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     On Sunday I had the privilege of celebrating my first "official" Mother's Day. Last year was such a chaotic time (and now things are.... calm?). Cameron and Taylor had been placed with us for foster care a mere 6 weeks at that point and Mother's Day was a bit of a touchy holiday for them. My gifts last year included a lovely plant, a card, screaming, hitting, and fecal smearing.... and that was just before church. I told them that this year I'll be happy with just the card, thank you very much! And cards I got. By the truck load. Store-bought, hand-made, and last-minute cards cluttered my bed as the kids bounced into my room with their goodies. Cameron and Taylor graciously shared my chocolate gifts with one another as my chubby Isaac looked hungrily at the bouquet of flowers my husband bought.
     So, in honor of Mother's Day (although a bit belated), I decided to spend some time reminiscing about lessons that I've learned throughout the past year. Hopefully, other Mommies out there can relate!

     1) It's OK to go to work with questionable goo on your shirt, as long as lick your finger and dab at it with mild effort for at least 3 seconds.
     2) It IS possible to never have uninterrupted time to eat a full meal, and yet gain a fair amount of weight in a year!
     3) It is absolutely acceptable to febreeze your children's bedding and call this "doing laundry".
     4) It is impossible to own a clean car or home, no matter how many behavior charts, consequences, or rewards you post throughout your house.
     5) Sleeping with your eyes open as your child tells you the ever-changing thoughts that rush through her head is not only acceptable, it's downright recommended.
     6) Laughing with derision as a non-parent tells you they're tired because they stayed up late watching a movie or going out with friends may not bode well for your relationship with that person, but it does make you feel a little better about your jealousy towards them... afterall, they'll know what true exhaustion is soon enough.
     7) If your child does something completely ridiculous or horrendous, consult the internet immediately. Not only will you find some much needed support, but you'll walk away feeling grateful that your kid wasn't the one kicked out of school for repeatedly licking the teacher's leg.
     8) Taking the long way home from work is one of life's greatest joys.
     9) Going to the bathroom is a luxury.... make the most of each trip!
     10) It's ok to get the occasional odd/dirty look from strangers while you have your kids out in public.
     11) It's also ok to get odd/dirty looks from strangers while you're NOT with your kids in public, simply because you look disheveled, you're talking to yourself out loud, and you have a burp cloth over your shoulder.
     12) Eating hand sanitizer will not kill your children, despite popular belief.
     13) Calling your clients "sweetie" or "buddy" out of habit does indeed lead to an awkward silence during a therapy session.
     14) Cuddling with bed-wetters is a risky sport.... a simple sniff test first will save a ton of laundry later.
     15) Kisses are sloppy and sometimes sticky, but totally recommended.
     16) Motherhood is insane and beautiful all at the same time. It's alright to ask for help, cry, and call your own Mommy for advice.
     17) Even if their back rubs hurt a bit, be happy that they're learning compassion and the gift of touch.
     18) Pray. Often, fervently, and passionately.
     19) The homework will still be there after he catches the frog, rides his bike, or tells you about his day.
     20) Give yourself grace every now and again. You're not called to be perfect, you're called to be a Mother.

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