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Being a mom is hard work. The hours are long. The duties are many. The pay is not that great but the benefits are beyond price. I love my job. It is my vocation to which I am ideally suited. There is really nothing I would rather do. Really, I mean that. After hearing that glowing review of life as a stay home mom, you would think I just contentedly cruise through life in my SUV aka 'mommy-mobile' bestowing knowing, happy smiles upon all of the other fulfilled and joyful mommies as we pass one another in the car rider lines and on our way to various sports practices and games. Yeah, well...think again.

My life is anything but glamorous. There are days when I am completely consumed with the needs of others and forget to brush my own hair before leaving the house. My calendar is full and I allow myself to become over-extended and over-committed. I tend to deprive myself of sleep and over-indulge myself with food. It should really be the other way around, wouldn't you agree?  I am plagued with an affliction my friend Carrie refers to as 'housecleaning ADD' which means that I can't clean one room without going somewhere else in the house to put something away and becoming distracted in that room and then repeating the process until I have wasted a big chunk of valuable time. Heck, while I'm being honest here, I might as well tell you that I secretly hate doing housework of every kind. Especially laundry. Problem is, I also can't stand a messy house, so I have to do it anyway. If it were up to me, I would employ a daily housekeeper that just did everything so I could be up at the school volunteering or be on my computer blogging or out running errands or whatever. Unfortunately, it is not up to me. I can't see hubby footing the bill for that. He loves me but there are limits.

Weekends can be pretty busy around here and it's going to be even more crazy in a few weeks when the boys start their football games. I will be doing what I call 'the gopher routine' where I have to keep popping up in various places at various times to be sure I can be there to support all of them. By the grace of God I will manage...I always do but it isn't easy and there will be tears (mine or theirs) because at some point I will inevitably fall short of someone's expectations and will disappoint them by not being there. Occupational hazard, I guess.

Knowing what is around the corner in the days to come makes the unexpected gift of this past Saturday even more of a blessing. I spent the day at the football field with my 7 year old daughter who is a mini-pom cheerleader for the TIFI football league. She LOVES cheerleading and I love watching her out there. We were having so much fun that I declared the rest of the day 'Mama and Mattie' day. We came home and got all dressed up, put on our high heels and went out to dinner at our favorite mexican food restaurant. As we were finishing dinner and having ice cream I looked across the table at her and just felt my heart swell. This beautiful miracle, my daughter, is such a precious little girl. She makes me so proud and in that moment I was overwhelmed with love and didn't want our special time together to come to an end just yet.

My Mattie girl at Iguana Joe's
for Girl's Night Out

And then I had an idea. It was almost sunset. I said "Mattie are you up for an adventure?" Eyes shining mischievously, she said "Yes, let's do it...where are we going?" I told her she would have to wait and see. As we drove along, she was excitedly peppering me with questions and guesses about where we were going. As we pulled into the big new city park she said "Mama, are you crazy? We can't play on the playground, we're in dresses and high heels!" My response? "Well I guess we'll just have to go barefoot, won't we?" Giggling, shoes in hand, we raced barefoot up the hill to the playground. We ran over the bridge across the stream holding hands. We skipped down the sidewalk (yes, you heard me right...I skipped!) singing the theme song to Barbie's Island Princess movie (which neither of us knew the real words to so we made up funny ones of our own) and we gave each other a private concert under the emerging stars as we danced together in the amphitheater. God masterfully painted the twilight sky with an amazing palette of lavender, orange and purple and we watched in wonder as it reflected off of the shimmering lake. We knew He had created this sunset especially for us. Mattie and I walked out onto the pier, bowed our heads, held hands and said a heartfelt prayer to God for our amazing day together and for the gift of each other. As we walked back to the car, the wind was blowing spray from the fountain and we took turns with our arms open wide

Princess Matelaine of Kingsbury
4am at our Party in honor of
The Royal Wedding of William and Kate

embracing the mist on the breeze and soaking up the the feeling of the night. It was one of those moments in life, captured forever in my heart, that was absolutely perfect in every way.

Heaven on earth is skipping barefoot in the park with my princess and countless other little adventures that are made merely from the magical elements of my precious children, a moment in time and a little imagination.

Yes, being a mom is hard work. The hours are long. The duties are many. The pay is not that great but the benefits are beyond price. I love my job.



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