This is my Mother’s Day Post. Yes, it is two days late and possibly far more than two dollars short. But I am the Princess and if I want to blog about Mother’s Day two days after the fact, that’s my prerogative.
So here you have it, my not-anything-like-comprehensive list of the Perks of Mommy-hood (Mommy-hood is different than motherhood. Mommy-hood involves your children when they are small. Once they’re teenagers, I don’t know anything about perks. You’re on your own for that).
1. Someone to blame for your shortcomings. Even if you don’t specifically blame your children, if you’re late people assume it’s because your kids made you late. If you lose something, people assume it’s because your kids were playing “hide Mommy’s keys” and can’t remember where they put them. If you show up for an event in wrinkled clothes people assume that your kids got into your folded laundry and wadded everything up into a ball and you only discovered it as you were dressing. If you’re carrying around 20 extra pounds, it’s “baby weight.” If you look particularly haggard people think you were up all night nursing a sick child or baking 500 cupcakes for the school bake sale. Motherhood has this amazing way of making all our weaknesses look like virtues.
The truth is, I’m late because I was playing Text Twist online and lost track of time. My keys are lost because I lose everything. I’m wrinkled because I never folded the clothes in the first place. My 20 extra pounds are because I eat too much and am lazy. And this haggard look is because I stayed up late reading other people’s blogs and instant messaging people I’ve never met and then I overslept and didn’t have time to put on makeup.
Now I’m not saying that every mother you see who is late, tired, or slightly overweight is just using motherhood as an excuse for their personal issues. I’m just saying that for me, motherhood is an excellent explanation for character flaws that I have had my entire life. I am always amazed how other people are willing to excuse my messy house, my time issues, and my serious lack of organizational abilities with “well, you have young children.” Yes, I do. And I work. And I spend a lot of time that I could be cleaning, organizing, and being on time dinking around. But don’t tell. This is a perk of motherhood that I’m not willing to give up yet.
2. A diversion from your personal flaws. The younger your kids are, the more true this is. Also, if they are particularly cute or precocious that definitely works in your favor. Bad hair day? Put your little girl in her cutest outfit and take her with you to the grocery store. People will ignore you and pay attention to her. Not feeling friendly? Take your talkative child with you to the doctor’s office and you won’t have to carry on a single conversation. Nothing cute to wear? Put your little man in his cutest little boy outfit complete with little baseball cap and cutie patootie sneakers and no one will be looking at how ugly or ill-fitting your clothes are. Especially if he’s smiley. The older and less adorable your children are the less true this becomes, so take full advantage of it while they are babies and toddlers.
3. An excuse to leave if the preacher is boring. Oops, time to nurse. Uh-oh, the little guy just can’t sit still through this long of a sermon. Oh, dear, junior seems to have a smelly diaper. Whoa! It’s time to go make sure the little princess went potty! Hmmm . . . is that my child screaming in the nursery? I’d better go check. The possibilities are endless. Just don’t use them too often or people will start to suspect.
4. Someone to go fetch. My children love to bring me things. This fact probably explains the wideness of my bum, but I totally take advantage of it. I send them after kleenex, my shoes, drinks of water, blankets, my purse, whatever I need as long as it isn’t breakable. I mean, why go get something when you have to small people who think it is the greatest fun thing in the world to run upstairs and get whatever and bring it down to me? Pretty soon I’m going to teach them how to give me a foot massage and a pedicure, too. Hey, I deserve it. Right? I am the princess after all.
5. Never-ending entertainment. My kids make me laugh all the time. They are two of the funniest people I know. Their hilarious quotes, amazing artwork, and infectious laughter are one of the best perks of motherhood.
6. A reason to act like a lunatic. Seriously. If you saw someone pushing their grocery cart through the baking needs aisle as fast as they could go and then suddenly stopping the cart and saying “SCREEEEEEECH” and then breaking into a rousing rendition of “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” you’d probably back slowly away from the pudding boxes and hide in frozen foods until security came and led the wacko away. Unless said wacko had two small children buckled cozily into the car-thing at the front of the cart. Because then you would think “well, she’s crazy but at least her kids aren’t screaming, crying, or running around the store throwing goat cheese into other people’s shopping carts.” Now, I realize that this perk is perhaps not as exciting for those of you who are by nature quiet, retiring, or “normal” people. For me, however, this is a wonderful thing. Because honestly I regularly struggle with a desire to skip through shopping malls humming to myself. My kids help me look slightly less weird when I do so.
And anyway, think how much fun I’ll have with this when they’re teenagers. Bwuahahaha.
7. An endless supply of dandelions. They are everywhere, I tell you, in various stages of dandelion death. On the counter, right inside the back door, on the kids’ dressers. In cups of water, just lying on the table. Inside my shoes. When the kids aren’t looking I throw the dead ones away, knowing that they will be replaced very shortly. And yes, sometimes it gets a little irritating to find dandelions in and on and around every surface in my home. But at what other point in your life do you have children joyfully bringing you flowers just because they love you? Dandelions are magic to my kids, and bringing them into the house is their way of sharing that magic with me. I know that soon enough they will stop giving me dandelions and start giving me dirty looks instead. For now, though, every dandelion is a little bit of sunshine shared with me because someone loves me. It doesn’t get better than that.
8. Lots of things that make you cry if you think too much about them. I don’t want today’s blog to be too sappy, but I can’t write about the perks of motherhood without mentioning the hugs and kisses, the “I love yous,” the deepened faith in God’s love and provision, the bigger heart that comes from loving these little people so much. Motherhood is a gift that I do not deserve. God trusted these little boys to my care, and every day He gives me everything I need and so much more than that to help me in my task. What a blessing to be a mom.