I was pregnant. Again. It was the third baby and we had planned, so we were by no means “surprised”, but grateful for such a wonderful blessing we did not deserve. To God be the glory, we did not struggle to get pregnant like we had with our first. And even that time of struggle was not hard, compared to the road some walk on their way to parenthood. I pretty much looked at my husband and I was with child (convenient when there are two other children around). I was sitting in the OB-GYN office in Palm Springs, California awaiting my new doctor. She walked in. She was young…like younger than me. She was a DOCTOR. The first words out of my mouth to her was asking her, her age like any well meaning patient… obviously. Not for fear that she couldn’t deliver my baby, but because I was really hoping that she was just one of those people who looked young, but wasn’t really. “40…shes going to say she’s 40 and then I won’t feel so bad” I thought to myself. Her answer confirmed my initial observation and I was officially a TOTAL LOSER. Here I was just good at making babies (and only OK at mothering them) and in front of me was a well accomplished doctor, who had done more in her life and at a younger age. I had done nothing with my life. Why hadn’t I finished college? Why was I one of those who always struggled with my purpose instead of having that moment where you know what you wanted to do. At five years old I proudly announced I was going to be a singing-doctor-nurse. I have clearly always had confusing aspirations. Don’t get me wrong, I was always Ok at a lot of things. I always wanted to do-do-do and go-go-go and I never stuck with anything. Thank goodness my Mom didnt buy me that flute. I was the kid that went from interest to interest. Even now when I long for a life beyond motherhood, my interests in real estate and nutritional and holistic education. People say to be “successful” you have to find your niche, but I am pretty sure Singing-Doctor-Nurse or Nutritional Real Estate Agent are not trending careers.
At first, I questioned myself and then, when I had exhausted that idea, the next rational person to blame my loser-life on was my husband. It was obviously his fault. If he hadn’t been so dag on handsome. If he would have been a better jerk or the super, self absorbed guy who over our first date boldy declared that he never wanted babies and wanted “to explore the Greek Islands” with just me by his side…(Ok well that might be little creepy on our first date, but it gives you the right visual) I wouldn’t be sitting here, basically naked, on an exam table waiting for the doctor to tell me what I already knew. Unfortunately, romance novels are not real life. Apparently I was not mean to explore the swiss alps or the French countryside. Bummer.
It sounds rediculous that the success of another woman made me question my worth, but lets be real, as women we do it everyday. Comparison. The thief of all joy. There are times I put my big girl panties on and mentally pat a well accomplished lady on the shoulder in a completely selfless act of feminism. You go girl. Look at you slaying those defense lawyers…or in my doctors case-pap smears. And then there are times that it makes me question why I am not more. Why don’t I go to Africa and hug on some orphans or raise a 1,000,000 for Cancer patients?! Why didnt I pursue that singing career I dreamt of (just ask my Mom about my “Shania Twain video”) or go under cover as a secret agent in a country far away (Ok, I am realllllly reaching with those last few-ha). My life seems SO small and SO insignificant. I always thought I was going to do “Big Things” with my life, but here I am. “Just a Mom.”
And yet, I love my babies. How terrible I feel when the world screams at me that I have to do more than motherhood, to be important and successful, and even if only for a brief moment I let that thought seep in my heart. What a loss to devalue a calling so great. What a gift my children are and admittedly, I often mistreat it. What a great opportunity that I often miss to be what God called me to be at this very time in my life to be “Just a Mom”. My “big life” is right in front of me in those big brown eyes and messy hair begging me to dance and sing with her. My important job is talking my 6 year old through an experience with mean girls at school. My “Grammy” is serving God in my local church on the worship team. My ministry to orphans is in loving my 19 year old sister. My big “brave job” is being a Mom when I don’t know how. Or when I don’t want to. When I am sick and tired of being puked on, pooped on, walked all over, a short order cook, disciplinarian and hearing my name at least 283747583739 times a day. My negotiating a hostage situation might be Me- as a hostage in my own bathroom negotiating how much to eat of a chocolate bar, but thats where God has called me today. And probably tomorrow. And at least for the next 16 years, 6 months and 14 days.
I am a Mom still stuck in that “needy” phase. Everyone needs me. ALL THE TIME. They need their socks and their shoes. They can’t find the toothpaste. And If I find it for them I will spend all morning removing it from the sink.#allthemomssayWORD. Eventually it won’t be like this. Eventually my home will be empty. And while I would be lying if I said there weren’t times I daydream about my kids moving on and the things I will have time to accomplish (like cleaning the whole house in a day or taking a shower without someone coming in to do #2) I also realize that God has BLESSED me with four precious babies to guide and raise. Four lights I get to send out in the world. Two wives and two husbands one day. Fathers and Mothers. What an injustice I do them when I think about all I could do if I wasn’t a Mom. How empty my life would be if I looked back and all I had was a paper framed on the wall. But what a legacy I can leave by entrusting and guiding these four precious souls to Jesus. This is my mission. This is my calling. Lord, help me to live it out and live it out well.