‘Tis the season to reflect on all the blessings in our lives, including our children, the precious bundles of joy that have forever altered our lives, bank accounts, and marriages. Having children is without a doubt, life’s most transformative experience, especially for mothers.
The top five things mommas everywhere can be thankful for:
1. You are the most important person in someone’s universe.
It’s good to be loved unconditionally. Even when you are clearly un-showered and chronically sleep-deprived, your children think you’re fantastic. They laugh at your jokes, and aren’t fazed by your eighties-inspired dance moves. They are curious about your life and want to know all the nitty-gritty details.
Of course, there are heated arguments, parent-child skirmishes, and the occasional, “You’re the worst mom ever!” comments, but ten minutes later, they’ve already forgotten and they’re curled up on your lap, murmuring sweet nothings into your ear.
Being the most important person in someone’s universe means their eyes are always watching, and their ears are always listening. You are in the awesome position of being able to mold them into compassionate, kind, successful humans. No pressure.
2. Your body is the ultimate miracle.
You grew a human. It started as a sesame seed and grew into a watermelon, except that this watermelon had a brain, lungs, and fully-functional appendages. During those nine months of pregnancy, your body somehow managed to produce a marvel of biochemical engineering. You created life.
Once this baby was born, your body then spontaneously produced breast milk, which has almost 200 compounds that fight infection, boosts the immune system, supports digestion, and enhances brain growth. In the months and years that followed, you pushed through fatigue, emotional ups and downs, parenting successes and fails, runny noses, stomach bugs, and countless other physical challenges. You are basically an American Ninja Warrior.
Amazingly, you may even have some of your child’s DNA and cells still swimming around in your brain, heart, and lungs, creating yet another profound connection between you and your child.
3. You are never bored.
Remember when you were in your 20’s and you had so much spare time and didn’t even appreciate it? You could lounge on the couch during daylight hours and watch TV, and even sit on the toilet with no one knocking on the door to ask you where her stuffed owl is. Life was so boring back then.
Now, your days pass by in a whir and a flash. You are constantly doing, thinking, comforting, making decisions, making meals, cleaning up messes, and transporting children to and fro. Your mind is always humming and calculating. Your children provide constant, weird, wacky, loud entertainment.
4. Your senses have been finely-honed to MacGyver status.
You can’t remember anyone’s name when you meet someone new, but if someone asks where your child’s shoes are, you can pinpoint their exact location including latitude/longitude. You also know where the library book that has been missing for three weeks is, and which jeans pocket your kid’s “lucky rock” is in.
You can take one look at your kid and know she has strep throat. Your ears perk up like a wolves’ when the sheets rustle on your son’s bed upstairs. You can differentiate between each of your children’s footsteps. You can smell a lie from a mile away.
Somehow, everything is heightened once you’re a mom. (Perhaps it’s because we have their DNA inside our brains).
5. Children are the best teachers.
Parenting is like boot camp. First, our children break us down through sleep deprivation and sucking away all our spare time. Our marriages suffer as we try to navigate this new landscape. We lose our identities, and our sanity starts to slip away. We seriously begin to wonder, “What have we done?”
Then, at our lowest point, the kid smiles, or says something adorable, and we start to find our identity once again. We are a parent now! Our children begin to teach us how to be better human beings, how to be in the moment, and how to balance twelve million things at once. They teach us patience, selflessness, and kindness. They show us our weak points and inspire us to be better.
They are little Buddha’s, fresh from heaven.
Truly, life with children can get hairy and frazzled sometimes. It can bring out the best and the worst in us, but these little humans toddle into our lives and (mostly) change it for the better. As we make our way through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we can be thankful for our laundry piles, messy houses, and full-to-the-brim hearts.