Last year I attended one of my best friends from high school’s wedding. A lot of other friends from high school were there, and I was the only one of my group of friends who had kids yet. My five-month-old son was still nursing, so I brought him with us, and a lot of people commented on how cute he was.
Instead of saying thank you or agreeing, most of the time my response was “You can have him if you want!”
After the wedding, I got to thinking about how I had replied. The wedding wasn’t the first time that I had responded to comments about my kids like that.
I have three kids under six, and people often come up to us at the store or at the park and say, “You’ve got your hands full” or “You must be so busy!” I usually smile and respond with a weary “Yes, I do” or “Yes, I am.”
It’s true that I do have my hands full with three kids at home, and busy is definitely a word I would use to describe my life right now. The problem is that instead of making motherhood seem like a good thing, I usually reply like it’s a bad thing.
Why do we as moms bad mouth motherhood so much? Why do we talk badly on such an incredible thing that fills us with joy and gives us meaning in our lives?
Motherhood can sometimes be hard and overwhelming and exhausting, but we forget to talk about how amazing and great motherhood is, too! Motherhood is such a beautiful gift, and I think a lot of the time we get down on it and don’t talk about how wonderful it is. Why do we emphasize the frustrating, messy, tiring parts of motherhood instead of the joyful, heartwarming, hilarious parts?
I think it’s okay to complain about how hard it is sometimes, but when that complaining takes over and is all we do, it can be hurtful not only for us and our children, but to other people around us as well.
While there have been times that I have groaned and questioned in exasperation “Why did we have kids?” I have honestly never regretted having my children. Motherhood is constantly challenging me in ways nothing else does, but it’s also the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been blessed to do.
I might not love wiping boogers, but I love that I’m the one that gets to wipe my kids’ boogers and nobody else. I might not love that my kids cry like the world is ending when they get a tiny scratch, but I love that I’m the one they run to and ask for a bandage and a kiss. I might not love making meals that don’t get eaten, but I love that I’m the one making meals for them.
I love the ups and the downs, because in those moments I see who my children are becoming, and how important my role is in their lives. These tiny, loud, adorable people that are the best parts of me and my husband all squished together. It’s incredible!
Instead of talking down motherhood, we should be talking it up. We should be talking about how fun and exciting it is. Being a mom is the best job I’ve ever had, and I want to let everyone know how great it is so they want to do it, too.
Yes, I am busy, but I’m the good kind of busy. Yes, my hands are full, but my heart is full, too. Being a mom is the best job in the world, and we should make it sound that way.