Last week I sat in a cafeteria with tears streaming down my face, listening to the sweet melodies of a class of first graders offer praise to the women who are raising them. There were mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, all listening intently as 60 or so children who often drive us crazy, sang to us and showered us with handmade gifts, and sat with us over tea. I felt so undeserving, so full of joy, and so full of heartache, all at the same time. I didn't want to be the mom losing it in front of teachers and friends and acquaintances, but there I sat, tears gently rolling off my cheeks landing softly on my dress, leaving their mark for only a few minutes before fading into a memory.
This week marks the first week of my journey as a work at home mom. Up until this point in my life, I have almost always worked more than one job. I have always been driven and had strong entrepreneurial aspirations from a young age, and owned a boutique for a time during my mid 20s. Although it didn't work out in the end, I always felt I was walking away from some form of the life I wanted when I went back to an office setting in 2012. I was still doing something I loved and was extremely thankful to have a job in our area as a designer, but I missed out on so much. It's a hard calling to be a working mom and do it with grace.
I have always been fortunate to have a wonderful role model who is the definition of a strong mom. From dragging me to soccer in 3rd grade because she knew it would be good for me, to making me walk up to a sales associate to return something I stole from a store during a time I was acting like a spoiled brat, to driving me to more sporting and social events than is even considered sane, she had my back. When I called her in 8th grade to pick me up at a party where I wasn't comfortable, she was there. She took me to get my first job and helped instill a killer work ethic in me, gave me a zero interest loan when I made poor financial decisions in college, and even today, comes to help with my laundry and dishes; she's handles my messes like no one else can.
I feel like I owe it to you all to say that I am not perfect in any way, I have made more mistakes than I can count, some of which have been harmful to myself and probably others. But I know that redemption is possible, change is good, and grace is a powerful thing. For the past week or so, something has been weighing heavy on my heart, and I need to let it out. This is for all of the Moms out there, who are struggling to find purpose in their lives and struggling to get through the day to day that sometimes seem overwhelming and frustrating. Maybe you're raising little ones and you feel beat down, exhausted, and stressed. Maybe you're working two jobs and feeling guilty, but know you need to press on. Maybe you have made some mistakes in your past and others are helping you raise your babies while you get your life together. Maybe you're that Aunt or Grandmother that is raising those babies for a loved one while they figure stuff out... or don't. I even know there are some fathers' out there that are trying to provide a sense of motherhood to sons and daughters that are left without someone to call Mom. Maybe you're a grieving Momma or you desperately wish to be a Momma, and can't wait to have the opportunity to experience your first Mother's Day.
We as mothers or motherly figures have a calling that isn't easy, but we owe it to ourselves and the children who we're raising in one way or another to be strong and be the type of women that will make a difference in the lives of our youth. I had the absolute pleasure of listening to one of my dear friends Renee, perform a song accompanied by my very own Mother (and my Dad!) both last night at a Mother's Day Dinner, as well as this morning at church. And the lyrics couldn't have been any more appropriate, bringing my thoughts over the past week full circle.
Here are some of the lyrics from the song, 'That Home' by the Newsboys:
There was a home in town Where broken kids, the lost & found Would come from miles around Just to see, what love was all about 'Cause Momma had a way of makin' things okay
She'd cook us our favorite meal Sit and listen to how we feel Oh, how the pain was real How many families what the devil steal? Momma had a way of makin' things okay
In that home We knew we were safe To be young enough to dream Find the faith to believe And in that home Love, it had no end It's where we learned to forgive In that home
Momma always had the music on Sometimes loud, sometimes soft When I asked her 'bout her favorite song She opened the bible to the book of Psalms She always found a way to talk about grace
In that home We knew we were safe To be young enough to dream Find the faith to believe And in that home Love, it had no end That's where we learned to forgive In that home
The words of this song hit me deeply. I don't know about you, but it's my prayer that I somehow manage to be everything in this song for my children. For my nieces and nephews and my children's friends, I want to be this. It's not easy; it will take a conscious effort, but it will be so worth it. I want to be the center of this home. Yes, there will be times when I lose my cool and I get annoyed, or angry, or impatient. But I hope those times are far outweighed and outnumbered by all of the times when I (and my home) can be a place of comfort and refuge. I hope that of my fellow Mommas will take this into consideration and choose the road of grace and joy, even when you feel alone or beaten down or just tired. We owe it to ourselves and our children, and all of the other little ones we have the opportunity to help raise. Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mama's and Mama figures out there. I hope you all know how important and loved you are today and every day.
View past Mothers Day posts: http://www.nicoledumondphotography.com/mothers-day/ Nicole DuMond is a wedding and portrait photographer based in the rolling hills of Stillwater, Pennsylvania and serving the surrounding areas of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, including Bloomsburg, Benton, Berwick, Red Rock, Stillwater, Danville, Lewisburg, Hunlock Creek, Sweet Valley, and surrounding areas. Nicole is also available for limited travel along the East Coast & Worldwide.
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