I have noticed a trend in parent world. We write about things that are tough. We write about how hard life can be. We write about things we find funny…. Gross things we find funny, but no one else does. Often, in our writing, we tend to leave out all mush and gush (for the most part). I mean if I tell you I think my boys are possibly the sweetest, kindest little beings on this planet with the faces of angels… you are going to gag. The thing is I actually do feel this way a lot, but it doesn’t really work for purposes of humor. And with all this being “real” and not “fluffy”… I have traumatized my sisters.
And I quote: “This is not making me want to have children.”
A feeling I think they should have for a while, but I mean, I want them to know it is not all diapers and being perpetually sleep deprived. Sort of. Furthermore, I have noticed that this sentiment is also found on the World Wide Web. On many public forums I have noticed that more and more people are getting a bad taste in their mouths for parenthood.
Sidenote: I actually think this is a direct result of our culture’s view of sacrifice and selflessness. Traits that actually make your life better and make you happier, but that is a topic for another day.
I think in an effort to be real many of us have focused so much on talking about the hard stuff that we forget to speak about our joys. So without further adieu:
A Few Reasons Why I Love Being a Mother
I love the tiny cuddles and wet kisses that will one day turn into big, strong hugs and quick cheek kisses. There is nothing purer then the adoration a child has for his mother (and father). Nothing. To be loved wholly and entirely as you are, Jesus is the only one that trumps that. And on the flip side, there is nothing stronger than the love a parent has for a child. Which brings me to my next point:
Children teach you to love. I remember giving birth to my first son and feeling completely overwhelmed. Never in my life had I been so flooded with emotion. I could not even feel it was so much. Too much of everything. Of joy. Of fear. Of pride. Of love. I couldn’t decipher one from another. But when I came out of my haze, I stared at a perfect little being. I wondered at all that he was. The mystery. The smell. The tiny toes. The smiles. And a strange thing happened. Flowers smelled sweeter. I loved my husband more. I loved my mother more. I saw beauty in the everyday. I looked at animals that I previously ignored (I know I am a terrible person), and I found myself making squeaky love noises at them. I grew so much as a person that first year. Yes it was hard, but it was also so good.
And then my next son was born. Whatever hard part was left in my heart melted into a puddle. I didn’t have the haze I had with my first son. I could decipher the feelings. I knew this love. With his birth my ability to love grew by two more tiny hands. Living a life that is not just about me has given me new purpose and made me happier. Learning when to sacrifice and when to take care of myself has made me stronger. I have learned to be a teammate with my husband. Loving and caring for my little ones has spilled over into my relationships with others. I find that I have more compassion and more empathy. I recognize that everyone is someone’s child. Children have changed my character. They have made me a better wife, a better daughter, and a better friend. I care about people because I care about my people. You can’t have love completely encompass one part of your life and not have it spill over into other areas of your life.
Joy. SO SO SO MUCH JOY. Joy that makes you a crazy person. Joy you cannot explain. Ridiculous happiness that makes no sense. Holden said “Mama” for the first time, and I almost cried. Watching them do anything for the first time is a tear jerk moment. I mean look at all these parents with their video cameras and phones. They cannot get enough. And if you don’t have a kid, you don’t get it. Parents look absolutely ridiculous. But I tell you, you have not lived until you get home from being gone and a little face peeks out the door and takes off in a full sprint towards you with a big smile on their face. Joy people.
Forever friends. My kids are my people. Just like I am my parent’s people. We get to do life together. How awesome is that? We as people are made for relationships, and the family structure gives us that. I could travel the whole world, own my own company, own a country, and I tell you that at the end of my life all that will matter to me is my family.
I once heard it said that saying “Why have kids when you can just have nieces or nephews, and send them back?” is like saying “Why fall in love when you can just be friends?” Is motherhood all giggles and smiles? No. Have I always felt so optimistic? No. Do I think everyone needs to have children? No. Love is not always easy, but it is always worth it.
So my little sisters, my readers, and the skeptics online, do not fear having kids. Children bring unimaginable joy, growth, and love.