Motherhood is the greatest reward

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

When I was a little girl, I had a dream of becoming either a famous writer or a talented actress.

I wanted to see my name across the front cover of a best seller or my name in lights above a majestic movie theater.

I envisioned a life of red carpets, huge mansions, designer clothes and fancy cars.

I recently celebrated another year of life as turned 37. Looking around from my coffee cup, there were no red carpets. My path was lined with Lego pieces and the remains of a half-eaten Pop Tart.

That huge mansion is a modest house with a few “hiccups” that we plan to address once we get our three children off to college one day.

My designer clothes would have to wait, for right now my attire was either a comfy robe or yoga pants, usually splattered with sauce or slime.

And who needs fancy cars? I need the space to haul around three children, a husband, soccer balls, baseball bats, groceries, princess mansions, football pads and Happy Meals.

No, it’s not the glamourous life I daydreamed about when I was a child. But I am slowly learning it’s a duty and a job that is far more important.

I have had some readers tell me that I write about motherhood too much, “there is more to life than just being a mother. You can have a career, goals and a life.” I have all of those things too, and they are important to me, but they are not the most important thing.

Since when did motherhood become something you can’t brag about? Why can’t a mother be proud of her achievements within her home? Why can’t a mother be happy to just be Momma?

There are women all over Yazoo County who are in the same boat, regardless of age.

They are mothers.

They are putting bandages on a scraped knee. They are settling disputes with the negotiation skills of a world leader. They are putting the finishing touches on a science project. They are creating a play costume with pipe cleaners, balloons and hot glue. They are having camping trips in a living room or under a kitchen table.

They are staying up past midnight to break a fever or clean a diaper. They are staring in their pantry, wondering what meal can be prepared with what is left on the shelves. They are sighing over their checkbooks, wondering how to make ends meet. They are burning the midnight oil to get their work done that they couldn’t do during the day.

They are sitting up to make sure everyone gets home safe at night. They are reviewing spelling words and math problems they haven’t seen in years.

They are driving all over the county, dropping off and picking up. They are grabbing their backs as they pick up a laundry basket or a baby on their other hip.

They are feeding their family before they even take a bite or even a seat.

They are watching their children grow. They are welcoming new additions.

And each night, they put their head on their pillows...either smiling from a day well spent, worried over tomorrow or too exhausted to have any thought.

But they are still mothers.

They may not get the Pulitzer, Noble Peace Prize or Oscar. But their role is more important.

The role as a mother, a good mother, is the one that matters.

And yes, I still have dreams as an adult, but they are nothing like those of my childhood.

Trying to be a successful writer, even an actress, or whatever else...that’s easy.

Being a mother, that’s hard.

Being a good mother is the ultimate success story. And it’s a story I hope I can do justice.