I remember days of pushing my baby doll in her little plastic stroller, feeding her pretend food out of a little plastic container, and changing completely dry diapers (that I had colored the insides with a brown marker to resemble poop). My baby was perfect! She never cried, slept all day, never spit up, never made a stinky poo, never kept me up at night…..angel! Oh, yeah, we have big dreams as little girls. Life will be perfect! The immaculate little house with the white picket fence and a yard full of ride on toys and swing sets. Two and 1/2 kids running amok in the yard while I’m kicked back in my lounge chair sipping on some pink lemonade peaking out from underneath my sun hat as I read the newest love story out.
Well….this is what no one told me….
The babies, they actually cry
some all of the time! They cry when they are wet, too cold, too hot, have messed, are sleepy, are hungry, when teething…..hell even when they sleep. You feed them and the food ends up all over you and the nice clean dress you just put on! You get ready to head out the door to work and somehow one of them decides it’s time to take a poop while another one vomits all in your hair and on your new uniform! Your standing there with one child in your arm screaming while the other one is at your feet screaming. Your cell phone rings and it’s your boss wondering where the hell you are and the excuse you have isn’t good enough so you have to tell him you lost a limb and are now at the local ER having it sewn back on.
There is no way to be prepared for the insanity ahead! No one can prepare you for the sleepless nights or explain to you that you will be wiping snotty noses at the same time you are changing a dirty diaper while the dog is being shaved and spray painted. You will be completely overwhelmed by a feeling of paranoia when they get a fever or when you lose them at the grocery store only to find them in the toy aisle trying to talk whoever walks by them into buying them the stuffed dog they beg you for every single time you are there (which will totally happen so don’t freak out). No one tells you that you gain mommy instincts and you will know about things they do before they even tell you! This new ability will totally mess with your head as you begin to think you are psychic and may need to call up the police to help them with their latest case (just don’t do it). They don’t tell you that when your child hurts you hurt worse or when you get sick….oh wait….YOU CAN’T GET SICK!!! Moms don’t get sick because there is no time so just give that up! No more sick days!! They don’t tell you that as they age they also grow an attitude which is relayed to you by means of eye rolling, shoulder shrugging, and the all time famous “WHATEVER”. They don’t tell you that on occasion you will consider putting them in a cardboard box and mailing them to the North Pole with a note that says ONE WAY ONLY. They don’t tell you that you will never have a hot meal again because you will be busy tending to everyone else who can’t cut their own food into tiny pieces or the fact that a nice long bath alone without interruption is now extinct. Do you like to poop in private? Well, those days are long gone now! The shitter will become the family hot spot every time you get the urge!!
Nope, they can’t prepare you for the roller coaster ride of mommyhood but one of the worst things that happens is you begin to feel like a failure. Other parents will question your judgements and decisions. They will call you out for allowing your child to do something that no parent in their right mind would ever allow ( I hope you sensed the sarcasm in my voice when I wrote that). They will pour their perfect parenting skills all over you because they are perfect…and don’t you forget it! Yes, you will doubt yourself and those perfect parents will make you feel like you are doing it all wrong but guess what? YOU’RE NOT!! You are doing a great job. Parenting is not easy and you will never learn it all so give yourself a break! The biggest thing you can never be prepared for is when they really seem to act like they don’t need mama anymore. Don’t let them fool you…they will always NEED you but a mom’s job is to carry them for 9 months, give them life, be a 24/7 link to life for 18 to 20 years, and then snip their wings and let them fly. That is the heart breaker. You will begin to miss the dirty little hand prints on the glass door you just cleaned for the 50th time in one day. You will begin to miss the chaos and noise that constantly filled the house or the pitter patter of little feet running up and down the hallway. You will miss hearing the back door open and the sweet sound of “Mom, I’m home”. Why? Because you knew where they were and you knew they were safe. Now that piece of your heart, body, and soul is going out on their own journey to make their own life and write their own story.
So, yeah, being a mom wasn’t what I expected, but it was so much more! It was so much more than I can ever even begin to explain! It was hugs, snuggles, and kisses. It was little giggles that made me smile when I felt like crying. It was little hands that would pat my face and ask “what’s wrong mama”? It was the warmth of a life nestled up next to your heart. It was the pride of seeing an A on a report card or having someone say “your child is so beautiful”. It was the challenge of raising a child with special needs who everyone else gave up hope on. It was knowing that someone in the world loved you unconditionally. There are so many things that make being a mom the most amazing thing in the world. Just knowing that you gave life to and raised a child that will be kind, giving, responsible, and a positive part of society is the best feeling in the world. Your child is your legacy and they will be the piece of the puzzle that keeps you alive long after you are gone! Being a mom is an honor and it is a gift!
So the next time you are changing puked on sheets at 3 am embrace it! Those days will soon be gone!