Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This One Is For The Moms

The original, unedited post was published January 10, 2007. I wanted to share this again because lately, I feel like we all need a little encouragement.

Let me give you a peek inside my world.

Before I had a child, I had a much cleaner house. I ate right, at least on occasion, and I sometimes even went for a walk and broke a sweat. Now, most of my sweating is a side effect of the anti-depressant I take or the pre-menopause that I am convinced I have begun. Yes, I am only 36 years old. Since having a child, I have much more fatigue, anxiety, brain fogs, and cellulite and much less fashion sense.

Ain't life just grand?

I would never, ever, in a 100 million years, ever go back to those former days if it meant that I would not be a mother. I absolutely adore my daughter and I am thankful for motherhood. Every night, when I tip toe in her room and look at her sweet face there nestled on her pillow and snuggled against her bunny, I say "thank you" to God above that He allowed me, undeserving me, to be her mama. I kiss my little girl's forehead and smell her sweet breath, thinking on the scent of her baby's breath, and the image of her resting peacefully in her crib. I pause and consider that these moments are fleeting, like a train leaving the station right there before my eyes.

I just wish I could be perfect.

Everyone has room for improvement, but I have room for an extreme makeover. From my organization skills to my culinary choices, the networks could do an entire mini-series on me.

I used to really beat myself up. Some days, I still do, but for the most part, I have decided that God made me the way I am. He certainly wants me to strive to be my best, but He wants me to be my best for Him, not for everyone else, and definitely not for am image that is plastered on TV, magazines and movies.

I've decided that I do have gifts and abilities that are worth sharing. I can remove stains that would make most people run away screaming. I have the insane ability to memorize phone numbers. In spite of the brain fogs, my mind is a steel trap when it comes to mothering memories and entire episodes of Seinfeld.

Go ahead. Quiz me.

I can make a chicken salad that my husband loves, an awesome pan of biscuits without measuring and I can create just about any casserole your heart desires with a vegetable, grated cheese, Hellman's mayonnaise, a can of cream of something soup and a pack of Ritz crackers. Look out, Rachael Ray.

In spite of all of these incredible, somebody-call-Guiness talents, I still feel a little down some days. Perhaps it is because I eat peanut butter from the jar or I forget to keep my eyebrows tweezed, or it's because my laundry appears to reproduce overnight. (Maybe this is a reason we are supposed to keep things separate.)

Yes, I am an average, under dressed, overweight mother of one. I have a lot of room for improvement, but I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, as saggy and acne-ridden that it is. Acne in my thirties. Who would have guessed?

When I am dead and gone and my husband has buried me after following the written instructions for my funeral that I have left for him in a special file in the filing cabinet, including songs and what to wear (for me and for him, yes, I'll still be picking out his tie), I hope my epitaph may read:

"Here lies Melanie. She never climbed Mt. Everest or took part in extreme sports. She never fit into her size 4 jeans again. She had no desire to travel to exotic parts of the world or launch into outer space. Her house was clean, but lived in. Her hair was combed, but her roots were visible. Her waist, well we don't know where it went.

But, her husband remembers her kisses and the smell of her perfume. As a wife, she tried her best to honor him, to support and share his dreams, and to always treat him like the man that he is. She made him lunch, not everyday, but now and then. When she did, she included a note on a napkin or a lipstick kiss. She may not have kept her college figure, but she always dressed and acted like a lady.

Her daughter remembers her hugs and the smell of Noxema on her face when she tip toed in her room to kiss her forehead. She pretended to be asleep sometimes, snuggling her bunny and feeling her mama's loving eyes watching over her. As a mother, Melanie told her daughter about Jesus and manners. She told her and showed her how to give to others. Her daughter can remember the murals on her bedroom walls, the times her mama sent cupcakes to school, went on field trips, and made crafts with the class. She remembers her Mama staying up late at night with her when she was sick, giving her yucky-tasting medicine and singing to her in the darkness.

Here lies, Melanie. She wasn't anything out of the ordinary. She was just a mom, just a wife, but she was special to those who loved her and to those she loved."

I hope you feel special today. You are special to many people around you.

Have an incredible, ordinary day.


Linda said...

Melanie,next week I'm speaking for a group of MOP (mothers of preschoolers) and I'd like to use some of this post in my "talk." If you'll visit my blog today, you'll see why. Please let me know if this is OK.

His Doorkeeper said...

There is no greater job in the world than being a mother and raising a child who loves the Lord and contributes to the world in a way pleasing to Him. Wonderful post!

thediaperdiaries said...

This is so wonderful. Thank you. I may steal your post for my funeral (which I have also planned out in detail for my husband). THis is all I want in life too.

LilyLakeMom said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I needed to hear that!
Love your blog..so glad to have found it!

Daffodil Hill said...

Well said! And yes, you are very special indeed!

Susanne said...

Crying here, Melanie. That was absolutely beautiful!

fuzzytop said...

Melanie - This was beautiful, inspiring, and just made me feel good. Wow!

Tam said...

Wow! The results are in....Beautiful!

Really, this was great! So raw and real. Wonderful...

Janelle said...

I am coming out of hiding to say that I loved this post. I really needed this encouragement today. Life, laundry, dishes, appointments have overtaken my joy. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement.

Sweet Tea & Grits said...

Melanie, I haven't stopped by in a quite a while and look what excellent writing I have missed! I have tears streaming down my face right now. Thanks for sharing your heart and for uplifting my spirits today. I'd love to sit and chat with you one day over a glass of iced tea...