I’ve tried to start this post, only to be interrupted several times to help my youngest with the shower, help find his favorite shirt, and oh, could he please have a fried egg because a smoothie is technically only a drink breakfast not a food breakfast. 😀
Ah, Motherhood. It can seem like a neverending, all consuming task. From that first cry and new baby smell, and all the holding, and feeding, and changing, and rocking? We consult books that give us endless amounts of formulas to create the perfectly behaved child and we actually believe it. We soon realize that this whole Mom gig is a whole lot of work. But we don’t really mind because, hello? Baby smiles and all those firsts!
Then comes toddlerhood when they are learning and moving faster than we can keep track of! Sticky fingers, sticky kisses, priceless. If you are extra lucky you get to try to keep up with the toddler while carrying another baby around. 😉 Then they grow. They ask questions. Sometimes you know the answer, sometimes you don’t. Thank God for books and google. They push away. Declare their independence. Test the boundaries. While still needing you to check the closet for monsters and keep the food separated on the plate. (mashed potatoes mustn’t touch the peas, you know)
They start school, learn to read and ride their bike and start having whole other worlds with their friends. They grow faster than you can keep up with at times! But if you are lucky you still get in some hugs and cuddles now and again!They start to realize that maybe Mom doesn’t actually know everything. And at this point you start to realize how very true that is! Maybe the people who made up the formulas in those parenting books didn’t actually have kids? You think it’s time to ditch it and trust yourself a little bit more.
Preteens and Teenagers keep you in awe of just how independent your children have become. Sometimes it feels they only need you when they want money. Or a ride. You find yourself praying harder then you ever have your entire life. The thought of a parenting formula= perfect kids causes maniacal laughter and eye twitching. You worry that you’ve done this whole mothering thing completely wrong.Watching your hair gray and wrinkles form sometimes seemingly overnight. Where did the time go? You start advising younger Moms to enjoy the time they have, forgetting how overwhelming those stages can be! Your oldest ones are taking test flights from your crazy hectic nest. You don’t think you are ready. Weren’t you just a young mama trying to figure it all out?
18 years later, you realize that the only thing you have figured out is that to survive this thing? You need a whole lot of grace and a whole lot of laughter. Grace for yourself as much as for your kids. You will make at least as many mistakes at this parenting things as they do as a kid, maybe more. You’ve yelled too much. Sometimes you let the t.v babysit your kids so you could get 30 minutes of quiet. Sometimes you gave in to quickly and other times you forgot to be kind. Thank God for new mornings to start over and try again. And laughter is medicine to the soul. Oh and coffee and an occasional mixed drink doesn’t hurt either… :p
Oh and also, Mamas? Don’t forget to take care of you! You are not only a Mom. You are also a woman! Find the things that nurture your soul and scrape out some time in your life to do them. Find a community of other Mamas to cheer you on! Your future self with thank you and so will your children when they have a happier Mama…… Happy Mother’s Day, friends!!!