I have been working at the same job for 20 years, with never a day off. Never a night off for that matter! My experience includes nursing, maid services, psychiatrist, chauffeur, mediator, photographer, healer of broken hearts, advisor, ATM machine and teacher. In other words, I am a mom.

Nothing changes you like becoming a mom. I remember when I told Dan we had a baby on the way, and I remember thinking it would be no big deal because I had done a lot of babysitting, I had years of experience already! At the ripe old age of 22 I became a mom and realized I knew nothing! Brian was quick to teach me however, and I learned what mattered and what didn't. The bottle isn't warmed up? No problem, he'll drink it cold. The pacifier fell on the floor? No problem, wipe it off and stick it back in. The blankets never stay on at night? No problem, put him in a blanket sleeper and turn up the heat a little. Little things turn into nothing when you have a baby, and the more babies you have the more relaxed you get. By the time Kayla came along she was lucky I didn't let her raise herself :-)

While you may learn that little things don't matter, you also learn that being a mom is the single hardest job you will ever do. You will spend hours feeding, changing diapers, potty-training, singing the ABC song, watching cartoons and Sesame Street, tying shoes and picking up toys...and that is just before they are old enough to go to school. When school starts you suddenly become the chauffeur, driving them to all the after-school activities, driving to all the concerts and shows. You begin to wonder if you live at home or at the school. Then, before you know it, they are graduating high school and moving out to college. Where did the time go?

Through the years you go from being the mommy who can heal the boo-boos with a kiss to the mom who makes cupcakes for the birthday celebrations at school to the mother who cheers at the ball games and school plays. Over all these years you also watch your child go from the little one who loves all their classmates to the middle schooler who loves their best friends and hates the opposite sex to the high schooler who hangs with the friends but has someone special to love...and it isn't you anymore. No more do you hear what happened at school, there are friends for that. No more do you hear about who your child likes this week, that is private and not for mom to know. If you are lucky you will get a tidbit here and there, or you can pry some information from a sibling, but by the time your kids are high school age they have taken secrecy to a new level...and you are out of the loop. But, this is exactly how we want to raise our kids..they have to able to be independent and not rely on their parents. We raise them that way, but that doesn't make it any easier when it happens.

I was blessed to have three beautiful, talented, intelligent children. I am almost done raising all of them, but I will never completely be done with their lives. Someday I hope to have three more children to love...a daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law...but that is a few years down the road. I even hope to someday expand to a whole other generation...grandkids. I think I will make a super grandma...spoil them rotten and send them home! But, even if I end up with only my three kids I will be happy...I have the best job in the world and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

date May 7, 2009

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