Right out of high school I joined the Navy. Not because I had a desire to defend this great nation, rather it was because I waited too long to register for college and wanted to get out of the town I was raised in. I was a search and rescue swimmer, one of only 7 women on the east coast who completed the training at that time. I felt like a total bada-- AND I could fit into a one piece wet suit (sigh).
I met my now husband and within 6 months I was pregnant and within 8 months we were married. When I became pregnant I had to leave the ship I was stationed on, I was no longer a search and rescue swimmer and I had a desk job. This was a hard transition for me because I was only 21, how was I supposed to be a bada-- with a baby?
My sister in law used to work as a magician’s assistant in Las Vegas and would do a magic trick where she would get into a mirrored ball with a FREAKING TIGER! Like, a real tiger y’all. Granted, she did get ring worm from the tiger but that is some of the most awesome bada--ery I have every heard. Now, she stays home with her beautiful baby.
You may have had some awesome, dangerous, difficult, glamorous job before you had a child and now you feel like you are less awesome because you smell like spit up, watch Caillou until your eyes bleed and sit in a carline for what feels like lifetimes. Perhaps you feel unseen, less desirable, unappreciated and tired. Maybe you reflect on the days you felt like a bada-- and now you feel like just…a--.
I want to remind you today that being a mom is one of the most badass jobs anyone could have. I had to do a lot of physically challenging things in search and rescue school but all of that pales in comparison to creating a human being and then giving birth to it.
I won awards and was applauded by crowds but none of that comes close to eyes that light up and the smile that brightens a face of my child when I come home. I have never loved something so much that I want to literally bite it (does anyone else fell like this when they see a baby?)
Most of the things we do go unseen and we rarely get a thank you but we have been given the responsibility and the power to raise a whole generation of future world changers.
Our faces may never grace the cover of a magazine, we may never get to tell our story to the world but our children are walking billboards of every sacrifice we have made, every night we went without sleep, every closet we have had to cry in, every prayer we have prayed, every dollar we have invested, every punishment we have had to administer, every word of life we have spoken.
Being a mother is one of the most refining, challenging, complicated, messy, beautiful jobs anyone could have. Maybe you have had to decline opportunities, press pause on a dream, step down from a position, say “no” to things you wanted because you said “yes” to being a mother.
I cheer on the moms I see in public who:
are two seconds away from losing their crap,
fall asleep in carline,
work long hours then come home and help with homework,
boldly took on the title of mom when marrying a man who had children,
sit through a 1st grade concert as their child plays a tree and cheer as if they are in Hamlet, selflessly release their child as they get on a plane to defend and serve our country,
go without a meal so their child can go to bed full
stay up late to finish college
After I graduated search and rescue school I wore a badge on my uniform that said, “so others may live.” That is what we do as mothers, we selflessly sacrifice so our kids can live the lives they were created to live. We build a solid foundation for them to build on. We crouch down so they can stand on our shoulders. We fight for their futures so they can go farther and do more then we ever could.
We have the opportunity to show our kids how to grow up and be a badass too. While I was home with my kids I graduated from college because I wanted them to see that it could be done no matter how old they were or what season of life they were in. I wrote two books so they could see what it looks like to have a dream and make it a reality. I have fought battles on their behalf so they knew they had a mom in their corner who would fight the whole world for them. I have remained silent in some situations so they could see that actions, not words is what brings real change.
The ability to shape the future rests in our hands. All of the things I did pre-kids was a great experience and makes for a good story but it can’t hold a candle to being a mom. I would lay it down a million times to hear little voices call me “mom”.
When we had kids our lives didn’t end, it actually propelled us into one of the most bada-- jobs we will ever have.
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