You’re a mom. You’re up to your elbows in poop. You can’t remember the last time you actually shampooed and conditioned your hair. You’re a mom. Going to the restroom requires an army of followers. Folding laundry has become your “relaxing time”. You’re a mom.
It’s beautiful isn’t it? I’ll be totally honest with you for a minute – sometimes, being a mom absolutely sucks the life right out of you. You aren’t you anymore. You are a butt wiping, breast feeding, chef, maid, laundry mat, chauffeur that runs on no promise of sleep, time off, any monetary compensation, and in my case – lots and lots of caffeine.
Being a mom is literally the hardest job I think there is. Now, keep in mind I have not had “every” job to compare this role to. But, I don’t know of another job where not only are you responsible of keeping other human beings alive – you’re responsible for making sure they don’t become little assholes in the future. You have to make sure they have proper food in their tummies and clothes on their back. Your life has become about giving them a life. Also… this job is 24/7, round the clock, Every. Single. Day.
The absolute hardest part of this job is how much we care. You wake up from your, what I like to call, evening nap (you had decided to watch that Netflix show you had been dying to watch, and head to bed at midnight – baby gets up at 4… doesn’t go back to sleep till 5:30, then the toddler is up for the day at 6) So you’re exhausted right? Like, painstakingly drained. But then your tired eyes look into the eyes of that bright eyed toddler; so freaking happy to see you in the morning – looking the hot mess way you do – and your heart just aches with totally fulfilling love. Am I right??
You care sooo much. You worry about how you’re parenting because you care so freakin’ much. You Google search the most random things now, don’t you? “Is green poop okay?” And, you compare sleeping and feeding schedules with every mom you come across in person and even online. Like, how weird is that? I never compared schedules or routines with my girlfriends in college! This kid (or kids) have totally turned your world upside down… and by God, it’s amazing!
Being a mom is wet, smelly, emotional, and completely sacred.
In the beginning, probably around the time the baby is about 2 months old – I remember it being the most difficult. Visitors coming to see the new baby and bring you all the yummy goodies have stopped coming. Your husband, or partner, has probably had to head back to work. And, you are left in the awesomeness of motherhood all to yourself. You’re constantly worried if you are doing everything right. Asking doctors, nurses, moms, and friends all the advice under the sun. And Google…. Google has become your best friend. You aren’t getting any sleep, if you’re nursing your boobs are just constantly out; and if you’re bottle feeding, you are kicking yourself for getting the bottles with so many gosh darn parts to them!!!
But, guess what? No matter if you bottle feed or breast feed; no matter if you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers; no matter if you go back to work or stay home … every single one of us will hit our kid’s head as we put them in their car seat… at least once.
Our kids are learning – just as we are learning.
We are only human, and will make mistakes… but, you will always have the best intentions behind every single decision that you make for your child. Because, YOU are your kid’s mom. YOU are. You can Google and call the Pediatrician’s office every hour of every day ( I probably suggest not doing that… they may get mad) but YOU know what’s right for your baby. Gut instincts Mama!
I was always told that the first three months of a baby’s life is called the 4th trimester. Keeping in mind all they know in this world, at that time, is the womb. So, we are told to help transition them, and just be there for them. Gosh, that is hard. There’s no cuddles back, no “thank you”s or “I love you”s. You just give, give, give… to this little stranger that has totally changed your whole life around. But, you do it. And, the 4th Trimester becomes the 5th the 6th, 7th, etc. etc. And, even though, every once in a blue moon, you may get an “I love you” or a moment of thanks as the “trimesters” progress – you as a mom will always give … give … give.
I heard somewhere (Grey’s Anatomy maybe?) that a mom is a carpenter. A carpenter of boats. We have to work hard at building a sturdy boat that will withstand storms. We build, sand, build, paint. We craft this boat to the best we possibly can… and then we send it off to sea. Thus, is motherhood. They are going to sail away from us, it’s inevitable. Our job is to make sure that we build the boat strong enough that they survive. And then, when they decide to, they are able to get back to us safely.
Motherhood is pure giving. It’s hard. And, some days aren’t perfect. Sometimes there’s cereal for dinner or cartoons on all day. But, I am their mother, and I am doing it. I am building my boat. And, I am doing it the way that works for me and my family.
One day I pray that my “compensation” for this job will be seeing my boys succeed in this life. THIS is why I give. To see all my work of giving grow two men built of kindness, truth, and abundant love. To see them follow their dreams, and conquer their fears. To see them work hard. To see them learn from their failures, and turn around and make their lessons be their triumphs.
You’re a mom. Your phone is filled with photos of your kid. You know every song on Disney Jr. and catch yourself singing along. You’re a mom. You worry too much, and care and love hard. You’re a mom. You’re doing it. And, you’re doing a great job!