Oh Mama!

19 Oct

I value wellness, nutrition, and a healthy life style and love to read articles relating to these topics.   Wellness relates to the whole person, mind, body and soul.  We need to keep our mind sharp by reading and challenging our brain.  We keep our body in tip top shape by eating well and keeping active.  And we keep our soul in good shape with faith, relationships, humility and gratitude.  Lifestyle combines a balance of these core wellness values.  It is important to stay healthy inside and out.

I have read many conflicting articles about children, parenthood, marriage, and how these relationships relate to wellness via a “happiness meter” if you will.  Some articles tout their supporting documentation saying that married people are more satisfied with life than single people.  Whatever that means.  Then there are the folks that state parenthood increases stress and shortens life span, so if you want a long happy life, don’t have children.  I say phooey to that!  Stress in motherhood?  You bet!  Loads of it.  I do not deny that.  But love and happiness, for me at least, has grown exponentially with becoming a mother.

Some folks swear being childless is the way to go.  And for them, I am sure it is.  But you certainly can’t impose those feelings and life experiences on everybody.  And who established this so called measure of life perfection and satisfaction?  I look at these articles and the silly happiness meters and say bull hockey (or as my high school algebra teacher would say Bull Roar)!  Life is what you make of it!

Being the youngest of five children, I was an aunt long before I ever considered being a mother.  And those children certainly seemed to add to every one’s happiness in my family.  I did not see the ol’ happiness meter tanking as my family filled up with the next generation.  As for myself, my “happiness meter” is off the charts since becoming a mother!  And the happiness continues every day.  Could this really be shortening my life span?

I walked into a community dedication service last night.  My teenaged daughter was on the committee putting this magnificent program together.  She wanted me to come to the service that she had worked so hard on.  And of course I went.  After all, how could I turn down a reserved seat at a sold out event that my smart beautiful daughter had a hand in creating?  I entered the building where the service was taking place.  My daughter met me at the door with her big bright smile and grabbed my hand.  I planted a big fat lipstick kiss on her cheek, and she didn’t even get mad!  She led me through the crowd, up to the front, and plopped me in my seat.

My daughter had chosen a seat for me where I was surrounded by friends.  Not just my friends, but our friends.  Young and old alike.  Perfect!  She then went about the rest of her duties, making certain that the seat to my right was reserved for her.  When the service began, she took her place next to me.  And the community event was a success.  She said that she was glad that, even though there was a lot of hard work involved,  she participated in planning the event.   My daughter said that she learned quite a bit in the process, including some new time management skills.  But I learned even more!

I learned, from listening to my heart, how much I love being a mother.  How there is no feeling in the world like seeing your children do something good.  Pride swells up, even from just looking at my child.  I learned that my high school aged daughter is amazingly capable of handling herself in the community.  I learned that I made the right decision for myself in becoming a mother.  And with being in the thick of things with the hard work of raising my three children, I am learning to appreciate my own mother more every day.  Even as an adult, I am blessed to have my mom one phone call away to comfort me, listen to me, encourage me, and love me unconditionally.  Have I contributed to her shortened life span?  Made her “happiness meter” falter?  Yikes..what a morbid thought.  But she is in her 70’s and been married for 55 plus years, so she would probably say her meter is just fine.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.  And certainly there are many great women that choose not to have children and make incredible contributions to society as well as many great mothers that do the same.  Motherhood. like faith, is an intensely personal decision.  The happiness of becoming a mother also comes tremendous heart break as well.   A part of your heart no longer belongs to you, and someone else controls it.  Your child.  But sometimes its exciting lose control….

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