I'm not an expert, actually I'm the exact opposite of what you would call an expert. I have no college training, no degrees printed on expensive velum paper, and no fancy letters behind my name. I'm actually a fairly simple person. I really don't have need for much, although without a full fabric stash I think I would be lost. I never really coveted a high paying job or higher education, in fact I saw it as an utter waste of my time. No, my life goals and dreams really were to do something very, very different from the every day and norm. Really all I ever wanted out of life was to have a family.
Of course with that family vision I always pictured a little town where the neighbors talked to each other (and you weren't worried they were serial killers or drug addicts); a quiet neighborhood where my kids would play outside with the other kids, while I sat on my porch with my friends and drank sweet tea while talking about the unimportant news of the day or how Johnny had just gotten his first tooth. I pictured a white picket fence, with 2 medium sized dogs running around the yard, and 2 cats sitting proudly in the window. I envisioned having 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys, in a pattern, 1 boy, 1 girl, 1 boy, 1 girl. In my fantasy life I saw my husband driving up to our two story house, and pulling into the garage, rushing into the kitchen as I finished putting dinner on the table and calling the kids in to wash their hands. Each night after dinner having the kids wash the dishes and put them away, bathing everyone and putting them to bed, all in time to spend some much needed time with my husband. Ok so as a kid I watched WAYYYYY too much TV.
So my life didn't exactly turn out as my fantasy played out. Somehow I missed the part where the kids were up all night screaming, the preteen came home weepy, everyone was grumpy, and somehow I am the one up handling it all. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the pamphlet. I don't remember there being fine print on my fantasy that called my attention to the endless days of running from 1 place to another, only to have to run back, the cleaning, dear LORD the cleaning. The nights of vomiting children, sick husbands, and yes sick ME while still caring for everyone else. No one mentioned the insomnia that would settle in due to the worry and praying over my children. I'm pretty sure I would have remembered someone mentioning the burnt dinners, the screaming and fighting and the bickering that would in sue if I had more than 1 child. The children that will only sleep ON you, who cares if they are like 10 million degrees, I'm pretty sure they didn't ask if I was comfortable, and I'm fairly confident they don't really care.
Somehow growing up in a large family, I think I knew all this, and repressed the memories, because somehow it ended up being my dream to have a family.
Now I've read articles that talk about what a mother is worth and if you paid her for all her different hats and job titles she'd be a millionaire. I've also read the articles about finding a job that you are truely happy in; one you would gladly do for free. I'm pretty sure mother's cover this. It's a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, 365 days a year job and yes I have NOT had any PAID vacation this year, since my LAST vacation involved my TAKING the kids with ME while my HUSBAND stayed home, ALONE.
So I'm trying to think here, but I'm pretty sure no one thanked me today for the millions of little things I did. I'm actually positive in the hospital after spitting out my 6# and 7# babies, respectivly, that neither of them looked up and thanked me, and I can promise my husband didn't, for him it was a fairly traumatizing ordeal. Last I checked I didn't get thanked for being the chauffeur, cook, teacher (yes we homeschool), business instructor, sandman, nurse, and all that other stuff I did and can't think of a job title for.
So here we sit. 3:30 in the morning and I'm awake, while the rest of the house sleeps. Why? Well of course because I have a screaming child that needs me, so I will do everything in my power to be here when he wakes up screaming in the next 30 mins again and needs to be comforted. But if I didn't do it who would? Who would raise the next generation of doctors, lawyers, caregivers, mothers, fathers, preachers, missionaries? If mothers weren't there to pray for scraped knees, and mend broken hearts, whose shoulders would that fall on? If mothers weren't the ones shuttling the kids to riding lessons, birthday parties, events, gatherings, church and more, who would? If it were not for mothers loving their children unconditionally in every action and every deed good or bad, who would? Without mothers who would teach our children to care for the sick? To help the poor, to lend a hand to the broken?
And you know what, in all that, I wouldn't change a single day, not 1 hour, or even a minute. I wouldn't have done anything different. If you'd given me the disclaimers to start with, my dream would have been to have a family. And I must say if we are going to keep score based on if we accomplished our dreams, I'm definately in the lead.
It's a rather thankless job, no one will come patting you on the back for a job well done when you've been up all night, but really someone has to bare the children.