I must hear it said a good 80 times a day.  “Mama”, “Hey Mom”, and “Mommy!” are all derivatives of it.

What should we do today, Mom?
I’m thirsty, Mom.
Hey Mom, I need help!
Mom, can you wipe my bottom?
Mom, watch me do tricks on the trampoline!
Mom, can I squirt you with water?
Mom! She said she didn’t like me!
Mom, I’m bleeding!
Mommy, Savanna’s on top of the table!
Can we have pizza for dinner, Mom?
Can we watch something, Mom?
Mama, the baby’s crying!
Can you tickle me, Mama?
I want to sleep in your bed, Mommy.

These are just a few that I can remember from today’s log.  But who’s keeping track.  They sure aren’t.  They freely come to me with needs, wants, demands, tattles, tears, and giggles.  And then there are the times when they feed off the requests of one another.  Do your kids do this?   One asks for a drink, and then suddenly they all start asking for one.  I get into negotiating now, just to cut my work load in half.  I whisper, “Can you drink it in the kitchen and hide it from  your sisters?”  Pathetic, I know. 

There are times when I hear, “Hey mom!”, that I cringe and roll my eyes.  “Hey what?!”, I fire back.  I can’t handle one more request piled on me.   They yell mom, but I hear, “Excuse me adult person who gave birth to me: I am going to suck the life out of you and have you serve me until you’re blue in the face and can’t breath anymore.”  But they sum it up nicely with just one word: mom.

Then there are the times when I gladly say yes to my 3 year old’s request to sleep with mommy, and I am given the gift of giggling together in my bed and holding her close to the womb where she lived with me for 9 months.  I try to imagine what it will be like when she is 18 and wonder if we will lay laughing with each other then.  Her blue eyes will be the same, but those sweet chubby cheeks will be gone.  There will come a day when the 80 times will dwindle to 50, then to 30, then 10, and then none at all.  Our children will be all grown up and out from these four walls, and it will be heard only in my memories.  They called me mom.

So I rewind from when I am 60 years old, and come back to this present moment where they call me mom, every other minute.

They call me mom...80 times a day

Here are the calling voices: a 7 year old boy and what feels like, quintuplet girls.  Our daughters are 5, 4, 3, 2 and a 6 month old.  Albeit the 6 month old isn’t saying much of anything yet, but it’s amazing how her cries sound a lot like, “Mommy!  You need to stop what you are doing – be it sleeping peacefully, enjoying the dinner you just sat down to eat, or stepping into the shower – and come and lay your life down for me, again.”  

Being a mom is hands down, no contest, the hardest thing I have ever done, and will ever do.  And yet somehow at the same time, it is the most important thing I have ever been, and will ever be.  Did you catch that?  There’s the doing and the being.  I’m good at doing a lot of things and working hard around here, but often times, my children don’t need me to work hard and do lots of things.  Yes, they need clean underwear and a dinner to eat, but they also need me to be their mom.  What does that mean though?

One time our 4 year old was having a hard morning, getting frustrated at all the buttons she had to close on her clothing and in the process got hit accidentally in the head by her 2 year old sister.  Then she bumped into the wall which only sent her into a greater downward spiral.  I kept trying to intervene, to get her to stop crying and try to cheer up.  But she just wanted to cry.  And unfortunately, I didn’t want to hear it.   So I told her to stop crying, deal with it and get ready to leave the house with the rest of us.  How’s that for being a mom?
Sean turned to me and gently said,

“Why don’t you just hold her?  I seem to know someone else in this room who usually feels better after a good cry.”

[Sigh.]  Missed that one by a mile.  In moments like that, I feel down right clueless.  But sure enough my daughter’s tears slowly ended and she pulled her face off my shoulder and looked quietly into my eyes.  All I have left in my mind to say is “I love you”.  With that I hear,  “Thanks, mom“.   The words are like saving grace to my heart.   I don’t deserve her.  She slides off my lap with a smile, puts on her shoes and joins the rest of her siblings in the van.  [Big sigh.]  Please, God, help me get better at this.  

