20 Sep Reflections of a Mother
by Keri Kerby
Keri enjoys the blessing of being happily married, has home-schooled six amazing children and now teaches in the school system. Aside from running her busy household and classroom, she loves to hang out with her husband.
This reflection is set to inspire mothers, welcome them to the club, and let them know that they are not alone on this ‘crusade’ we call motherhood.
What would life be like if I had not become a mother?
It seems so difficult to imagine since I have been one for the last 10 years, but here goes.
Well, I would choose an adult book and read it cover to cover in one sitting, have an ice cream sundae and eat it all myself, and actually complete a single thought. Just the thought of sitting at the computer/typewriter and just writing to my hearts content makes my mouth water.
Moving on though, I would revel in complete silence, understand the meaning of those ads promising a replenishing and tranquil experience at the spa, possibly carry on a workday with adult conversation, wash a single place setting, a single person’s laundry, and pick up single drop-offs throughout the house.
Yes, I would do all of these things…and love every minute of it. However, first things first, I would shop…not for six children, but just for me.
Paradise? Possibly. Lonely? Possibly. Boring? In the long-term gist of things, definitely!
Well, then, I would miss out on the looks of contentment through tired eyes before bedtime as I complete another rendition of ‘love you forever’. I would miss the bright-toothed smile through chocolate ice cream face. I wouldn’t hear the gentle sounds of children singing while they play, arguing and then working it out all by themselves, then singing all over again as they continue their play. No messy bubble baths and water-soaked floors, little hands helping to empty the ever-full dishwasher, little helpers tidying up toys, messes, and all the other odd jobs that children can actually help with. I would miss the joy of sharing in their accomplishment and perhaps taking a little of the credit for myself. I would miss the deep and thoughtful talk that goes on between children.
Yes, they actually do have some pretty darn insightful things to say.
I would miss the innocence in a world of corruption; the joy found in the simple things rather than the big expensive toys that we, the adults, delight in. No little reminders of a child’s presence found throughout the house, no mismatched socks; no children. No one to remind me of life’s simple pleasures; to keep me grounded in a materialistic world, to help me to stay focused on the important things in life and to prioritize.
Children have the unique way of saying in straight and meaning it. They have the ability to speak without uttering a single word; the ability to warm you from the inside out with a simple act of kindness that comes so easy for children. They can see right through us, or so it seems. Children can make you feel as though you are the most beautiful, the smartest, the most successful, and the most marvelous person in their world…all at once.
Being a mother, for me, has been one of the most adventurous and exciting, complex and demanding, bold and spontaneous, and life changing careers. Motherhood has taught me not only the importance of focusing on the family, but the importance of seeing beyond the surface. Usually, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to those people in our lives and there is truth in that familiar phrase, ‘to know you (really know you) is to love you’. Children have this keen sense of seeing you through and through and accepting every bit of what they see. Now, that is love.
That book I have been anxiously waiting to read, the book I have been anxiously waiting to write, the visit to the spa, the minimal household chores, the shopping spree; they can all wait. My children cannot. Nor would I want them to. I chose a selfless life when I became a mother. No one ever said it was not going to be easy. Some may have even uttered under their breath that I may not survive this, but I will never regret it. I know I will never get these days back and I know that my children have been entrusted to me for only a little while and that time goes all too fast in this hasty world in which we live. Life can certainly get so complicated if we fail to take the time to enjoy the little things…and these little people. After all, we are not just raising children here. We are raising adults. Now there is a challenge.
In the words of Angela Thomas Guffey, ‘this journey is about weaving the threads of blessing, the string of demands, and the strands of frustration until they become the beautiful tapestry of motherhood.’ (Tender Mercy for a Mother’s Soul)