Today I thought I’d try to summarize my top ten “loves” of motherhood and my top ten “challenges”. I decided on this idea without really even knowing whether I can come up with ten of each or not…I’m interested to see what, if anything, comes out. If nothing does, Ill trash this post and none of you will even know I attempted it. That’s one cool thing about blogging. So here it goes…

Top Ten Things I LOVE about Motherhood:

10) Seeing your kids look to you when they want assurance that what just happened is “OK”…whether it’s after a minor fall or a weird attempt at humor by a family member. 

9)  The funny things kids say: Mackenna was playing with some dress-up  fairy wings today and she made Gray her “fairy boy”…then she asked if she could call Daddy a fairy, too. Now she has “two fairy boys”. Mackenna is ecstatic over this…Daddy not so much.

8. Realizing I can do more than I thought. I love the days when I’m able to manage taking care of my kids (and maybe even someone else’s), laundry, cooking dinner, groceries, quality reading/teaching time with my kids, a shower, visiting a sick friend, making a meal for a neighbor, and dropping a card in the mail. Those superwoman days are few and far between but they make me feel AWESOME when they happen.

7) Seeing myself through my kids’ eyes. Nothing teaches you more about yourself than the brutal honesty of children. Well…that and therapy, but kids don’t charge.

6) Challenging my imagination. Like when I’m trying to get the kids to eat their vegetables. The other night, after dousing broccoli with five layers of mozzarella cheese AND parmesan, I was still getting nowhere. So I resorted to pretending we were all giant dinosaurs eating trees. The kids chomped and then gagged through all the broccoli. It felt like such an accomplishment.

5) Seeing them learn new things. They are so proud of themselves aren’t they? Whether it’s first steps or learning to read or learning to DRIVE, there is so much joy in watching them grow into real people. From little balls of mush into contributors to society. What a crazy thing.

4) Their unconditional love. I spent a lot of time the first few couple years of motherhood thinking about how it was my role to show my kids who God is….to teach them about Jesus and his love for them. And I still believe that’s an important part of my job. But it was just recently that I really understood just how much my kids teach ME about who Jesus is. Their acceptance and love for me, despite all of the places I go wrong…it’s such a beautiful picture of grace and it is really, really amazing.

3) Giggles.

2) The chance to spend time with them. Getting to wake up every day and think, “What do we want to do today?!”…and figuring out together where to go or what we want to explore…that’s pretty cool. It’s so fun just to be doing LIFE with these little people on a consistent basis.

1) And finally, I LOVE that I know that I’m doing something ridiculously important. People work their whole lives to find purpose and meaning, and I’ve already found it. There is no greater calling than to be a parent. Molding little hearts is a HUGE responsibility and there is nothing more challenging, and nothing more worth the challenge.

Top Ten things I am NOT a fan of…

10) Living in this tiny house with this many people. Yes, my son sleeps in a closet, we have no basement (and technically no garage since it’s now a storage facility), and only two bedrooms. There is no “play room” (pu-leeze!), and nowhere to go to get away from children…EVER. The only place remotely far enough away to get a real break is the bathroom…maybe. They usually find me there eventually.

9) Multi-tasking. I’m not talking about normal multi-tasking like I used to do at work. I could make a phone call, type an email, write myself a note on a cute hot pink post-it, and file papers all at the same time and that is NOTHING compared to the new art of multi-tasking I’ve now taken on. I’m talking about holding two kids and a diaper bag while trying to pour a huge box of cheerios into a tiny zip-loc bag, fill sippy cups, and talk on the phone to plan a friend’s birthday party while making mental notes of the other people I need to be calling, doctor’s appointments I need to make and spas I wish I could go to…all the while signaling with one hand to a misbehaving pre-schooler in a way that helps her understand that she is in SERIOUS trouble if she doesn’t stop acting up while I’m on the phone…all the while kicking things out of the way with my feet as I try to navigate the kitchen / playroom while trying to itch my nose by simply wiggling it.

8. Realizing I can’t always do as much as I think.

7) Seeing myself through my kids’ eyes. It’s awesome…and it’s sometimes very painful.

6) The weird things kids do. My daughter makes me call her by a different name every day and when it’s time to say goodnight I have to say goodnight specifically TO that particular name or she breaks out into a heartbroken, “things are not right with the world at all” cry until we make amends and call her the right name. My son needs his blanket to be “smoothed out” every time he gets back into bed…which is a LOT because he gets up to go to the bathroom at least 3 times every night before finally falling asleep. This is MOST LIKELY a stall tactic, but a brilliant one. I can say “no” to just about anything, but I’m not about to tell a three year old kid he can’t go the bathroom for the next 12 hours.

5) Target.  I don’t get why people like this store. I am SO irritated with their already not-so-great prices. I mean, it’s TARGET, not Macy’s. And THEN, their “sales” suck even more. If something is on “clearance” that really means that instead of being $3.39 it’s now $3.10. Big, friggin’ whoop. This is not a clearance. This is capitalist trickery. I want to see some Kohl’s action like some 70% off the entire store. BOO to Target.

4) This will come as no surprise: high expectations. The judgments we face from other people for the choices we make or how we choose to raise our children can be really hard to take. People have such lofty expectations of us as mothers and it’s downright exhausting to combat sometimes. And if you refer back to Item #9, you can see we don’t have a lot of extra time or energy to combat much of anything.

3) WHINING

2) Making important parenting decisions. I liked it when they were babies and the only decision I had to make was whether to prepare rice cereal or applesauce for dinner. Now we’re getting into actually having to TEACH them things…about the world, and life, and right and wrong. Yikes. This is the big-time. It’s kind of scary at times.

2.a)I have to make a part two to this point. Because I also hate dumb advice. Dumb advice is not at ALL helpful when trying to make important parenting decisions.

1) And finally, I guess the top spot goes to the challenge of trying to find the balance in it all. Motherhood if a huge calling, but it’s also not supposed to be ALL we are. We are women, wives, daughters, sisters, neighbors, friends. We think we all want to be great mothers without losing ourselves in the process. Anyone find that this is easier said than done?? Uh yeah.

How about you? What are your top ten likes and dislikes?!! :)

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Missional Women
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