About 5 weeks ago, I wrote a Pour Your Heart Out entry called "The downside of Facebook (or where did my social life go)." Many of you were sympathetic, saying you've encountered the same situations. Life settling into less than exciting social lives, the kids' schedules taking precedence over your own. But there was one commenter who left me thinking.
Lauren Michelle said, "I hear this a lot from parents, and it kind of makes me nervous about having kids. I really want kids, but I saw this same thing in my own family growing up and my parents only had one kid - me. I played softball, danced, cheered, did gymnastics, not to mention all the after-school activities I participated in...I don't know what they would've done if I'd had siblings.
I feel bad that parenting has become this thing that just wears you down and makes you a semblance of what you used to be...Maybe not everyone feels like that, but I see it a lot in my family and family friends. It makes me sad. I mean, I know that when you have kids you're supposed to do everything you can to make sure your children are having the best life possible, even if that means you get pushed back into the fray. I completely agree with children coming first, but it still makes me sad that parents tend to feel the way that you feel right now."
Lauren's comment really made me stop and think, so much that I'm still thinking about it 5 weeks later. What's made me keep coming back to the topic is not so much what Lauren had to say, but what I've had to say -- on this blog, on Facebook, in real life -- about parenthood.
Yes, being a parent is hard and it means putting myself and my needs aside sometimes (often). But it's more blessing than burden and Lauren's comment has made me look at myself and the way I talk about the privilege of being a mother.
Can people -- especially my kids -- tell by my words and by my actions that I feel so lucky to be a mom? Because I do.
I feel blessed when one of my kids asks me if I'll snuggle up with them on the couch.
I feel lucky to be here to witness them learning new things, like riding a bike.
I swell with pride when another adult tells me that they appreciate my child's good nature.
I am humbled when one of my kids starts praying when an ambulance drives by, asks to go to church (that one doesn't happen very often), or in other ways show me that they are embracing the faith we're teaching.
I am grateful for the silly and witty things they say that bring joy and laughter to our home every day.
Being a mom is hard work, yes. But it's a job I've never regretted signing up for. I'm going to try to do a better job of showing that -- to my kids and to others, even if that means I'm pouring my heart out.
For more PYHO posts, head over to Shell's place at Things I Can't Say.