And He sweetly responds, “I just did, Rona . . . through Sean.”   

In the months to follow, I was invited to share with a young women’s group about motherhood, which prompted me to think and pray a lot more about being a mom.  I felt as though I had a good understanding about God’s heart on children, in that they are a blessing, a reward, and an inheritance from Him.  But I couldn’t think of anywhere really in scripture where the mother’s role was talked about as being important.  Could you?

He led me to the crucifixion.  How surprised I was to see that some of Jesus’ final words were spent acknowledging His mom’s role in His life.

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, Dear woman, here is your son, and to the disciple, Here is your mother. From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”  (John 19:25-27, emphasis mine)

This was revelation to me!  Jesus saw his mother, where?  There!  She was there.  Mary came to see her Son, to support Him, to be near Him.     I think it’s also important to notice what she did not do.  She did not come to rescue Him or to talk Him out of His decision or intervene unnecessarily.    But she was there, actively participating in the moment at hand through her very presence.  She chose to be there, rather than at the market, at the temple, or even at home doing housework.  It was as though He looked down at her and said, “Thank you for always being there for me, just how you are here right now.  I see you, mother.  I see that you are there.  And this has meant the world to me.”  

He called her mom.

And the whole world was sharing in this moment between them.   I assume He could have had this conversation behind closed doors in their home, since He was well aware of His timely death.    Yet He wanted their relationship to be displayed and made known that her presence was important to Him.

It’s noticable to Him that you are there with your children, in whatever form that takes.  He sees you there.  He sees how you are there for your children, again and again and again, especially when no one else does.  

For all the 80 times my name is called in a day, I hope I can be there to respond to them all.  Even though I sometimes snap, say things harshly, at least I will keep being there for them.  And saying my share of sorries along the way.

An older father of 8 children encouraged me one day in regard to motherhood.  It was one of those life changing one liners.  He said,

“Even on your worst day, Rona, at least you are there.”

You are there in the kitchen handing out drinks (even if you’re negotiating to cut your work load in half!).  You are at the changing table throwing away dirty diapers and kissing belly buttons.  You stand by the trampoline and cheer on the masses.  You listen to the cries of a discouraged heart.  You bandage up the bleeding and drive the broken to the hospital.  You feed the mouths that hunger for more.  You are there in the night to calm the nerves from bad dreams.  You find the missing toy for it’s teary eyed owner.  You rescue toothbrushes from the toilet and keep it from clogging.   And you hold their faces close as they lay in your bed.

Being there makes a difference.  Think about it.  Who was there for you while you grew up?  Who made you feel special, understood, valuable?  I’d venture to say it was the people who took the time to be there for you.

“When he saw his mother there”… let that be said of us.

They call me mom.

They call me the one who is there.

 

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24 Responses to They Call Me Mom

  1. Janet Walker says:

    Thank you Rona! That is the most well written and powerful thing I have read in a very long time. It made me laugh, cry, remember and hope all at the same time.

    • Rona says:

      Oh Janet! Thank you for your kind words…and for reading it! And thank you for being one of the ones there for me. It made a difference 🙂

  2. Ah what a sweet reminder. My hubby tells me that one day I’ll be bored and with seven in the home now I can’t imagine it but I’m sure it’s true and I try to live and love them in a way that remembers that. My friend Denica sent a link to this article and I’m so glad she did. 🙂 Nice to “meet” ya!

    • Rona says:

      Hi Jessie! SO nice to meet you too 🙂 That was nice of Denica to connect us! Thanks for taking the time to read this, as I know your time is precious especially if you have 7 children to care for… That is just wonderful! Bless you in all the many works of your hands ~ Rona

  3. samarasurface says:

    Rona, I am crying. This is beautiful – thank you for sharing!

  4. Debra ann Budnick Allen says:

    Rona-my dear sweet daughter-We throughly enjoyed that read-being a Mother I can totally appreciate everything you said and then some. You are truly the best Mom we have ever seen or met in our lives-dont ever under estimate your ability as a Mom-your always there for all of them and Sean too.They will rise up and call you Blessed!!! Being “just a Mom” is so understated-your the most important person, I feel, in their lives, by just “being there and letting them call you MOM-you deserve the best honey!!!!

