I am blessed to be the at-home, homeschooling mom to three daughters - number four is due in just over three weeks! Hands-down the best part of mothering is the time I get to spend with them. I love the time we have to read books, build puzzles, work on school, play together, have "tickle" fights, and laugh our heads off at the hilarious things they do and say. I smile and laugh so much because of my girls, and I cherish the richness they bring into my life. That is the best part - the richness they bring through the time we have together doing the small stuff of life.
The hardest part, by far, is the mommy guilt and the fear -- the guilt that constantly nags at me that I'm not doing enough, or not doing it right, or they won't end up learning what they need to learn to be successful adults. And there are the fears over their growth and development, over their safety, and over their futures. I have never felt truer words spoken than those of Elizabeth Stone, which we've all surely encountered by now: "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." That is simultaneously glorious and terrifying.
And there in a nutshell is the best and worst of being a mother for me.