Written by Lesa Crowell
“Beloved wife and mother.”
Walk through a cemetery and nine times out of 10 that’s what you will see on the tombstones… “Beloved wife and mother.” I just can’t get over it. Is that all we get at the end? Is that all that can be chiseled on a piece of granite?
If the only time I am called “beloved” is when I am dead and in the grave, then I really did not do my job very well, did I?
Also, what about the rest of my life that happened prior to becoming beloved wife and mother? Most women don’t like to think about that do they? They want their precious babies to think they were plucked fresh from the cabbage patch ala instant mommy with no past life — Mom without the purple hair, tattoos, and keg parties.
And yes, purple was a good shade for me; no, I don’t have any tattoos. The keg parties have been replaced with charity and golf events — even though the same people are in attendance.
I love being a mom. It has completely changed my life, as it should. But, I see so many women lose their identity when they become mothers. They give in to this “June Cleaver image” of motherhood.
They buy the mom clothes, sport the mom hair and wear shirts that identify themselves to the world as “so-and-so’s” mom to every sporting event their child is involved in. Their children are perfect, do no wrong and are pushed to the point of mental breakdowns because God forbid if they fall short. I call this type of mom the “perfect mom.” We all know women like her.
We also know “overprotective” mom. I wrote about her during football season, and we saw what happened at the University of Arkansas — the havoc overprotective mom can inflict upon an athletic program.
How about “crazy” mom? She is between overprotective and a protective order. Do not mess with this woman’s offspring; teachers and coaches love this mama. She is the person who sounds the alarm when things are not going according to her way of thinking.
At the far end of the spectrum of motherhood is the “Prozac” mom. This woman is so self-medicated and self-absorbed that short of her house being on fire, nothing is going to ruffle her feathers or interrupt her pursuit of escape from her children, life and all responsibility.
Which brings me to the next type of mom we all know — the “schedule” mom. She and her children live by a never-ending parade of activities, lessons and sporting events. Although she complains to everyone how hectic her life is, this mom would not know what to do with a day off, nor would she want one, because that would involve actually spending time with her children.
I feel sorry for “schedule” mom and “perfect” mom because they miss out on just being mom. They miss out because living life is not in their life plan. They miss out on knowing their children, knowing their children’s friends or being available to their kids to just hang out and talk. It is amazing what your kids and their friends will tell you if you just listen.
What is amazing are the awesome kids you meet through your children. Our sons Chace and Zac have a very close group of friends.
I even joke with Chace’s best friend, Dillon Young, calling him MOC — My Other Child.
Dillon has been part of our family since he was four. Chace and Dillon played soccer together. Back then I called Chace and Dillon “Chaos” and “Destruction” because they could get into a lot of mischief. They still get into a lot of mischief. Just two weeks ago they both got suspended from school — Chace for fighting and Dillon for filming the fight with his camera phone as evidence that Chace did not start the fight.
I guess 36 holes of golf was a good punishment; it was pretty windy those two days.
Chace and Dillon have survived a mountain lion encounter and a joy ride around Wal-Mart’s parking lot when they were 12. This scared me more than the mountain lion encounter, but Dillon, always sticking up for his friend said, “Don’t be mad Miss Lesa. We had our seatbelts on.”
I was speechless, then all I could do was laugh. They did not hit anyone or anything (Thank God!!) and I figure if you can handle a Wal-Mart parking lot, then you can drive just about anywhere.
Motherhood is a lifelong journey to be enjoyed, not scheduled, perfected or medicated. Motherhood is not a competition, but there is a prize. That prize is raising great kids.
Knowing that, when your children look back at their childhood, it is not going to be from a therapist’s couch. Knowing that, your children, in turn, are going to be good parents.
Knowing that, your children called you “beloved” when it really mattered.
Be the ‘Beloved Mom’ Now
Written by Lesa Crowell