I parked my car in the garage. I had just returned from the grocery store. I braced myself as I prepared to carry 15 bags of groceries into the house, hopefully in one trip. My son then handed me his backpack because his toes were tired. “How is that related?” I thought to myself. Then my daughter asks me if I mind grabbing her library books because she just remembered she needed to go ask our neighbor a question that very second. I looked down at the front seat of my car and noticed the mail was sitting there along with a package I needed to drop off at the post office. When did I become a professional porter?
I think it happened the day my oldest child was born. From that day forward, I did not leave the house without a diaper bag, a change of clothes in case of emergency (for her) although I was usually the one wearing spit up around town, a car seat, a pacifier, her favorite teddy bear, the car keys, and my purse. Heaven forbid I bought anything else that I had to carry too. “Yes!” I said aloud, although no one knew who I was talking to. That is when I became a porter! If I could go back and talk to my 30-year-old self, I would tell myself to hit the gym because you will be carrying this child and their stuff for a very long time. Prepare yourself lady!
After being a parent for 10 years, I no longer just carry baby gear and backpacks. I also carry their fears and their burdens and their excitement and their dreams and their goals. I dry tears and hold hands and encourage and pick up pieces when dreams shatter. I should have gotten a degree in professional counseling. Yes, that would have better prepared me for motherhood.
Or maybe I should have gone to culinary school. Then my children’s lunches would look picture perfect, every color of the rainbow of nutrition that the American Academy of Pediatrics endorses would be present and accounted for. And of course, they would never eat the same thing two days in a row. My home would smell like fresh-baked bread and dinners would effortlessly make their way to the table at half past six in time for my husband to walk in the door. Never would I make a panicked phone call at 6pm asking my husband to pick up something, anything, for dinner so I can feed the children.
Suddenly my thoughts are interrupted by tears and a loud unidentifiable noise. “Uh oh. Someone is hurt!” I run outside to assess the situation and I see blood. Lots and lots of blood. And noise. Oh yes, that is crying. Loud crying. I’m personally not someone who likes blood or loud crying, but I digress. That’s exactly why a career in the medical field never even remotely interested me. I like order. I’m not a fan of chaos. However, that doesn’t matter when you’re a mom. You’re required to be the first person on the scene. You jump in and do whatever it takes to take care of your child. You learn to effortlessly clean up bodily fluids in quantities you never could have even imagined. You bandage scrapes and bruises, you carry kids that weigh almost as much as you do, and you do it without so much as a second thought.
I was just thinking the other day, “Why don’t moms have resumes? Why is that?” Every job I have ever had outside of my home required a detailed resume listing all of my qualifications and a list of references. Being a mother is the hardest job I have ever had, but no one ever interviewed me for the position or gave me a job description. As a small business owner, I can now say if someone listed nothing but “MOTHER” on a resume, I would hire them to run the whole country. They can multi-task, work under extreme pressure, negotiate with terrorists, turn on a dime, work incredibly long hours, and still manage to get the job done – no matter what. As far as I’m concerned, YOU ARE HIRED!
The reality is there is no resume, college class, book, or seminar in the world that can really prepare you for becoming a parent. I think that is how God intended it to be. We are strongest when we know we are weak. Why? When we are aware of our shortcomings, we will stay on our knees praying for wisdom, discernment, and endurance to put one foot in front of the other. On my knees, God reminds me daily how much I need Him. That is the best way to live this life well – in constant awareness of our need for God. Being a Mother reminds me of this every day.
Reader friend, I gotta go. Sorry. Someone’s calling me,”MOM. MOM.MOM. Mom why are you not answering? Mom? Mom? Mom?”