Perched on the kitchen counter a crock pot is cooking a roast. Every once in a while, the steam bubbles up from around the edges of the lid; as a distant reminder of the constant yet often overlooked daily responsibilities of a mother. While the crock pot cooks food; mom can be tending to the other duties in her life that have no place on a resume and receive no monetary compensation. Sometimes, what it means to be a mom is to be much like a crock pot; always busy providing warm and cozy treats to share yet silently sweaty in the background of life! Just like the roast will be tossed in an ornate ceramic casserole dish before being served; mom can be forgotten and dismissed at a moments notice! But in a pinch; both mom and the crock pot are there to get things done, take care of dinner on a hurried day and enable more time for many of the important things in life.
The great debate of mom hood begins during pregnancy. Women get a first hand taste of being a mother and the fact that a little (sometimes not so little) alien has taken over your body making you tired, nauseous sometimes, swollen and miserable is just a tiny glimpse of what is to come. It seems that moms usually more than dads from the get go are expected, wired and genetically dispositional to begin a giving process that is exactly selfless by definition. Moms notice; but push the thoughts away realizing that these little people who call their name, make demands, lose control and need, need, and need will someday soon be gone. But being a mom isn’t only about sacrifice, work or being unappreciated. What it means to be a mom is living; and like most things in life it isn’t thought of most passionately until years later perhaps while rocking grandchildren to sleep!
What no one can understand unless they are a mother themselves is that sometimes smelling your baby’s hair is enough to make your body have a positive shift in endorphins. The way children do something that is so completely cute, funny and free that it makes you want to cry and rejoice in the fact that you were able to witness it. Walking through their room at 2 in the morning and seeing them tucked under the covers, snoring ever so slightly and still trying to pop their feet out from where you tugged in the sheet. That is what it means to be a mom. Being a mom is knowing that they don’t care if you woke up early to fix them breakfast when cereal would have been easier but doing it anyway. Not so you can get a reward; but because you really wanted them to eat before school. It is dropping them off at school in the morning, taking a great big sigh of relief as they are yes, finally out of your hair and then finding your self missing them before noon. It is that feeling you get as you are in the shower with shampoo in your hair when the phone rings and your stomach dives toward the drain; you know something is wrong and your children need you.
Being a mom is not knowing – but feeling like as long as they are with you they are safe. Sure, other people can take care of them; keep them entertained but only you have the God given right to keep and maintain their acute safety. It is watching Bambi; watching Bambi’s mom lie on her to keep her warm through the snowstorm and welling up with tears that seem rooted from your soul because you know you would do the same thing; feel the same way and quite possibly lose your life to save theirs. What it means to be a mom is that life is often routine and non-stimulating. It means handing over some passions and cravings and inklings left over from the person you were before. Being a mom means waiting, hurrying and slowing down all at once. It is the way you can either feel annoyed at your grass roots or elated when you hear them say the word ‘mom’ and it means always being touched – whether physically or emotionally. Being a mom also means being completely stripped down to the naked child of your own past to undo, relearn or figure out how to do things right for your children and give them answers to questions that you probably couldn’t answer for your self.
What it means to be a mom is that you are like that old and faithful crock pot cooking a roast so you can run the kids to baseball practice and dance lessons. There will be stains down the side of the pot that no sponge can wipe away, and sometimes it is packed so full of nourishment that the lid doesn’t fit tightly; but it cooks anyways. Like the crock pot moms have timers that tell them when they are ready, done or need longer and they don’t require much maintenance are non-stick, trustworthy and easy to use but even easier to enjoy! Just like the crock pot can fill the house with a special aroma that sends yummy thoughts through everyone who walks through your doors; moms can do the same for their families. The best part of all is that no matter what you are cooking; the crock pot seems to have an innate sense of knowing when it is perfect; just like a mom does. Being a mom means being slow and steady like the crock pot and knowing that every recipe you read in a book will be perfect once you put your personal spin on it. As the crock pot gets older; it might not get as hot or as much use but it stays constant in the cabinets of life just waiting to be useful again. Being a mom is knowing that what your life is now is only a sheer image of what your life will be like in 20 years when suddenly, without reason or compassion you; like the crock pot are stuck in the cabinets waiting for a meal to be together. But you wait anyways!