...that when you become a mother...
...you no longer have "sick days." Instead, you have "my-head-feels-like-it's-going-to-explode-and-if-I-move-around-too-much-I'm-nauseous-but-I-still-have-a-house-to-run-and-children-to-take-care-of days." No more lying around on the couch, watching reruns of your guilty pleasure t.v. shows, and surfing the net until your fingers fall off.
...nothing is about you. Even if it's your birthday. And - let's say - you go out for a family dinner to celebrate - perhaps, The Gristmill in Gruene. And - 20 minutes after being seated - just before you sink your teeth into a delectable chicken fried steak with beautiful white gravy and garlic mashed potatoes - your 16-month-old decides he's had enough. He yells at the top of his lungs like you just twisted is tiny, chubby toes in a vise. The twentysomethings who look like they stepped out of the television during an episode of The Hills sitting behind you bore holes into the back of your head with their eyes until you've "handled the situation." One of them even laughs when your husband hits his head on a rain gutter as he frantically pulls your son out of his highchair. (I have to admit, if it hadn't been under those stressful circumstances, we all would have probably laughed - BUT, it was NOT the right time. And - you're probably wondering how on earth your husband could hit his head on a rain gutter??? Just imagine he's 6'5"). So much for a relaxing evening!
...you no longer buy clothes for yourself. The kids' clothes are just too darn cute! And - you don't have to worry about your hips looking too big or your arms too flabby when they try them on - if they even need to try them on. So instead of coming home from a "birthday shopping trip" with a car full of bags from grownup stores, you come home with Gymboree, The Children's Place and Kids' Gap bags.
...you are always on poop patrol. When you initially think of diapers, you think of the tiny almost odorless diapers your sweet infant delivers a few times a day during the first few months of his or her life. For some reason, we never continue the line of thinking past the milk-only stage. We simply assume all will be well. Not so, my friend. There is nothing quite like pulling off the interstate (in the parking lot of a warehouse, mind you) after a +4 hour car trip to discover your son has blown out his diaper and has creamed his carseat. However, this is not the first (or even second) time he's had a dirty diaper during the car trip - so you're down to ONE baby wipe. This is when you and your husband get creative. Let's see - we've got napkins from Wendy's, Starbucks and Chick-fil-a, a bottle of water and baby shampoo - I believe we can make this work! You hose your child down in the parking lot and pray he doesn't catch a cold in the blustery wind.
Seriously, though, motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live out the desire to decrease and the Lord to increase in us. It sets the stage to "in humility, count others as more significant than (ourselves)...to look not only to (our) interests but also to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3 - 4) - to become servants just as Jesus came to serve us. Even when I don't get the time I believe I "deserve" or an adequate "break" from the day in and day out of motherhood, I pray the Lord reminds me that to serve is truly better than to be served.
I do want to thank my husband for serving our family. I don't want to overlook his enormous contribution to my being able to be the best wife and mother I can be. He has been there to feed children, wipe bottoms and entertain toddlers while I took a nap, recovered from a cold or had a day to myself. Thanks, sweetie. Praise God for husbands!