Growing up my relationship with my mother was pretty strained, so I never wanted kids of my own. I wasn’t the girl who dreamed of having a family. I didn’t pick out coordinating baby names 20 years ago. If anything, I wanted to be the cool auntie that traveled the world and came home for the holidays with all the gifts and cool stories.
Then little James, or Pooh as we lovingly call him, came along and changed everything I thought I knew about myself and life in general. I’m overcome with emotions as I type this because I can’t believe he’s been the center of my world for 10 years. Most of us can agree that our children teach us far more than we teach them, so I want to share 10 things that motherhood has taught me over the years.
I fell in love with little James the moment I held him in my arms and that love has gotten stronger every second of every day. He couldn’t do a thing but eat, sleep and poop …and not much as changed, but I’ll move mountains for him or die trying. The beauty in this is that he’s loved me through my darkest, lowest, ugliest moments without question. I could set the world on fire and he’d still love me because I’m his mama.
Unconditional love teaches you what love feels like before it’s tainted by life and it’s challenges. Being able to experience it make its a lot easier to stop putting up with people who don’t truly love you.
We are all the best, most perfect parents before we actually have kids. All the I’ll never spank, I never let my child wear xyz, they’ll never eat this or that goes completely out of the window. Now, I still don’t spank but I have some candy eating, mismatched clothes wearing, YouTube baby sitter watching little busy bodies but they are clean, safe and fed. Mind the kid that you birthed or judge your mama!
Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual and TBH none of us know what the heck we’re doing. We move through life figuring it out on a day by day, case by case basis. I’ve messed up so many days. I’ve yelled out of frustration, forgotten sports practices, thrown homework in the trash, gotten into car accidents with him in tow, burned dinner, lost favorite toys… the list goes on. Even with that there is still no one better to be his mom. On
Starting the moment that I had him, it’s like I stepped into some weird time machine where the days are long but the years are quick. I still remember having him and snuggling him when he was a baby like it was yesterday. Now, he’s 10, almost as tall as me and turning into a little gentleman. Make quality time with them a priority because you’ll blink and they’re all grown up.
Everyday moments become beautiful memories. Seeing him notice his reflection for the first time, learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, horse playing with his dad, cuddling his brother when he wants to be held or hugging his sister when she’s afraid of thunder. Being able to bare witness to those little moments makes me so full. It’s easy to get caught up in the over the top birthday parties, needing to clean the entire hour or buying them the toy of the month. Be present, as often as you can… get off the phone, forget the laundry, finish the presentation after they’ve gone to bed. Be present.
Imagine living with a tiny version of you. No the you that you show us online, the real you. The side of you that doesn’t pick up after themselves or argues with anything moving or can’t take feedback from anyway. You can tell you child to behave a certain way and most times they will listen. But they will always mirror the behavior they see in front of them everyday. They don’t just pick up on your good qualities, they notice EVERYTHING. So, if you want to raise loving, level headed, tidy, confident people then you have to be the example.
We mess up and we fell bad about it. Sometimes we yell for stuff that wasn’t their fault. When I say we I mean me, I’m especially bad about this. Then after the dust is settled and the house is quite you realize that you shouldn’t have yelled and feel bad. Well imagine how they feel for being yelled at for something they didn’t do? Apologize. It’s okay to show them that you’re human and it helps them understand the importance of apologizing to someone when you’ve hurt them, whether you meant to or not.
As much as we want to be able to do it all, we can’t and that is okay. It seems like we stopped taking “it takes a village” literally. No sis, it really takes a village. Grandparents, aunts/uncles and close friends are necessary to help keep show rolling. Ask for help when you’re tired, frustrated, overwhelmed. Even beyond that, ask for help before it gets to that point.
Being a good mother means taking care of yourself. It means that you ask for help when you need it, you see doctors or even therapists as often as you need to and that you spend time away from you kids to do things that fill your cup. Yes, we wan’t to be there for every waking moment but the goal is to raise productive, independent adults. I can’t pour into them from an empty cup and I don’t want them to be 35 and having to call me for every single thing.
We’ve all heard that if you want to make God laugh then we should tell Him our plans. That’s true with 2 of 3 for my babies. With Zoe girl I got exactly what I asked for and with all the spicy in that little one, the joke is definitely on me. With James I wanted a girl first, had I had a girl anything like Zoe, I would’ve shut down the baby factory immediately. James was such an easy going baby, he’s always been so loving and gentle. He filled my life with so much love and joy, at a time that I so desperately needed it. He’s excels at everything he does from academics to sports, mild mannered, even tempered and so humble… he’s literally a child unicorn. Then add the surprise of Luke (that you guys know I stressed over) and he has been the perfect little addition to our family puzzle. My sweet boy is the extra burst of joy that none of us knew we needed.
I’m so grateful to be the vessel that God chose to bring them into this world and I do my best not to take it for granted. It’s an absolute honor and a privilege to be their mom. Life will have it’s challenges and I won’t always get everything right but knowing that my babies love me is enough to be okay for the rest of my days. Being their mom is the most fulfilling thing I’ll do in this lifetime!
I could go on and on but that’s 10 things that motherhood has taught me. What has motherhood taught you?