Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

I decided to kick Mother's Day weekend off early last week by keeping Taylor home from daycare on Friday. The kids and I spent the morning snuggling in bed followed by a quick breakfast of "the best oatmeal ever" before setting out on our day of fun. The weather was perfect, so I loaded the kids up in the double stroller and headed to the park. Working full time limits my one-on-one time with the kids, so I have been making the most of my maternity leave by doing all of the fun things that we typically don't get to do throughout the week. I've learned that little things like running errands and going to the park are much more enjoyable on week days when places are less crowded and we aren't on a time crunch. Plus, a little fresh air does everyone good.

Friday evening we headed to my home town to watch my oldest niece wind the May pole in the school's 55th annual May Day program. Being in the high school gym brought back so many memories from my own childhood, and watching my niece skip alongside the other 4th graders was almost surreal. It feels like just yesterday my sister was announcing she was pregnant with her, and now here we are 10 years, 5 kids, and lots of grey hairs later. It's crazy how fast time flies when you're busy raising small children.

Saturday held another busy day as we headed south to celebrate my cousin Elle's graduation from high school. We made the most of the afternoon, introducing Logan to his cousins and catching up with family we hadn't seen since Christmas. Reality quickly set in that our sweet little curly haired girl is all grown up and ready to head out into the real world proving that life really is moving at warped speed.

When the party came to an end, we said our goodbyes and made a not so quick stop at Bass Pro in hopes that the little ones would run off the remainder of their sugar high and sleep on the long drive home. Although I spent most of my time changing diapers, feeding Logan, and chasing after Taylor, it was great to spend some extra time with the three women that mean the most to me.  I am continuously thankful for my sister, mother, and grandmother and all of the wisdom they have bestowed upon me over the years. They never cease to amaze me with their strength, courage, and selfless acts of love.

We no sooner got in the truck and Taylor's world came crashing down, making our drive home seem like the longest 2 1/2 hours ever. Not exactly how I envisioned spending Mother's Day weekend, but I guess that's what we get for testing our luck with an overly hungry/tired toddler. It just goes to show that, regardless of the day, motherhood is a full time job. Your almost potty trained toddler will always pee in her car seat at the most inopportune time, and your baby who has slept through the night for 2 weeks straight will wake up at 5 AM on your one day to sleep in. Being a mom requires a lot of deep breaths and prayers for patience, but I think we can all agree that this sweet face makes it worthwhile.

It's no secret that motherhood is tough. Quite frankly, it's the hardest job in the world. But even through the sleepless nights and endless tantrums, nothing compares to the amount of love and joy that children bring. For years I wondered how my mom put up with the hell I put her through during my teenage years. Then I became a mother and I realized that no matter how hard it gets, the good will always outweigh the bad. The goodnight kisses and I love you's are payment enough for the daily sacrifices we make to ensure our children's happiness. Because at the end of the day, they are what matter most, and I hope I never forget that.

Wishing a very happy (and belated) Mother's Day to each of you lucky enough to be called Mom. It truly is the greatest gift!