Aaah, motherhood! The fairytale stories I had in my head. Cute little babies would become cute, big teenagers. Sunday mornings would be spent with all of us cuddled up in our big bed. Nights would be spent playing games and singing songs by the roaring fire. Everyone smiled and got along and never, ever said a bad word to a brother.
And then I woke up. Reality is very different.
Look up the word “mother” in the dictionary and you should read the following definition: doctor, teacher, chef, chauffeur, laundress, housekeeper, banker, school volunteer, referee, team mom, stage mom, boo-boo fixer. Let me know if I missed something.
Not that I’m complaining about being a mom. I love my kids with all my heart and being. I would step in front of a moving bus to save them. But daily life is not so easy. I say my favorite time of the day is when they’re all sleeping! It’s the hours between 6 am and 8 pm that aren’t always so fun.
Motherhood – The Good
My kids are great. They are funny, compassionate, caring, thoughtful, smart, and helpful. Ask their teachers, other parents, and even random people they meet. I am constantly being complimented on their behavior, which makes me a very proud mama. We do have a lot of fun when we have family game night, playing Monopoly, poker, or Risk. I’m thrilled when I can get them to trade in their cell phones for family time. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but I will take it whenever I can get it.
The other thing I love about being a mom is seeing how great my three teenagers interact with the baby (now 2). Each of them has their own special way with him. They can all entertain him and make him laugh. They can change a diaper, bathe him, and put him to bed if hubby and I want a date night. It just makes me smile when I can watch them having fun together.
Motherhood – the Bad
I’m going to be blunt – motherhood sucks when the kids are fighting with each other, which seems like almost every day. And it’s not just the words, it’s the rolling of the eyes, the shrugging of the shoulders, and the tone of voice that can be hurtful. Nothing breaks my heart more than watching and listening to them fight. And it’s about nothing of real importance! That’s when I put on my referee hat to break it up and try to teach them about effective communication – calmly talking it out and listening to each other. At the end of difficult days I remind them that tomorrow is a new day, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. I’m hoping that they remember these life lessons when they get older and into relationships of their own.
p.s., I would rather chauffeur them all over town in 3 different directions than have them fight with each other.
Motherhood – The Crazy
For most of our lives it was me chasing around 3 kids. It was actually pretty easy to coordinate schedules when they’re all close in age. A little over 2 years ago we added a “surprise” to the family, which totally threw off the family schedule. Adding a baby to the mix forces everyone else to make adjustments. A baby means being home for nap times and early bed time. It’s a lot harder to be spontaneous and do something for the day or the weekend. It also means schlepping him around whenever the other kids have to be taken to or picked up from somewhere. But it’s all ok. We’re all learning how to be flexible.
Motherhood – the Owner’s Manual
I wish that motherhood came with an owner’s manual. Kind of like a “What to expect” book for each stage of life. But of course, not even that would be complete because each kid is so different.
Would I do any of it different? Probably not.
Will I continue to complain to my closest girlfriends? Probably. That’s because we understand each other. We’re all going through it and it makes me feel a little more normal that someone else’s kids are doing the same things. It also allows me to laugh when I hear some of the things their kids are doing!
Toughest job in the world – being a mom!
Best job in the world – being a mom!
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you awesome moms out there. U Rock!