As this weekend is Mother’s Day I am reflecting on Motherhood and all it means to me. I have three amazing kids. Truly I believe that with all my heart. Each of them has brought me to a greater understanding of different things in life. Here are my honest, heart-felt and very real thoughts on motherhood…

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I haven’t always LOVED being a mother. I loved the idea of being a mom before I became one. I loved being a mother of one…after he learned to sleep through the night at the age of TWO YEARS OLD! No, I really did love being a mom when I had my first. So…then we had our second and life became more difficult. To add to the difficulty,11 months after having my second, I became pregnant (on purpose) with my third and final child.

I remember the looks I received from people in grocery stores as I had two monkeys crawling in and out of the shopping cart at the store, a permanent frazzled look on my face, and a bulging pregnant belly for all to see, as if I just couldn’t get enough of the chaos and craziness brought on by kids. ….the looks I received were priceless. I can’t remember too many strangers congratulating me on my third pregnancy. You know, most strangers walk up to pregnant mommies in the stores, rub their bellies, guess the gender, all without permission, and do so with all the love and sincerity of their heart….until the third time around. Its a whole different ball game with the third one. I was asked “are you done now?” more than once or “how many will you have?!” as if I was out to single-handedly repopulate the world…! At that time I realized I wasn’t in it for other people, I was in it for myself and my husband. What we had was our own decision and our own burden, and our own blessing, nobody else has to understand it.

I have learned that being a mom is more rewarding than I ever thought it would be. I am now painfully aware of every bad habit, mistake, and unpleasant character flaw in myself because I have three little mirrors walking around all day mimicking my every move and personality flaw. I can tell them a hundred times to pick up their socks and the words won’t phase them, but the ONE time I use a choice word, they all seem to hear it perfectly and inevitably I’ll hear it repeated that same day. They help remind me who I really am and somehow they love me anyways. I couldn’t ask to be in better company that that of my kids.

I have learned that my kids will never be what I had envisioned them to be. Now that I think about that idea, it makes me laugh. Why would they be anything OTHER than their own unique selves? I had envisioned dressing my kids in the CUTEST, most trendy clothes ever…but that was short lived as they gained a sense of independence and have all come to have their own unique style and way of dressing themselves! They may not all look the way I want, but at this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way because any time I see my kids I am reminded immediately of their unique and perfect personalities that are reflected in everything from the way they dress to the activities in which they engage. I wouldn’t want them to be or look like anyone other than themselves so I absolutely love it.

I am grateful that I don’t have perfect kids. I remember watching my friend with her two daughters who sat so quiet and content every week during church. The girls were similar ages to my two boys, and would sit down and color all during church. The thought amazed me and for a while I was jealous that I didn’t get kids like hers, as mine were up and down, out in the hall, running around everywhere, or sometimes even screaming at awkward times. I read this quote in the book “The Explosive Child” (I will hosting a giveaway of this book next week!!); “Behaviorally challenging kids help us to take a close look at our beliefs about challenging behavior (beliefs most people don’t’ question, unless they’re blessed with a behaviorally challenging child) and apply strategies that are often a far cry from ways in which most adults interact with and discipline kids who are not behaviorally challenging.” Not all of my kids are “behaviorally challenging” but all of my kids have had challenging behavior at some time and the experiences I have gained from that behavior has helped me to look at things in a different light. I am a more understanding person, less judgmental, and see the world as less “absolute” because of my kids and I appreciate this perspective. The only way I could have gained this perspective is through the challenges with my kids, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Being a mother is something for which I will forever be grateful. It has brought me to understand myself and life in a way I never would have without my kids. We have our good days and our not so good days, and even our flat out bad days, but every day is a blessing I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Happy Mother’s Day to each of you! What are some things YOU have learned from being a mom? Share them below, I would love to hear from each of you!