Guest post by Jenna

“Why are you here?” It was the first question I was asked when I jogged up the stairs to Bible study this Sunday. It wasn’t supposed to make me feel like I didn’t belong there or even question that I was in the wrong room. It was for me to know why I showed up every week. Was it the fellowship I enjoyed? The food? Why did I bust my buttocks doing homework for this study every night?, since I swore off homework the moment I graduated from college, possibly before.

Do you ask that of yourself as a mom? I know I do! “Why am I here?” How in the heck did I get to be a mom? [Wait, don’t answer that one.]  Why do I bust my buttocks washing and putting away laundry and matching up little bitty socks and picking up toys and putting down toys and picking up children and washing dishes and ironing shirts and pants and things I didn’t even know needed ironing and putting down children and picking up children and DUSTING and vacuuming and fixing dinner and pushing in chairs and putting on jackets and taking off jackets and putting away shoes and cleaning up messes and finding That Paper for school and why oh why do I go to sleep at night just to wake up and do it all over again?

I’ll tell you why we do it. Because as hard as it is, as hard as every. single. day. is, we blink and it’s over. Gone. I’m not a hugely sentimental person, or at least I wasn’t until I became a mom. I tend to live in the moment and really enjoy every day instead of wishing I had done things differently. I have 3 kids, ages 4, 2, and 1. This week I was realizing how much my youngest child reminds me of my oldest child – in looks, mannerisms, even the developmental markers have been the same. I think God allows us the pleasure of realizing these sorts of things because he wants us to understand that as our children grow, we grow too. We aren’t the same moms that we were a few years ago, heck even a few days ago sometimes. But we still see the resemblances of our lives as we look back.

I hope I’ll always ask myself  “Why am I here?” – it might make me cry sometimes to realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. But I hope that it also spurs me to evaluate why I do the things I do, why I parent the way I do, and what results from my behaviors. There will be a time when my children need to know how completely human I am, that I mess up at every turn, so right now they don’t need to know my reasons for Why. They just need to know that I am, and always will be, here.

Jenna blogs at kevinandjenna.com. Right now she and hubby Kevin are in the midst of a photo project – taking a picture for every day of 2010. But she misses getting her thoughts out on the blog, so you might see some others there soon.

8 Responses to Why
  1. Marie
    February 5, 2010 | 11:20 am

    Great post!I ask myself frequently why I do what I do. Very therapeutic.

  2. Jennifer
    February 6, 2010 | 12:14 am

    Our kids aren’t too far off in age and I was just thinking the same about #3 as compared to #1. I was also afraid that I wasn’t sure if it was deja vu or if it really was #3 doing something. Almost as if I’ve blended them all together because it goes SO fast.

  3. jenna
    February 6, 2010 | 5:13 pm

    Thank you Marie! And Jennifer I know exactly what you mean… and we’re about to be in fast-forward mode once my oldest starts Kinder in the fall.

  4. RickinSC
    February 8, 2010 | 11:21 am

    Jenna says she has one too many “busting my buttocks” things to do. My grandkids regularly made a toy mess for their parents until I made this toy cabinet to get them to put a toy back before they can get the next one.

    You need to see the video to understand it.

    The kids quickly learn to keep their rooms neat and do it without whining. There are a lot of creative things parents can do once we start to think about things from the kids point of view.

    My wife and I kept a motto on the refrigerator when raising our own kids: “There are two things of lasting value we can give our children, the first is roots, the other is wings.” (Guess who was “roots” and who was “wings”.)

    But basically our parenting was based on PREVENTING conflicts (like toy clutter) rather than trying to resolve the issue later with a variety of less than successful tactics.

    What do you think?

  5. jenna
    February 9, 2010 | 7:18 pm

    I agree with you, Rick. Except on the “one too many things” list – I was mostly complaining. Mostly. 🙂

    I do love the quote on your fridge. Your wife is a smart lady.

    You have given me ideas for another post. Stay tuned.

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