What I Love About Moms (of young children)

I love moms… of all kinds.

There is something special, however, about moms of young children.

As a young mother myself, I truck my three little ones to various activities and have become quite fond of the moms I see around me.

This is my first summer home with my kids and my first summer with three kids, so I’m recently aware of this daytime world of moms…. and I look on in admiration…

You’re are all so different, yet so similar…in many ways.

Moms of young kids, here’s why I love you!

You show up

You could be doing many things with your day/life and here you are…giving of your self…at the library, at the swimming pool, in the front yard of your house that is cluttered with toys/trucks/buckets/sidewalk chalk…

You show up for the day and give your kids an environment where they can learn, grow, explore and hang out with other kids their age.

I’m sure you want to be at the pool, too, but you are really doing it for your kids…so they can have fun, and you can share in that fun with them.

You talk nicely (even if it’s only in public)

The mom voice….that voice that anyone acquires as soon as they are in the company of little ones.

“Play nice” it says….

“Let’s go over here…Do you want to try this out?….How about if we put this here?”

You say nice things in a soft, gentle tone, even when your 2-year-old just squirted another kid, who you don’t know, in the face with a water gun, that belongs to a different kid that you do not know.

Strangers….onlookers…older people… some might think to themselves, Aren’t you going to punish them? Aren’t you going to take them right out of here? Aren’t you going to scream at them?

No….no, you’re not…

Because you know that it doesn’t work…you know that if you yelled at your kid every time they did something like squirting a stranger in the face, you’d be yelling all day…

Because when you hang out with your kid all the time, the odds are (and it’s all a numbers game) that they do something like that 100 times a day. That’s a lot of yelling…

You carry everything

Sometimes your kids help…and they’re typically good kids, they want to help… “Since when has a store trip (or anything, for that matter) been made any easier by the “help” of young children?” asks Wendy Jessen in her article 10 things you really shouldn’t say to moms with multiple children

But you end up carrying EVERYTHING…. Your shoulders are hunched, your spine is out of alignment and your stiff neck is really putting a damper on the day…

But you don’t think twice, Mom…. you just carry it all anyways…

You feed everyone

Whether you are bringing snacks or buying plates of pizza, you feed them all… you are thinking about lunch during breakfast and thinking about dinner during lunch. Your day is consumed with snacks and hunger pains…You think about how much water you have and how much is too much if you know there won’t be a place to go to the bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom….

You make 5 trips to the bathroom (and pee with a baby on your lap)

“You just went to the bathroom, I know you don’t have to go”

“You have to poop? If we go in there and you don’t poop, you are going to be in trouble”

It starts with the disgust that they are going to touch anything and then it becomes more important to just get them to the sink before they have a chance to touch their eye….why do they have to touch their face?? Don’t they know we are in a gross bathroom?

There are no paper towels…one kid is scared of the dryer…one just picked something up off the ground…and put it in his pocket…

You forget how badly the bathroom actually smells… you are just grateful that the baby doesn’t need changed…because there isn’t a changing table…and they’re gross anyhow but sometimes it’s necessary…

You make it look easy (even when it’s not)

It comes very naturally to you…taking care of everything, packing everything up, unpacking everything, wrangling every one… you do it all in one swoop… you seem to know what everyone needs, when they need it and you have a comeback ready as if you already know what the question is…because you do…

You do this dance between taking a moment for yourself, and serving the other little ones that are part of your troop…you lift, give, dress, change, move, crouch, drop, pull and push…all in a matter of seconds…if someone asks if you need help…it’s not that you’re prideful… it’s not that you think you can do it better… it is just that you have made a habit of these motions and you feel a natural sense of responsibility to make them…

Your body makes people

It takes two to tango…I know… but every mom has a body that is just hers, that doesn’t look like anyone else’s…and the many variables that can occur when it comes to childbearing, every step was taken just as it was meant to, so that your body created and held another life, carried the baby to birth and then here you are now with a handful  of kids running around you and your miraculous, baby-making bod…

When they say “it’s what’s on the inside that counts”…they’re not kidding… a woman was built just the way she is meant to be built and it’s a natural wonder that you have the strength, stamina and will power to take on the mental, emotional and physical challenges that your kids require of you.

You take a lot

The amount of disrespect… the talking back…the fighting…the your face…the kicking, the feeling of being taken for granted… No, unfortunately there isn’t a punchline here where I say, “and that’s me taking the dog out every morning”…

One piece of advice I’ve heard in raising young children is to not take anything personally….

They’re kids, they are going to push your buttons and test their boundaries.

But you deal with a lot, Mom…. you aren’t the fun aunt who can take them for the afternoon and give them back…you aren’t the wise grandmother who has already had her experience of raising little kids and can now know much better… you aren’t the teacher who has 25 other kids and a principal who can create a structure that encourages conformity and less rebellion…

You are the one who helps them in the morning, does their laundry, puts their clothes away, feeds them, cleans up the kitchen, creates a spot for all their toys and has the same conversation day in and out about putting them away… you drive them, clean them, create ways for them to excel, be happy, be inspired… you read books about how to be a better parent to them, how you can help them be kinder to each other, how to help them help themselves…

And you are the one who gets their anger, frustration, sadness and just plain mean words… they argue… they whine and complain… they whine and complain about being bored…

Yes….I love Dads…. I love grandparents and aunts and uncles and neighbors and caregivers… I especially do love my kids’ dad because he is an amazing dad… he puts forth such an effort to be conscious, kind, involved and responsible… He doesn’t expect me to do anything just because I am the mom… (except maybe nurse the baby)… He is the strength when I am weak and vice versa. We parent together and we rely on each others’ intuition and knowledge with every choice we make about our kids… with every word we speak around our kids….

This, however, is a message of love to moms… I see you and I recognize just how much you are giving to your kids…and to the world…. you are blessed beyond words to have the babies you have…they are your greatest gift… I’m just here to say that when a 3-year-old little person yells in your face because they are frustrated about not being able to “fix” their shoe (whatever that means), and then tell you “no” when you tell him to speak to you “nicely”…and people are starring… they must think you don’t discipline your kids at all… and you’re nursing…they must think you can’t handle the kids you already have, why do you have another one….that you’re still nursing…in public…

Everyone said it’d be a blessing, but no one told you how challenging it would be…how trying…how many meltdowns you would have…

I send my love to you, Mom…you are doing a great job.

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