When my twins, now 9, were in kindergarten playing t-ball, another mom asks me, “Whose Mom are you?”
“I am Wesley and Micki’s Mom,” I answer, and return the question, “Which little guy is yours?”
Being a Mom is our identity. It is who we are. It is our job.
And it is the most important, most enchanting, sweetest, all encompassing job title we will ever hold.
When our youngest child, now 3, began uttering “Mam-ma” for the first time, it was like the angels were speaking to me.
Mama to a child means warmth, protection, nurturing, beauty, safety. It is everything good and pure and simple in the world to our child.
Being a parent is the single most important job we’ll have. If my future books are not best-sellers, or the classes I teach don’t fill, or the articles I write end up in the recycling bin, I’ll be sad, but I will recover and try other things.
But who I am as Mom matters for a lifetime.
I remember my older son, now 15, introducing me to one of his new friends in middle school.
“This is My Mom,” he said pointing shyly to me and glancing at his pal. I needed no other introduction but, “My Mom.”
As the mom, we are our children’s home front. Their Homebase. I think of the game children play called, “Tag,” where there’s a home base, a place where they cannot be tagged, the place where they are free to relax for a moment.
Moms are Homebase to their kids.
When someone asks stay-at-home Moms what they do for a job, they should never answer, “I don’t work, I’m just a stay-home Mom.” Nor should they qualify what they do by adding, “I used to be a teacher,” or “I was a lawyer.”
“I’m a Mom” is all that is needed. Whatever job Moms had before, they probably still do many of those things, there’s just no paycheck right now.
A mother’s paycheck comes 30 years later when people ask her children, “What was your Mom like?” and they answer:
“My Mom was easy to talk with.”
“Mom sacrificed for me.”
“Mama made the best crepes on Saturday mornings.”
“My Mom attended all my band concerts.”
“Mom insisted I excel in school.”
“Mom taught me values.”
“Mama read to me.”
“And prayed with me.”
“My Mom was there for me.”
In the mean time, Moms get bonuses along the way.
Like when I recently returned home from a Mom’s night away, the sweet sound of pitter-pattering feet racing towards me.
It was 3-year-old Augustin folding frantically into my open arms, his deep brown eyes piercing my soul, as he exclaimed in his high-pitched voice my favorite word in the whole wide world:
That is paycheck enough for me right now.
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