He would wrap his little arms around my head and say,"Hold me tighter, mommy!" And then I'd respond,"I am!" Even though he was the one holding me. Then we'd giggle and talk until he fell asleep. Last night we snuggled not quite as tightly, as he began to drift asleep. He woke up briefly to tell me that NASA created a spaceship with twelve thrusters on it to assist the astronauts in working outside the spacecraft, and then he was out like a light. That's my Z-boy: his brain always actively buzzing with a million thoughts and ideas, even until the last flutter of his eyelids close for the night.
I lied there next to him for several more minutes just looking over at his quiet, tender, sweet face. I felt the power of a mother's love surge through me a gazillion times over as I thought about what a gift he is to my life. And also about what a gift each one of my children is to me as well. I thought about how much I love being a mother and how each day I get to be their mother is another day I am blessed beyond words. I never imagined that so much love could exist in a person until I had my own children. It is infinite, eternal, and very real, and I am so grateful each day that I get to do this.
I learned that word intrinsic in a recreation leadership college class and I've loved that word ever since! I learned at the time about the effect of doing things in our lives that bring us pure joy because that is naturally and organically the feelings we feel when we do them!
I believe that motherhood is one of those naturally intrinsic joys in life because that is what it was designed to do: bring us inherent JOY! God designed motherhood to bring us the ultimate feelings of happiness, joy, and satisfaction in our lives. God gave me motherhood because he knew that I would love it beyond anything else I have ever done and will ever do and that is a beautiful gift.
I've looked to other sources of satisfaction over the last 9 (almost 10) years of motherhood. I've found joy in filling my time with other worthy endeavors that seemed useful or important at the time. But those things fade away. I will always be a mother, first. In fact most of the other busy things I have done over the years have only helped enhance my role as mother!
I've also often struggled with feeling adequate enough or appreciated enough in my role as mom. But time and time again I always come back to knowing in my heart that this is what I was born to do. Other responsibilities and opportunities will come and go, and with those things will come other forms of growth and happiness, but being a mother always will be my number one priority in life.
I have four little boys who love and adore me. They need my love. They need my nurturing. They need a mother who is present and aware of all their little concerns and needs as they are learning and navigating through this life. I want to be someone they can depend on, trust, respect, and look up to for as long as they need me. I envision four very independent grown men someday who will go off in the world and do great things....Get educations, serve missions, go on adventures, have careers, meet spouses, have children, and create homes for themselves someday. I want my boys to grow up and find joy and happiness in their lives, too. I want them to know that not once EVER did they inconvenience me in raising them nor did I EVER regret being pregnant, giving birth to them, changing my whole life for them, and being their mother. Sure they will look back and see my weaknesses: the things I struggled with as I was growing along with them, yet they will know for certain that the tears and worries and uncomfortable stretching I experienced in raising them was worth it all in getting to be their mother.
On a side note, my philosophy on little children is that they truly only know as much as you teach them. I mean, they were just recently born into this world, and gosh-- they haven't been here very long at all! Nearly everything they learn and know is picked up from their own family environment. If one of my children is acting badly or misbehaving I believe it is my job to help teach them and correct their behavior. When I heard another mom call one of her small children a selfish jerk my immediate thought was,"Well, then teach them differently and change it! They are only going to know what you tell them, so tell them what they need to know!" Some issues take a long time to learn and change. Don't give up! That "selfish jerk" is watching , learning, and living by your example. (We actually have a child that could be called a selfish jerk from time to time. He is my biggest challenge right now in teaching and re-directing his behaviour. Calling him names isn't going to change anything, however, but more patience, more love, more together-time, and some behavior modification is!
Anyways, these are just some thoughts I have on being mommy today! I went to a My Motherhood Matters Discussion Group last night in my community which was designed to help strengthen the importance of motherhood in our society. I came home feeling even more validated and happy in what I am doing.
Others might think that being a stay-at-home-mom is lame or boring. Others might not find it as satisfying as I do. That's okay! All that really matters is that I DO, because I am the mama! And I happen to find mothering to be very intrinsically satisfying. ;)