So, I'm not a day late. Not even two. I'm a stinkin' THREE days late!
We've been busy with family in town, had a great weekend in the fun and family department, but not so good for my blogging bone. I fell into bed exhausted each night, with no brain cell left to type.
So... now that your Mother's day sentiments are packed away, I'm going to ask that you pull them back out again. Humor me?
There is a thought whirring about in my head, and I must attempt to unpack it somehow. It all began with one very small exchange between my hubby and my visiting family member (VFM), whom I love dearly. Thoughts tend to take a snowball effect in my little head. So, strap in, and hang on. It went something like this:
(Excited kids running around being sweet, albeit somewhat LOUD)
(Mommy and Daddy smiling, enjoying our children)
(VFM looking a wee bit pained)
Daddy: (In all sincerity) What would we do without kids?
(Mommy loving Daddy sooo much right then)
VFM: Umm... (snickers)... well... (snickers...)
So the whirring began.
Are children a means to an end? Do we not appreciate them in their childish state simply because they are exhausting? Simply because they are sometimes foolish and in need of correction?
Do we appreciate our self-centered lives so much that we see young children as a burden?
Does this attitude so permeate our society that we are not exempt from it?
If I'm honest with myself, I'm there some of the time. My selfish spirit looks at my kids as a burden a lot of the time.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
In an article I read on this topic, the author re-words this verse into a (tongue-in-cheek) modern day version:
Lo, children are a burden from the Lord; and the fruit of the womb must be his way of testing us. As the source of endless work and continual aggravation, so are the children of one’s youth. Unhappy is the man who hears his neighbor ask, “Do all those kids belong to you?”
Isn't that just a riot? It hit my funny bone. And my sad bone. Cause, it... umm... hits a little too close to home.
So, here's the thought to make you go hmmm...
I could not be a mother without my children. They are the very beings that make me a mother. So, is Mother's day about ME? (If you look at my house on a typical Mother's Day, you will say, yes! It's about ME. Because I don't lift a finger all day. I don't cook. I don't clean. I take a nap if I want... and the list goes on. ) All good things... but, what am I escaping from? Am I getting a "break" from my "burden"? Or a "hooray" for my sacrifice? (Please note: I am NOT suggesting we change our Mother's Day tradition. Please don't. I love it.) I'm just pondering what my heart's attitude is behind it.
I am a firm believer that the "Martyr Mom Syndrome" is a dangerous disease indeed, one I suffer from on occasion. It's possible to take this all too far - "Since children are a blessing, and they aren't a burden, Moms shouldn't need breaks, I can do it all and should do it all with no help, and if I ask for help then I'm not enjoying my kids and I'm being selfish and I'm not a good mother". This is not what I'm going after, ok? Sorry for the disclaimer. Just gotta cover my bases. :)
I want to enjoy my children.
I want to enjoy being their mother.
I want my kids to feel enjoyed.
Yes disciplined, yes trained, yes loved, but... enjoyed.