Scrolling through facebook this morning, I was bombarded by first day of school pictures. I felt kind of weird that I didn't have any pictures to post and couldn't hop on the happy mama bandwagon. I guess I could take my kids outside and take a picture of them walking inside, but it just doesn't have the same appeal. I thought... I wonder what these mamas do all day. If I just dropped my kids off for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, I could get SO MUCH DONE. My house might actually be clean, the bathtubs might know what a sponge looks like, my windows might be cleaned for the first time ever, and once my house was spotless, I might actually have time to read or grocery shop without little hands throwing things in the cart, or shower without having to settle a sibling rivalry in between shampooing and shaving my legs. I might have a moment of quiet to just sit, time to exercise... alone... without a million questions about what yoga is and why I put my body in funny positions and judgments that my downward dog doesn't looks as good as Wai Lana's.
But then I thought again... I wouldn't get to have lunch with my kids every day. I wouldn't get to see the little grin sneak across Maddi's face when she recognized a sight word. I wouldn't get to see Drew's little mind churning as he analyzed his latest Science experiment. I don't have to listen to stories about little bullies making my children doubt themselves or watch my children struggle with their self perception. I don't have to hear horror stories about substitute teachers calling my kids names or being hurt when I was nowhere to comfort them. We wouldn't get to travel on a whim, chose our own schedule, or take the time to learn from God's creations. I get to kiss every boo boo, share in their accomplishments, and fulfill my calling as a mother... to educate my children both spiritually and temporally and not have to trust another to do my job for me. I get to whisper I love you whenever I want to. I get to share in their joy and help shoulder their burdens.
I alone carry the responsibility of teaching my children what they need to know, and kindling a desire in them to continue to seek knowledge on their own. It is a huge responsibility with exponential rewards. I might not get a backpack picture by the front door, have a perfectly clean house, or have as much personal time, but I'm pretty happy giving all of myself to my kids, sharing my knowledge with them, and meeting the challenge of motherhood with my best effort.