I didn’t become a mother in the traditional way. Our three daughters were adopted through the foster care system. Our oldest girls, who are now 11 and 7, came to us when they were 5 and 1 1/2. Our littlest, who is now 4, came to us when she was 2 days old. I wondered before they arrived how quickly I would be able to attach, if my maternal instinct would be easy to access. Short answer? Yes. There is a whole other story to be told about the last 6 years but now isn’t the time to tell it. These words are not meant to be about foster care (although I have MANY to share at some point about that). These words are meant for the mama’s out there.
Here are the universal truths about motherhood. Our children will figuratively (and some days, literally) bite the hand that feeds them. We are their greatest ally and their worst enemy, with sometimes only minutes between the two. We are their soft place to fall while also being the ones who speak the hardest truths to them. We will launder their clothes, wipe their rear ends, clean up their messes, drive them to every corner of this green earth, answer their questions, and get dinner on the table even if it is a pizza. We deal with adolescent mouths and toddler tantrums and the homework. We think nasty thoughts sometimes when our children make terrible choices but no one else better say those things or mama bear will roar. We love fiercely and we grieve deeply.
We will lay in bed at night and go over every.last.interaction. and then those kids that we were so ready to get in bed? We want to wake them up and make sure they’re ok and give them hugs. We go out with our husbands and FINALLY get some alone time and we watch videos of them and talk about them anyway. On a good day, we will be thanked and hugged and made to feel like a queen. On a regular day, we just need to keep them moving and supply all of their needs, thank you or not.
Soldier on, mamas. Fight for your marriage, fight for your kids, go to your knees and ask for grace to cover it all. In the crazy world we live in, we get to be the solid for our kids. And if we show up for them, we get to show them who the real Solid is. That long list up there? We’ve got to show up for those things if we want to show our kids Jesus. Nothing we do is in vain when we know why we’re doing it.
No matter how you became a mama, here’s to you. You are the mama your kids need. Go love ’em.