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Mother Love

Kathryn Thompson

I know I love my kids but there are weeks when motherhood is more of a struggle than others and it’s those times that true mother love at the gut level kicks in and takes over.

Dan’s been working late nights and weekends lately.  My beloved Swagger Wagon’s been in and out of the shop.  Wanda has a wicked ear infection that won’t go away and the antibiotics are wreaking havoc on her system leading to major diaper blowouts and discomfort.  She’s also on a hunger strike and has a nose that never stops running.  This week she learned to pull herself to standing so I’ve had to move all important items to higher ground.

My house could be cleaner but as soon as I mop, the floor gets splattered with goo.  As soon as I clean the bathrooms, someone USES them.  As soon as I have the carpets cleaned – TACO VOMIT! 

I’ve launched into a new plan for healthy living, totally not a diet except that it is, and I’m fighting cravings all the time, which sets me on edge and makes me more easily crank-tastic.  I’m just a bit worn out.

None of these struggles are epic. I’ve had and seen much worse in the lives of my friends and family but it’s just been sort of a nagging, building stress and I’ll be happy to get things back to normal-ish sometime soon.

So I’ve been looking for signs of things I’m doing right, things that let me know I’m still showing love to my children.

Love is a dishwasher full of My Little Ponies.  When I found this one covered in shmutz after a Wanda attack, my first instinct was to throw it out.  But I ended up sterilizing it while cooking some salmon for dinner.  The pony won’t be having any babies but at least she’s alive and clean.

A couple of nights ago I had a hard time getting the kids to bed.  Wanda was in pain and Laylee and Magoo were going slow because slow is fun.  We had activities stacked on top of doctors’ appointments stacked on top of activities and we didn’t end up getting them down until after 9:30.  My goal is to go to bed myself by 10:00pm and all day I’d been hoping to find some time to work on my novel.

As I kissed them goodnight and headed out of the room, Laylee whispered loudly, “MOM!  Will you please cuddle me?!”

Love is remembering that your kids don’t stay little forever and choosing them over other projects.  We had a nice snuggle and I didn’t work on my book and it’s okay.

Love is wiping the boogers even though you know they’ll re-grow immediately.  Love is being willing to sacrifice the life of trees for the comfort of your baby’s upper lip.

Love means telling them how great they look in their dress-up clothes while trying not to think about how trashed the upper level of your house currently looks due to their shenanigans. 

Love is one more diaper, two more hugs, letting them work out a fight when all you want to do is intervene and banish them to the dungeon.  Love is growing up enough to put your children first, especially when it’s difficult. 

Love is going easy on yourself when you don’t measure up because loving their mother may be one of the best ways to love your children.

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