So begins a post over at the blog called « Her Bad Mother ». It is a very good blog, probably a great one, featuring some masterful writing. It’s funny, honest and powerful. So, it is with amazement that I find myself participating in the « 80 clicks project » as a sort of featured co-blogger.
Here’s a bit more from the original post:
« Here's how it's going to work: this post that you're reading? Is the departure lounge. I'm going to link to a couple of other mom bloggers here in Canada, and to a couple of mom bloggers from other countries around the world, and they'll write their posts, sharing 5 things that they love (or maybe what they don't so much love - this playground doesn't force conformity) about being a mom, and then they'll tag a few more bloggers from their own country and from other countries, and so on. And you're more than welcome to join: just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don't know any; google any country name and 'mom' in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you've tagged them!) - and link back here and leave a comment and we'll add you to the 'itinerary,' which David will compile and post and update as the tour proceeds. »
So, here I am, one of the lucky « couple of mom bloggers from other countries».
What do I love about being a mom? If someone would have given me this writing assignment 11 years ago, when I had a four year old, a two year old , newborn twins and a husband constantly far from home, working in Africa, I would have had a very different list. I was exhausted, sleep-deprived and mostly isolated from adult company. But I still, somehow, adored being a mom. I thought breastfeeding was fun. I loved bathing the babies and dressing them up in tiny clothes. I loved singing to them, talking to them, playing with them and just sitting around watching them sleep.
I really did love everything about it. I was tired, but euphoric.
The only time I ever came close to an "I can‘t do this" moment was when my husband announced we would all be moving to Burkina Faso. Could I be a mom in one of the poorest countries in the world? Could I keep my children healthy and safe? Was this the right thing to do? These were terrible worries and they made my sense of responsibility four these four small lives seem like a huge burden, possibly beyond my capacity to competently manage.
But, of course, it wasn’t.
We all lived and thrived in Ouagadougou. My little ones grew from babies into children. And I learned that there’s more to love about being a mom than I ever imagined.
I’ve mixed the slightly serious in with the very silly, but there you go. Just because it’s silly doesn’t mean it’s not true…
What I love about being a mom:
5. I love that it comes with a title. Some people get called « Mr. President », some go by « Your Majesty ». Good for them.
But me? I’m « Mom ».
When my four tumble through the door after a long day at school, all yelling for Mom to come down out of her « writing garret » and hear about their adventures, my heart leaps. Really.
It’s a title I wear with pride. And yes, it’s one I share with many, many women all over the globe, but that only makes me love it all the more.
4. It’s the best way to meet people. When I first moved to France, friends warned me that the people in remote French mountain villages were invariably suspicious and unfriendly. Slow to warm up, to put it kindly. But all it took was a couple of walks up and down the lane, pushing my baby daughter in her stroller. Fellow moms came pouring out to arrange play dates. Elderly couples came out to coo, admire and invite us in for tea.
The same thing happened when we moved to Burkina Faso. I had just arrived and wanted to find friends, so I herded my four little ones outside and went for a walk. That was all it took. Within minutes, we had new pals galore.
Being a mom means that I have instant icebreakers at my fingertips.
Yes, children are the key to international friendship and understanding.
But we all knew that already, right?
3. There’s always someone to clean out the litter box. Someone who is not me.
2. I love that I can share everything that I love with my kids. Reading "The Hobbit" and "The BFG" to them, watching all the Star Trek movies with them, camping with them, teaching them to crochet, playing "Risk" with them, singing with them, travelling all over the world with them, cooking with them...the list is nearly endless, but it brings me great joy to say to my children: "Hey! I love this. I bet you will, too!" and then embark on another adventure of learning with them.
1. I love that I get to know and be around the four most amazing people I have ever met. I got to hold them as babies, chase them around as toddlers, and shepherd them through the crazy elementary school years. And now I get to listen to their assorted ideas, problems and clever (mostly) jokes, help them with mind-bending home work and watch them all turn into delightful teenagers. Eventually, with any luck, I’ll see them turn into caring and capable adults. This is, without a doubt, absolutely the best thing I could possibly be doing with my life.