“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the “right” thing even when you’re unsure what that may be…and to forgive yourself over and over again for doing so much wrong.” -Donna Ball
If I had to describe motherhood in one sentence, that’s what I would choose. Well, thankfully I don’t have to choose just one! Here are some tough and not so tough lessons motherhood has taught me:
- It’s lonely. This, unfortunately was a lesson that was never on one of the many lists I read before becoming a mother. So, I will be as transparent as I can here. You see, we live 5 hours away from the majority of our friends and family; so when I had Lola (and even Piper), I expected all our friends and family to eventually come up. Don’t get me wrong we had some come and stay for a few days or so. That was tremendously appreciated! When you have children, you want everyone who means something to you to come meet them! You are so proud of what you just brought into this world! You may not get all the calls and text from the people you thought you would. Some days you may not leave the house, because your babies have to nap; and it’s just easier to stay home. Some days your only conversation may be with your toddler. It’s pretty rare that someone asks how YOU are doing…and means it. I needed someone to ask me. So, when you find your tribe, love them and appreciate them. It’s hard to do motherhood without solid friendships.
- Whatever parent you thought you would be, throw that idea out. Nothing in this world will prepare you for motherhood. There’s nothing like it. So for example, I had this idea that I would be a mom who did crafts ALL THE TIME…for every holiday. In all honesty, it’s a good day if Lola colors or plays with play dough. I didn’t think I would be a mom that let her children watch TV, well Lola LOVES Mickey Mouse. And sometimes that’s the only thing to get her to sit still for longer than 5 seconds. I had thought I would make their baby food…did that once. You can read all the articles and books, take all the classes, but at the end of the day; as long as your babies are fed, clothed, and have a roof over their head…you’re doing a great job!
- You can do basically anything on no sleep. Those first few months…need I say more? If coffee isn’t already your life, it will be soon enough. It always pissed me off when people said “oh, make sure you sleep when the baby sleeps”. Do you think they would come to my house to cook, clean, and take care of my toddler while I “sleep when the baby sleeps”? No? I didn’t think so. I say this to empower you! Regardless of how much sleep you did or didn’t get…you can do it! Everything! When you become a mom, you receive a cape, because you also just became a super hero.
- It is so much harder than it looks. It’s really hard…by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In my short 22 years of life, I’ve been through some serious stuff. Parenting still takes the gold for being the most challenging. Motherhood isn’t some slow, gracious transition. It’s so sudden. I don’t do change. I need a routine, a groove. You can’t just fit motherhood into your routine, it becomes your routine. Then, they send you home with a crying, always hungry, pooping machine and just expect you to just know how to mom. Talk about on the job training. When your babies are babies, people always tell you “cherish this time”, but that’s HARD when you are so sleep deprived, you have cracked nipples, your body is now something foreign to you, and you have probably been pooped on more times then necessary. You lose relationships you thought you never would. You constantly second guess yourself and your parenting decisions. Oh! There’s never enough time in the day. You constantly make the choice to put someone else before you. So, how do you not lose yourself? Where is the line between being a good mother, but still doing what you want to do? If you’ve been a mom for 50 years or 2 weeks, it’s still hard…we’re all just learning as we go.
Isn’t it wild how having these little beings can teach us so much? I still have 4 more “lessons” that I’ll post on Thursday-ish, but what are some lessons you’ve learned? It’s a hard journey, motherhood is; but it is so, so beautiful. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.