My days consisted of cleaning house, cooking meals, cleaning house again, and taking and picking up kids from school. I was lost under a pile of dirty clothes and dishes. And, it was blissful, until it wasn’t. I became painfully aware that I was just a mom when my childhood friends starting graduating from college. They were celebrating the start of exciting new careers and I was celebrating 3rd birthdays and new births. While they were discovering treasures untold abroad, I was happy to discover my son’s favorite cereal was buy 2 get the 3rd free at the grocery store. When I would see old acquaintances I found myself dancing around their questions of “What have you been up to lately?” because I had allowed myself to believe that I was nothing more than a dish washing, clothes folding, diaper changing, tear wiping mom. And, in my warped perception of what my life was “supposed” to look like at 24, I was ashamed of what it actually was.
But, then something happened that changed it all. My son came home with a smile from ear to ear, because he had earned his first 100% on a spelling test. This is when my warped perception began to change and instead of being ashamed of what my life was, I was ashamed of not fully grasping the greatness that had been at my fingertips all along. God had blessed me beyond measure with a duty to fulfill. A duty that I would soon embrace as my life’s greatest work of art, my children. It dawned on me, when he brought home that piece of notebook paper, with 5 scribbled words correctly spelled, that I was so much more than just a mom. I was a teacher, a cheerleader, a life skills coach and leader, I was a tour guide for my children through this obstacle course we call life, and I was also a counselor.
I wasn’t just raising kids, I was creating potential future presidents, leaders, teachers, doctors, lawyers, great world renowned artists, authors and speakers. I was helping build and secure a future for the world. This realization made me see just how important moms are! Behind every great inventor, Nobel Peace Prize winner, or humanitarian stands a mom who missed sleep, work, and meals. Who put her dreams on hold, just to ensure her child grew up to do great things. You can thank a mom for every other mom, dad, little league coach, cub scout leader, dance instructor, or youth leader out there. It’s because of moms that we know how to dream up futures that require us to reach for the stars. It’s because we watched as our mom accomplished great things (maybe later than she had expected) with a child on her hip, that we aren’t afraid to step outside of our comfort zones. It’s because of a mom’s determination, that we have a fierce drive to get things done. It’s because of a mom’s relentless nagging, that we believe in ourselves and we recognize when we can do better.
Whether you were fortunate enough to have your mom for a long time, or sadly you grew up without one. She played a vital role in who you are today. You either experienced the importance of a mom first hand or you learned from her absence. Either way, you are, or will be, a better mom because of your mom. When you find yourself thinking about how you are just a mom, be gracious for the role you’ve been given. God didn’t make us moms because we are weak. He made us moms because of our strength. There is nothing weak or shameful about being just a mom. So, the next time someone says, “Oh, you’re just a mom” kindly and proudly smile and say, “Yes, I am a mom with a ferocious spirit, determination and drive, a brave heart that admits to fears, hands that mold future greatness, arms that comfort, and eyes that see potential. Thank you for reminding me that I am in fact, just a mom!”