Collect Your Reward At The Finish Line

25 Feb

Last week was a tough week for me. The 3 kids were taking turns being sick with double ear infections and a coughing virus that kept them awake at night. I was also fighting something all week and I felt weak and totally off. There is nothing worse than feeling sick and desperately needing sleep and taking care of sick kids who aren’t sleeping. 

I have a dear friend who I often turn to for advice and a swift kick in the ass when I need it. She is about thirty years ahead of me in the mothering game and her days with little kids are long behind her. In the thick of my misery last week I asked her,

 “What’s my reward for all this? For taking care of them year after year, illness after illness, 24/7, forever and ever?” 

She immediately burst out laughing, full on laughing at me. I thought I was asking a serious question. I felt beat down, exhausted, underpaid, under appreciated, and physically sick! What was so funny?

Her response: “My dear, what in the world made you think you would receive an reward for this? There is no reward at the end of the day. Your reward will be that you didn’t raise murderers to be sent out into society.” 

She was right. Who did I think I was? A show dog that received a treat for every good trick I pulled off? There are no quarterly incentives in parenthood, there are no medals for milestones. Talk about a yank back to reality. I needed a good solid reminder about being grateful for what I have. I deserved to be laughed at. I’m not saying my job is easy, it’s not, it’s extremely demanding physically and emotionally. But, I have everything I ever wanted. Three healthy children. That’s my reward. It’s so easy to take things for granted especially when you’ve had them for awhile and you are in the trenches. 

Grateful. I was forgetting to be grateful. Sometimes, it’s good when someone laughs in your face. Sometimes. ;)


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