Mothering

mothering

Did I ever tell you I wanted to be a nun?

mothering

Did I ever tell you I wanted to be a nun?

I think it was 11th grade.

I told everyone that I was going to become a nun.

And everyone laughed at me.

“But, you aren’t even Catholic.”

“I’ll start the first nunnery at our church, in our denomination.” I was a great rebutter.

One friend bought me necklace with a saint or a nun or something on it. I wore it religiously. I have other nun type tokens from that 1990 time, when my friends would laugh at me and I was trying to take myself seriously.

It wasn’t that I wanted to be a nun. At that age, I did decide I wanted to devote my life to God, but not in the wear a habit and live in a convent kind of way. It was more like I didn’t think I would get married and I definitely would never have kids because, “oh my gosh I’m never giving birth.” It was like some kind of self protection mechanism for not having a boyfriend in the 11th grade, maybe? Some of my close friends said I could be a little dramatic. I don’t know what they were talking about.

I think the same friend that gave me the necklace also told me that I’d probably have a lot of kids. In return, I probably gave a lot of eye rolls.

The story goes that I got married, after just turning twenty (only four years after the 11th grade) and had four children. Four children that I birthed (should I admit that I actually kind of liked the birthing process – with an epidural, that is).

Nineteen years married and thirteen years a mom and it all still shocks me a little.

While I knew I was never really going to be a nun, I also didn’t think much about being a mom. I thought a lot about being a business woman or an actress or whatever it was I thought I wanted to or should be. When I fell in love and we talked about kids in that dreamy kind of way that you do. I think we picked two, like a game of M.A.S.H. Two would look cute sitting in the back of a Land Cruiser.

I never got a Land Cruiser and I had babies before they were kids. I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good mom because I only babysat little kids one time and I didn’t work out so well. I had only held a baby maybe once or twice.

Naturally, I was freaked out about leaving the hospital with a baby.

My only saving grace was my mom. My mom loves babies and kids of all ages love her. She helped me with Ella’s first everything and she helped me relax and realize that I had the right instincts. She helped me believe that I had what it took to be a mom.

Some days I wonder how I was entrusted with four beautiful children. They outsmart me often, they outrun me daily, they out love me always. I don’t always feel capable and often I don’t feel adequate. But I have motherly instinct. And I still have my mom right beside me telling me to relax.

Of course, I’m not always relaxed because my house is a combination of wrestle mania and Target throwing up everywhere. But everyday, I’m becoming more certain that I have what it takes to be a mom. Not just a mom, but mom to Ella, Luke, Liam Brave and Rocco Royal. I was picked for them and they were picked for me.

I also now know that . . .

Until I became a mom I never knew how much I was loved or how much I could love.

I would not know an unconditional love if it wasn’t for my mom and my children.

It’s full circle, really. Mother. Child. Child. Mother.

In reflecting this weekend, I’m grateful for the mothering I had and still have. We never outgrow our need to mothered, even when we ourselves are mothering. And, I’m grateful for my children that made me a mother and let me work out my mothering on them.

Mothering isn’t meant to just stay within our homes, and it isn’t only for those who have biological children. Mothering is nurturing and loving unconditionally. There is a world out there that is in need of mothering. I can’t help but think of Mother Theresa. After all, she was a nun and a mother.

Happy Mother’s Day….. Here is to mothering and being mothered!

photo by Yazy Jo Photography

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