  5. Linda Cline says:

    There is a lot I could say….starting with thank you for making me cry and probably ending with the statement you have heard a billion times already “it passes quickly”. What you are sowing into them with your TIME and transparent heart for each one wherever they are in the day [or night!] matters and I guarantee you will see it 1,000 fold down the road. Well done—don’t weary in the being or doing. xoxo

  6. Melissa says:

    Rona, well said! I am always thankful for remembering and being reminded what being a mom really means. I was shocked at reading Isa 40 as a church in January and Isaiah specifically addresses moms there too. I meditated on that for weeks. Miss you!

    • Rona says:

      Thanks so much Melissa! Great to hear from you…miss you too 🙂 and thanks for the Isaiah 40 reference…looking forward to reading it.

  7. Powerful words, my friend! So beautifully written. You have encouraged my heart yet again. 🙂

  8. Sydel says:

    Beautiful, real, and so refreshing to read Rona! Your words are raw and loving reminders of what is important. I have to read with a tissue in hand…

  9. joonitree says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. Keep writing, you are encouraging all of us!

  10. Regina says:

    Timely encouragement; thanks Rona! I love reading your blog in the evening after the “Mo-o-om” calls have ended for the day. 🙂

  11. Molly Bold says:

    Beautiful, Rona.

  12. kristina says:

    This is really beautiful Rona. Thanks for writing such an encouraging, real, words.

  13. Annette says:

    That was amazing. I think your writing is able to reach so many people and in a powerful way. Keep it up! And like the rest on here, I had some tears while reading this.

  14. oh my gosh- so beautiful Rona. I’m left crying and so proud of this role of mom. thank you for writing.

  15. Wendy Lou says:

    Beautifully said Rona! Even with half of mine grown and the other half almost there…I can grow weary of the “MoOOOom’s” that I hear in a day. Such a lovely reminder of the high calling that never really ends and is so precious and such an honor. And to quote Linda, yes it does pass quickly, tho that’s so hard to believe in the midst…enjoy ans savor it as often as possible. Thank you for fighting for the time to share so beautifully with the rest of us.

  16. Sharon says:

    That was priceless! You ARE living the dream and living YOUR best life. I have seem in a way that there are works prepared for us before time and written on that heavenly script or scroll for our lives and it sure looks like you are living yours out. I feel like sometimes there is a rhymic ease to life when I feel like I’m doing what I’m suppose to be doing. But sometimes there isn’t. Dang. That’s the times when I know my capacity is being increased and my way is being conformed. You, Rona, are an inspiration to me of the love, character and selflessness of Jesus, definitely illustrating His great sense of humor. You are such an amazing woman, sister, friend and Momma. THANK YOU! (Not to mention a great writer.) xoxo

    • Rona says:

      Oh Sharon, you are so very kind. Truly, your words mean a lot! Thank YOU for taking the time to read it, and I’m so glad it encouraged you too. You are a blessing to so many (let alone your children and grandchildren!). Bless you sweet mama 🙂

  17. Thank you for such an encouraging and interesting article! It totally resonates for me with just two children! I can’t imagine more! How do u do it…you’re an inspiration! It’s amazing how Jesus was able to remain her God, in that moment. Distinctly separating Himself from being her son by calling her “woman,” therefore at the same time clarifying His role as the Son (Son of God). He graciously still makes sure her earthly needs are met as her God. Oh how I long to be like Christ in this manner. Still giving even as the lifeblood is draining out of him. (Being drawn out by His “children” too.) What an awesome revelation. God Bless you!

    • Rona says:

      Thank you Tiffanee. I loved what you wrote…”still giving even as the lifeblood is draining out of Him.” What a great picture of how I feel as a mother on some days…although nothing in comparison to His reality. Thank you for stopping by lilygirl and taking the time to read. Bless you in all that you are doing ~ Rona

  18. Yes Ms Rona! Such wisdom, such encouragement to moms and me! Tears for sure. God bless you Girlee!

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