The beauty of life is that it is an ongoing journey where I continue to reflect, evolve, and do my best to be a positive contributor to society. Today, on Mother’s Day, I have so many different feelings and emotions circulating through my mind making it difficult to articulate perfectly.
I have been through so many challenging and trying times. Whether it has been in school, on the soccer field, or in social situations, I have been tested both physically and emotionally on, what seems like, a million occasions.
I have played in championship games, college soccer playoff games, and have been relied on to win games. These experiences were, no doubt, stress-inducing, highly competitive, and, ultimately, declared a winner at the end…of which I struggled terribly to be on the losing side.
I have trained in many different environments, including timed runs, sled pushing, fireman’s carry, and weight room lifting to my maximum threshold. These have caused pain, vomiting, discipline, and extreme physical and mental exertion.
I have studied for weeks leading up to exams, to sit for two-hour final exams at the end of each semester, with my grade relying on my performance that day. I spent hours proof-reading, editing, and completing ten-page papers to submit for final assessment that contributed to my overall grade point average, of which I always strived for perfection.
Most significantly, I battled an eating disorder that took every ounce of strength and determination out of me to eventually overcome.
But, there is one thing that has been more powerful and demanding than anything I have ever experienced before, and that is: MOTHERHOOD.
There have been countless times I have wanted to pull out a manual, or call a professional to help me navigate through my first years of being a mom. Unfortunately, there is no right answer. I’ve learned I must trust my instincts, use common sense, and ask opinions of those who are special to me. But, there is no question, no matter how hard I’ve tried, I have made a million mistakes as a mom already.
Until I gave birth to my first son, my admiration and appreciation for mothers was limited, especially towards my own mom. I didn’t have the understanding of what goes into being a mom. In general: sleepless nights, endless worries, and the pressures of having tiny babies depend solely on their mommy. On top of these effects of being a mother, I never sensed the difficulty involving health concerns, developmental delay issues, or any other stumbling blocks that children face, that ultimately cause me, the mom, pain. But, most importantly, I never fathomed there would be this unconditional love factor before my first was born.
No matter what I’ve been through, nothing could have prepared me for motherhood. Absolutely nothing. And, though, I feel many days that I am barely staying above water, I truly have never felt more love, reward, and fulfillment than I have through my children. Everywhere I turn, I hear, “Oh, it goes by so quickly. Enjoy it.” And, while I feel like some days seem like eternity and last forever, I can’t believe that I already have a 4 1/2 year old. He’s still so young, but even his first years have seemed to fly.
As a mother of young kids, it seems I am exhausted all the time. I’m happy when they are behaving and being kind to one another. I’m sad when they cry or get a “boo-boo.” I’m frustrated when they don’t listen. But, among all the feelings I endure, I couldn’t be more proud to be a mom, to be their mom, and to try to emulate what my own mom has modeled for me. If my kids are as close to me as I am with my mom, then I will feel fortunate, blessed, and, beyond lucky.
But, for now, I will continue dedicating my entire being to these children and my family. It may be the hardest, most challenging responsibility I have ever faced, but, it is by far the most gratifying. I love my mom, and I, now, love being a mom.
As Jennie Finch says, “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and you learn from experience.”
Happy Mother’s Day to every single mom out there. You are truly amazing, and, now, I have more respect for you than anyone else in this world! It is not easy!!!