When Jacob and I first got married, ( I was 19) I wanted to have kids right away. He wanted to wait a couple of years, so we could be “just us” for awhile. At the time, I rolled my eyes, but looking back now, he was right. (don’t tell him I said that) We waited for two years before we got pregnant with our first child, Daniel. Now eleven years and two more children later, I’ve learned a few things: I’m not perfect, I mess up often, feel guilty, under qualified, and overwhelmed. For Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to make a list of 15 Things I Never Knew About Being a Mom. (In no particular order.)
- My house will be messy…forever. Granted, I was never a super neat person to begin with, but my goodness. If I step on one more Lego, I’m going to throw them all away!
- I’m exhausted in every way. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. I’m tired and busy. Sleep? Who has time for that? There are even times that I can’t even remember that I just washed my hair, and I end up washing it twice.
- Sometimes motherhood hurts—bad. The phrase that a mother’s heart walks around outside her body is so true. We hurt when they do, we cry when they cry, and sometimes we cry ourselves to sleep because we don’t feel qualified to be a mother.
- I feel guilty. Alone time? Girl’s night out? Sometimes that can be nonexistent and when we do finally get to go out, we feel guilty for enjoying a few hours of adult conversation.
- I need to recharge. One thing that I have learned in the past couple years is that I need to recharge my batteries—every day. For me, I’ve mostly been a stay at home mom and I’m with the kids all day. Now I own a business and my two year old comes with me, but by the time my husband comes home from work, I’m about ready to pull my hair out. He has worked all day and ready to see the kids and me and I’m a frazzled mess. For him, recharging is playing with kids, and helping/cooking dinner. I can’t recharge that way. I’ve already done that—all day—so I need a few minutes alone: reading a book, writing, crafting, doing something to switch gears and take a breather. If you realize in what ways you both need to recharge, and help each other, it makes life so much easier!
- I have to get up early and I still hate it! I’ve always heard that once you have kids you don’t mind getting up earlier, or that it gets easier. Guess what? It doesn’t get easier, and I still hate it! I’m not a morning person, and I’m not going to be one, or have the desire to ever be one. My husband wakes the kids up with singing silly songs and sometimes I want to punch him the face. LOL!
- I have gagged/thrown up changing diapers. Our youngest is two, so I’m still changing diapers. I’ve changed diapers off and on for eleven years, and one thing hasn’t changed: there are times when I want to throw up, right on top of them. I can’t handle throw up either. Luckily, my husband is a pro at vomit duty.
- I’ve lost my temper. When I was nineteen/twenty, newly married, and thinking about kids; I never thought I would turn into a parent that loses their temper, but it’s happened. Sometimes I’m exhausted, and worn out. Sometimes I just want to go to the bathroom alone, or have a conversation on the phone without being interrupted. Whatever the reason, I’ve lost my temper (we all have at some point) and then I feel like the worst mother in the world.
- There are moments of bliss. When I watch my kids doing something they enjoy and they don’t know I’m looking, and a smile lights up their face. Or when all three of the kids are playing together and not fighting. When they randomly hug me and say I love you. Sometimes in the stress of the day, I may have to search for one of these moments, but they are there and it’s magical.
- I’m scared. Sometimes, I worry that I’m going to mess them up for life. They are always watching and learning, and looking to us to be their guides. There’s always the fear that I’m not qualified enough to do this job.
- The laundry never stops. No matter how hard we try, laundry always seems to multiply and grow. We wash it, fold it, sometimes it gets put away, but it keeps multiplying. And socks! It’s a true fact that dryers eat socks. The only proof I need is the endless supply of socks that come out missing its mate.
- I hide chocolate. I’m not much of snack/junk food person, but I do hide chocolate. My kiddos love it, and yes, I’m stingy with my chocolate.
- I don’t have it all together, and that’s okay. There’s so much expectation and guilt placed over mothers. From mommy blogs, and parenting magazines, we are over saturated with the idea that we have to have perfect. We are constantly measuring ourselves against other mothers. You must be perfect-sweet, caring, crafty, DIY queen, and fitness machine. Plus all of the hot topic issues that is constantly talked about and argued about, so you better have the right opinion: breast-feeding/bottle, organic/non organic, home school/public school, I can go on and on…and on. I’m not always going to have it all together because I’m not perfect. I love my kids and do the very best I can for them. That’s all that matters.
- Time goes by too fast. My oldest is eleven and I can’t believe it. I’m going to blink and he’s going to be in high school, and then driving, and then off to college—I’m going to stop there, because I can’t handle it.
- It’s worth it all. I wouldn’t change anything.
Happy Mother’s Day! Keep hanging on moms, you’re doing an awesome job. And guess what? You are enough.