A Mother’s Love is Like Nothing Else

I, too, feel it is important to honor those who give of themselves every day to be the best mother they can be.  It is not an easy endeavor today, nor has it ever been.  Mothers often feel the need to take care of everything, and to be all the world expects them to be.  They believe they should possess the ability to create a spotless home worthy of a spread in HGTV Magazine, while creating custom Halloween costumes worthy of an Academy Award.  All this while preparing a gourmet meal, that can be transported and eaten on the way to ballet practice.  Oh, and all this should be done while looking like you just stepped out of a J.Crew ad.

When I look back on the years spent raising my children, I often wonder how I did it.  What motivated me to get up and do it every day despite the exhaustion that sometimes felt paralyzing?   First and foremost, I did it out of love and dedication, but let’s be honest, I also did it out of necessity.  No one else was going to do it for me and trust me it wasn’t always easy.

My daughter was six and my son Curtis was four when my twin boys were born, and chaos ruled supreme in my household.  One twin, Matthew, was life flighted at three days old with a ruptured stomach (the doctor said she read about it happening once in India), where he remained in ICU for a month clinging to life.  My other twin, David, ended up with shingles at six months old, highly unusual, landing him in the hospital (where they photographed him for usage in a textbook). Little did we know this was just the beginning!  There were subsequent surgeries for Matthew, as well as a trip to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia for a severe case of West Nile Virus which resulted in severe head pain caused by encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

Those are just some of the medical issues not to mention the behavioral ones!  Joy was my compliant, helpful child, thank heavens since she was the oldest and was my faithful assistant in child rearing.  At six she carried, fed, and changed her little brothers.  We always joked that she never played with dolls, she didn’t have to, she had real ones. Her brothers kept us both very busy.  We were once locked out of the house by Curtis who at four years old shut and locked the door when Joy and I walked outside and then proceeded to lay down on the kitchen floor and take a nap, ignoring our knocking and shouting.

I once emerged from the shower to find that my twin toddlers had raided the refrigerator and proceeded to toss two dozen eggs around the kitchen.  They were dripping down the cabinets and through the refrigerator shelves.  In my haste to enter the kitchen and survey the damage, I slipped and fell into the slimy mess.

I think the episode that most tried my patience and perhaps my metal stability was the time I spent the entire day doing laundry including the ironing.  I had just delivered all the folded and ironed clothes to each of the bedrooms and walked downstairs to retrieve something before returning to place everything into closets and drawers.  When I returned upstairs, to my horror, every basket had been overturned and strewn about and all the ironed clothes were on the floor in a heap.  I genuinely sat down on the floor and allowed the tears to flow.

To quote Dr. James Dobson, author, and therapist, “Parenting isn’t for cowards,” and truly it isn’t, but thankfully the rewards are greater than the hardships.  I have had no greater sense of accomplishment in my life than that of being a mother to my children.  I am also here to tell you parenting doesn’t end when they grow up and venture into the world without you.  They still need you as you do them.  You are a parent forever.

On this Mother’s Day, I am reminded of Agatha Christie’s words, “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in this world.  It knows no law, no pity.  It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”

So, to all the mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day and to those of you who still have your mother, be sure to show them some love!

Rhonda S. Kelley, Executive Director

Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce