“I’m the best wife to my husband and the best mom to the children God loaned to me.”
During our first year of marriage, I poisoned my husband by feeding him undercooked chicken. During her first 12 weeks of life, I accidentally let our daughter roll off the makeshift changing table (our coffee table) and slide down my leg while I reached over to catch puke from our then 3-year-old sitting next to me. Before our youngest started school, his bedtime mirrored ours so that he would take two long naps during the day which allowed me to work successfully from home.
I used to suffer from mom guilt. I worked from home so that I could be there for my kids during their childhood but was I really with them if I was chained to the computer? I’m not a great cook, cleaning the house isn’t top on my priority list and well, spot remover doesn’t remove all spots from my clothes… so would my husband do better with a different “me?”
I’ve read the above statement multiple times in the 18 years I’ve been married and today it finally became truth, coming to rest inside my heart once and for all. I’m the best wife for my husband and I’m the best mother for the children God loaned to me.
I may not be the best cook, but my family sure enjoyed the night we ordered pizza when the lasagna I tried to make turned out to be soup. I know what their favorite foods are, what they’re allergic to and what they need to stay away from. I know that we have a tradition of cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, Sweetwater’s donuts on Thanksgiving morning and that my husband loves strawberry rhubarb anything.
I know what movies my kids love, their future goals, their fears and their dreams. I cheer loudly (but not too loudly) at our daughter’s volleyball games, work concession stands during football season and have committed to working out for the C25K Club in order to get into shape and participate with two of our three kids for the 5K at the end of May. I’ve learned to appreciate reptiles, Star Wars and (most) musicals. I’ve learned that a houseful of noise is something I’ll miss someday… so at times I wear earplugs and thank my Father for the blessing of a full quiver instead of an empty house.
I love the inside jokes 18 years together have created, how my hand fits nicely inside Bills, how my lap is still big enough to cuddle on, how one look from any of them and I understand (most of the time) what’s needed – a hug, a joke, a funny face or some homemade special family recipe brownies. I love that we choose to serve God together at church and how despite the various age differences between our kids, no one gets left behind.
I may not be the best wife and mom in the world… but I’m definitely the best wife and mom to those God has blessed me with. Each day I wake up thankful for the privilege of one more day with each of them. I choose to make memories today so I can live with no regrets tomorrow. And I’m learning to choose to be the best “me” so that I can be around for as long as God allows.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017