"Mom! The Monsters!" was the pick for our bedtime story last night. Make sure you read that right. It is not Mom -- The Monster. Even though we are monsters sometimes!
The story opens with the main character describing his fears: "Once upon a time, I was very, very afraid at night. I was afraid because I thought they were hiding in the dark. Hairy monsters with sharp teeth who smelled like dirty socks."
The character is afraid of the dark and the monsters that are hiding in his room. Throughout the story, his mom is vacuuming up the monsters (dust bunnies), washing and ironing the ghosts (towels and sheets), sweeping the ogres away (breadcrumbs), and tidying up the witches (closet).
The boy ends the story by talking about how tough his mom is. "That's why I'm not scared of anything now. Monsters, ghosts, witches, and ogres don't come to my bedroom anymore: they are too afraid! Because they know that their biggest nightmare lives in my house... my mom!"
After I finished reading the story, my son says to me "no matter how busy moms are, they sure are good at taking care of stuff." His take-away was that moms just make it happen, no matter what.
It got me thinking about something that my daughter said to me last week after a long day of work.
When I got home, I could hardly wait to take off my high-heel boots. As I tugged my sweaty, swollen feet out, I must have sighed really loud. My daughter walked over to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and asked "Is being a mom hard, It seems like you do so much."
I found myself laughing because that is not why I was sighing. Not this time.
I can distinctly remember the moment I decided to stop sighing every time I felt like I had to do something. Every time I told myself that I am the only one working this hard.
The moment I decided to kick that mom out of my head.
Standing in the kitchen telling myself that once again I do everything, I decided to look up. Across the room my family was building Legos. I found myself watching them, studying their every move. For ten minutes, I stood there listening to their giggles. I found myself mesmerized by my sons wild narration of the battle they were having with little men.
In that moment, I found myself being so thankful for all of the good things in my life. I finally felt like I could let go of the resentment I had about doing it all.
I was able to recognize that my husband does do a lot. It just looks different than what I do.
Remind myself that I chose to become a mom and embrace all that comes with that title.
Open my eyes and really see how lucky I am.
Smile, as I tell myself 'I kind of like this mom gig.'
What I ended up telling my daughter is that yes, there are days when it is hard. On those days, I find myself being so thankful for what my mom taught me about patience, giving, and selflessness.
I actually like the hard days.
I find myself looking forward to the challenge and growth. The hard ones teach me about myself, about being a better mom, and a better human being.
The easy days, well they are just a bonus!
So here's to all you fearless kick butt moms out there that vacuum up the monsters, wash and iron the ghosts, tidy up the witches and sweep away the ogres. Keep taking care of stuff and being the biggest nightmare in the house, because our kids are counting on it!