On Mother's Day special things happen for moms. And given that today was also my birthday, very extra special things were destined to be in my future. I wish I could tell you the sweet little tales of how my children gracefully slept until 10:00am today, allowing me to sleep in. I wish I could tell you that my husband graciously made breakfast for me, and brought me oodles of small trinkets to show appreciation for all the things I do for him. I wish I could tell you that everything went as only a dream two-for-one holiday happens. But it did not. Today marks 25 years of my life. 25 glorious years. To celebrate my 25 years, and 4th Mother's Day, my husband began with a celebration Saturday night. He - in honor of me- forgot to turn on the baby monitor. Please don't turn me in- but I'm not sure if Wes woke up last night or if he didn't! What I do know is that he woke me up crying at about 7:30am. His sisters also had been awake for a little over an hour and had destroyed their room. Shortly thereafter, I was sweating to death because I was packing three kids and four adults into the car for church in the beating-down, blistering Florida sun. After church I discovered not one, but two of my potty-trained children - oh wait there's only two so that makes all of them! - had left me a "present" of sorts in their panties. After washing, sealing up, stowing, cleaning, an fumigating a small bathroom stall I was sweating again and almost didn't notice i had received soreness from my shoes. How thoughtful! Moments later I was picking up our house and re-packing the diaper bag: this time with ALL of the contents. (Don't tell again- but I forgot Wes's bottles in the bag for church, so Paco ran to the dollar store for one during worship!- the poor 3rd child!) 45 minutes later, I was WAKING (yes I know I'm crazy and asked for the evening I had) the kids from their naps to load them back into the car for"mothers day dinner" with all the extended family in the southern Florida region. What I didn't anticipate was the gift of LONG WAIT TIMES as we waited nearly 2 hours OUTSIDE in the blistering Florida sun. Do I need to tell you I was sweating again? After about 40 trips to the potty, 2 juice boxes, a bag full of graham crackers, and 3 episodes of Mickey Mouse, it was finally time to be seated at our table. (Remind me to schedule Mother's Day plans next year and not leave it up to the boys!) We ate, and hulled the kids back to the car and then home around 8:30 for bed. This may have been the most drawn out holiday of my life. But amongst the chaos and craziness of the morning. Between the smells and disasters of the afternoon. Aside from the exhaustion and fatigue from the evening today I spent the day doing things worthy of my title, "mom". There are men with kids who do things- nice things, hard things, etc but they are called "dad" for a reason. They can't do the things moms do. Only a mom could simultaneously offer a juice cup, clean a pack, change a diaper, and solve world peace. (Maybe not global piece by my kids are my world!) Today I earned over again- like every other day since August 28th, 2009 - of "mother". I'm grateful for the longs offering and endurance of my mother and grandmothers, knowing full-well that they all faced the Same craziness of today. And I'm here to offer a white flag of surrender to all the moms who are currently experiencing such exhaustion: there is an end to today. As hard, and as long as you, mom, have worked today, and every day, there is a payoff. There is a reward. Your children will be better because of the sacrifices you've made. Their whole world is complete because you and I have worked so hard to make it so. For days like today when the hours are long and the pay is crappy, just remember that The Lord is your shepherd. He makes you lie down in green pastures and beside still waters. Rest in him (after they've gone to bed of course!) knowing He sees every moment and it is not in vain. Train your children in the way they should go and who they are old they will not depart from it. So when I say "happy" for happy Mother's Day- it doesn't mean I've had every wish come try and every pleasurable experience I could imagine and that now I'm floating high on feelings of ecstasy. It means my kids are tucked safe in their beds, after having eaten a full meal- and completely worn out. It means they are learning how to be independent- at my expense- but independent none the less. And it means they are in love with their momma - even if it means I am totally drained for today- at least I spent every last ounce of energy loving those three precious babies. And that- that is how the world will see Christ. Not because I choose to "do" so much for them- but because I love them so. When we have love for one another- the world will watch and see that we are disciples of Christ. To all my fellow mommas out there- You're awesome! You're a trooper! You're a fighter and a lover and a band-aid putter-oner. And a chef and a toy repair specialist. Your a personal tutor and coach. You're a mentor, a so day school teacher, and organizer and day planner. You're a maid and dry cleaning specialist. You're a dietician and a dream maker. You're a role model and an example to love as Christ. Keep your chin up and your confidence in Christ. And I wish you the happiest happy Mother's Day this day and tomorrow, and the day after that. Because today is just the hallmark day- but real life demands your mothering everyday, all day, for the rest of your life.
Bri is the mom to four little people, the wife to a gentle giant, and a lover of Jesus. She's figuring out the best ways to parent by trial and error, and sharing her struggles, successes, and stories with you!