“Why do you like being a mom?”
The question from my fellow classmate surprised me. I stared at the table stacked with her books, a slice of pepperoni pizza, a tray of vegetarian sushi and two coffees. She was a grandma now but had started her degree back when her children were the same ages as mine. We’d talked about motherhood and classes and juggling both of those.
Somehow I stumbled out an answer to her question, but it stuck with me.
I found myself wondering not “why do I like being a mom” but “do I like being a mom?” and “would my girls say I like being a mom?”
Since I was a little girl, I have planned to be a mom. I was the girl at church who always wanted to hold the babies. Through my teens, my primary job was as a babysitter. The families I babysat for liked me because I actually played with their kids. When I was considering a career, writing seemed natural not only because it was something I loved to do but because I could do it from home, like Tricia Goyer and Nancy Rue and many other authors I know.
And now that’s what I’m doing: trying to raise three girls and pursue my writing. Do I like being a mom? There are many days when I get frustrated because Lily has had an accident again and the dishes are piling up by the sink again and the baby won’t sleep so I can’t get anything done and there are toys all over the floor and… And yet there are many days when I do enjoy all the household chores and welcoming my husband home at the end of his day because I feel I have made our house a home.
In every other job I’ve worked, I’ve been ready to quit when it was time to quit, because I was bored. While I get frustrated working at home, I’ve never been bored. Each day is new and different as the girls go through different stages. I look forward to that.
Would they say I like being a mom? That question bothered me more. I know that many times I’ve gone to bed regretting having a short temper, yelling at them again for not getting out the door fast enough or spilling their cereal or just wanting a hug when I was trying to do the dishes. If they were asked that question, they might say that Mommy was always tired and grouchy, or that she liked her computer better than them, or that the vacuuming was more important than reading books together. That’s not what I want them to say.
So in my last months of pregnancy, as I contemplated my classmate’s question and the changes that a third baby would bring to our lives, I also thought about the mom I want to be. I’m trying to slow down, to better balance my desire for a clean house with their desire for attention, to limit my online time and find more activities for them, to show them the patience and respect that I want them to show me. I’m not always successful at this, but thankfully, there’s a new day tomorrow.
Why do you like being a mom?