Motherhood is the hardest but the best job in the world

by Mary Ann on March 1, 2011

four cousins pictures

Marie and four of the seven cousins-Parker, Lizzy, Ashley, and Aubrey

Seven children, ages 1 to 11, all together in one house with two mothers; one fairly young, well, under 40 and one fairly old, hmmm, over 60; isn’t this a recipe for peace and tranquility? Age and experience! That is what these mothers thought. Two mothers ought to be able to handle seven small children with ease. Shouldn’t they?

This last weekend was Marie’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding. Then Bride and Groom were off and we two mothers rolled up our sleeves for a week of fun and games with the seven cousins.

I cooked….and cooked….and cooked…..does it ever stop? Only when it is

three kids photo

Three of the seven cousins-Maggie, Mary and Jack

bedtime, that is, if no one wakes up in the night and needs a bottle, a drink of water or a small snack!

I washed and folded….washed and folded….washed and folded mountains of clothes, bedding….does it ever stop? Only if the children aren’t sick, don’t spill

milk or paint, throw up or are not just teaching themselves to eat. In this case we started with one very ill child and by the end of a week’s time were up to four.

little boy cooking picture

A meal never satisfies until the next meal

Jodie picked up….and picked up….and picked up….does it ever end. Only if it is warm outside and everyone wants to go out. In this case it was winter, cold, and cloudy. Everyone was indoors dressing up, gluing, cutting, taping, and playing games with a million pieces, not to mention the puzzles.

Jodie played referee…and played referee…and played referee….does it ever stop. No, not when there are three girls who all need the hair brush at the same time or want to wear the same princess dress; or if there are two three year old boys just learning to share…or not.

Of course in all this cooking, washing and folding, picking up and refereeing we had to live our regular life of doing important stuff, right? We cleaned the house top to bottom, over and over again. We kept hoping it would stay clean for the bride’s homecoming. Fat chance!!!

girl with doll pictures

We are raising people who will make a difference in the live of others

We painted the brides living room and dining room; our wedding present for their open houselater this week. Try doing that with one, one year old, two three year olds and one 4 year old with cerebral palsy. We were either extraordinarily courageous or abysmally foolish. We felt we were both by the time we were done.

On that last day, after three of the girls had gone to school, one three year old had gone to relatives and we were left with just three children, we gazed tiredly upon the strewn living room floor, the chaotic playroom and envisioned the six hour drive ahead. Sigh. Jodie looked at me and said, “Gee, mom, there are two of us and we couldn’t keep up.” I couldn’t help laughing tiredly because it was so true.

I am telling you all this because I want to make two points. I will share one today and one tomorrow.

little boy pictures

See your children for who they are, wonderful people you have the privilege of living with and loving.

First, if two moms struggled, what happens to one mom who does this kind of thing 24/7, 365 days a year? Well, she gets tired and discouraged. It comes with the territory,motherhood is the hardest job in the world. The best we can hope for are glimmers of occasional peace, a few quiet moments, sloppy kisses and an occasional “your the best mom” spoken in a childish voice.

children with sugar crystal pictures

Nothing is perfect except the fact that we have the best job in the world.

The house will be orderly and clean sometimes but not most of the time. Children will be gracious and kind to one another but sometimes they will forget. A meal never satisfies until the next meal. Laundry is perpetual and so is folding. Nothing is perfect except the fact that we have the best job in the world. Yes, motherhood is the hardest, but the best job in the world. We are raising people who will make a difference in the life of others, just as soon as they grow up a bit more.

So take heart. What feels like failure is really just the process of raising a lot of people in one house until they are grown enough to start their own house and repeat the process. Give yourself a break. Be kind. See your children for who they are, wonderful people you have the privilege of living with and loving. And then remember, two mom’s with lot’s of experience couldn’t make it all perfect!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

kim March 1, 2011 at 10:32 pm

It does stop when they grow up and you miss them! I got tired just reading this post:)


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