I am around people alot. I love people. I am an observer of people. They intrigue me, challenge me, infuriate me, and keep me accountable!
I am around those with disabilities because I am disability advocate and peer mentor. I am the director of the Spinal Cord Group here in Columbia. I love to volunteer with Joni and Friends ministry. If there is a disability out there, I have probably met it!
I am around women a lot. I lead our women’s ministry at church. I am a pastor’s wife. I speak at ladies functions. I am very active on social media and I get a lot of private messages and emails asking me questions and seeking advice.
I am around mom’s. I am a mom to 6 beautiful children! I am not an expert, but I do have a little experience. :)
I am around people. Just like me. Forget the physical disability. Mine is obvious. I am convinced we all have something in our lives that knocks us around. Maybe it is marriage issues. Maybe it is finances. Maybe infertility or a miscarriage. Maybe you are over your head in toddlerhood. Maybe your kids are grown and not living like you projected in your mind they would live. I don’t know, but I know we all have those areas.
We go through things in our lives that mess up our “mom moments”. It throws us off and we react in the moments. Our kids are there in those moments. They witness our every action – good and bad. If you live in depression, you have taken them with you into that moment. If you live with paralysis, you have taken them with you into that moment. If you are angry or discouraged, you have taken them there with you. Kids soak it all up!
I am writing this from my bed today. It is NOT one of my better days. Honestly, if I had my way, every time my kids opened my door to come talk to me, or to jump on the bed on my already hurting body, my mood says to “go out and play!” But….my kids aren’t having a rough day…unless I create one for them because of me. So, I have to ask myself if I am a good mom to drag my kids into my rough day? Or….maybe just maybe…if I concentrated on trying to keep their day good, it may actually help mine? I can assure you it does!!
I look at my kids and cannot believe how they have grown! I look to the past and think of the mom I was when they were little. For one, I was walking. I was more involved in the cleaning and cooking in my home than I am now. I had MUCH better health – I honestly hardly ever got sick! That is not the case now!
I look at my house and it seems there is always a project that needs done, fixed or started! I cannot keep up with them all. I look forward into the future and think of the days when they will not be in the house. The house will be clean. Finances won’t be as tight.
I have heard older women talk in disappointment about their kids and all they want to focus on is the childhood times. The stories are all of “when Johnny was a little boy, we used too…”Where is Johnny now? Did he outgrow needing his Mom? Are the only good days way back in the past? Are all of your spiritual times with your kids when they are 5 and 10? Kids never outgrow needing and desiring the love and admiration of their parents. I do not care how old you are. If you are a parent, be the parent. Take the lead and love those kids of yours – I do not care how old they are! Make a memory today. Take him out to lunch. Go to a car show with him. Don’t preach at him. Just enjoy him. That same little boy is in there and he needs cherished.
I hear younger moms talk, and they cannot wait till their kids grow up! I hear them say things like, “I wish he would hurry and grow up so I can have some peace!” Or, middle age moms (I am afraid that is now me!) make statements like, “Only 1 more year and they will finally be off to college. Yeah!” What?!!
I have heard disabled moms say they can’t be a good mom now and they won’t ever be again until they get “healed”. Hogwash! I know moms with disabilities who are awesome moms and their kids don’t even know that there is even a problem because the mom’s have never let that be a problem. Hooray!
What are we telling our kids? I do not claim to be a child raising expert. Actually, I am clueless most of the time in this parenting thing, but I am a parent and I am someone’s child. So, when you put those two things together – I do have an opinion! Our moments tell our kids much.
My older kids do not need me telling them a bunch of stories of how I “used to be a better mom to them before my wheelchair.” They do not care about that! They need me to be a good mom to them today! They do not care about this wheelchair. They just need to know that I am just as committed to loving them today as I did in my yesterday’s. As a grown adult, I think my childhood stories are cute, but I desire parents in my today life – not the past one. Why will my kids be any different?
My teens need me just like my 5 year old needs me. Their needs look different, but they need me. I will encourage my kids when it is their time to leave my nest, but they will not feel an ounce of emotion that I want them to go! I love having them around, and I also love them learning to lead their own lives.
Being a mom is a constant array of emotions. In our heads, sometimes we do think how easy it was before we had 3 loads of laundry a day! In our heads we may imagine what it may actually be like to not have to buy new shoes all of the time for all of these feet that never quit growing! But, these are such little things in the whole life-long course of being a mom.
To me, the past was great but its over.
The future is unknown so don’t live there.
Today is today.
My kids need a mom that lives in the today’s with them. No matter how young or old they will ever be, they need a mom of today.
To all you mom’s out there – enjoy today!!