and cuddling me when I need it most. When I have had a bad day at work I come home to an adorable, “I love you.” The affection I receive from my daughter makes all of my troubles disappear and I realign my focus.
3. Teaching: Please don’t get me wrong, there are definite benefits during the first year, but as a mother I blossomed the most once my daughter was able to interact and learn from me. It seems as though daily she is learning ten new things. One day she will randomly tell me a letter she had not previously been able to identify. The next day she increases her counting range by an additional five numbers. Naturally, the teacher in me has absolutely loved to be a part of her learning and to see the excitement as she learns more about the wonderful world around her. Watching a toddler learn also helps you to appreciate life as a child once again. Teaching a toddler makes you appreciate the simple and the often forgotten.
4. Falling in love with my husband all over again: From the moment he found out that we would be welcoming a child into our lives my husband has been my rock. He’s been a natural dad who wants nothing more than to raise our daughter in a loving home. He’s never been a dad who sits back and expects me to do everything. He is a hands-on dad who volunteers to feed, change, bathe, rock and soothe our angel. When I see the way that our daughter looks at him it keeps me falling in love again and again. I’m married to a great husband who knows how to treat the women in his life well. Even as I type he has taken our daughter on a “date” to give me rest time as I deal with an illness. He’s such a great guy and I love him!
5. Introducing my daughter to Jesus: Of all the rewarding aspects of motherhood nothing can compare to teaching my daughter about Jesus. She has been attending church since she was six weeks old and a year ago was introduced to Toddler Church. Every week she learns about Jesus along with her friends in church, but it doesn’t stop there. I sit down with her and pray a couple of times a week. I know it should happen more (it’s a goal of mine.) She is learning to talk to Jesus and she sings songs about him as well. One of her favorite books from her collection is her small Bible. She recognizes the westernized image of Jesus and can tell you that he loves her. There’s an incredible responsibility given to parents to share the love of Christ with their children, but that journey is also so unbelievably rewarding.
There are so many other things I love about motherhood, but these are the top 5. I can’t write a Mother’s Day post without also thanking the mother that helped me to become a confident mother myself. I have learned so much from my own mother. My mom was also a young mother, but never let that stop her from fulfilling her goals. She stayed home with us when we were young, but went on to pursue a career for herself that she loves very much once we were all in school. My mom has taught me what it means to be ever-present in the life of my children and the importance of family. She has been a constant supporter for me and even though I haven’t lived in her home for years she has made it a priority to talk to me almost everyday. She is a great role model who has taught me so much!
Also, I have come to believe over these past few years that I have the best mother-in-law in the world. Not only did she raise my husband to be such a stand-up guy, but she is such a strong woman who puts her family first in her life. I mourn the fact that my MIL lives in England and I only get to see her a few weeks out of the year, but those weeks are always so important and memorable to me. I have learned so much from her!
I hope everyone has a Happy Mother’s Day and takes time today to thank the mothers in your life.