This year will mark my 16th in the mom game.
Most of the time I feel like Beyonce -all of this winning, but I can fully admit I have my crash-and-burn Lindsay Lohan moments too.
And the nature of the beast.
Other than being my parents’ child, I can’t think of a single thing I have been so committed to in my life.
Not even marriage, technically (although calm down, I am committed to my marriage, I just mean in terms of time), since DudeDad and I didn’t officially tie the knot until Dude 1 was rocking a mouth full of teeth and his own Jordan’s.
In addition to being my most lengthy occupation, being a mother has by far been my most consuming.
Nothing else in life leaks into every crevice of your being in this way. Nothing else demands so much of your time. Or requires so much of your mind, your heart, your body, or your soul. It feels you up and pushes out things that don’t deserve space.
Nothing else refuses to be compartmentalized like motherhood.
Motherhood consumes you.
It takes the you that you were previously and morphs it into a new you equipped to meet the challenges of raising a human. Some of the old you may be lost -an element many struggle with, but I have found that I appreciate that element most because, for me, it has been less of a loss and more of a growth.
Motherhood has grown me. It has taken my insecurities, my immaturity, my inexperience, and my naivete and grown it into something strong, something wise, something empowered, something worthy.
That’s not to say that motherhood is solely responsible for who I am today, but it is to say that is has impacted me in such a way that it has prepared me to face other life challenges with more courage, efficiency, perspective, and grace.
And I continue to grow. To reshape who I am in relation to these humans I created and those in the world.
I continue to learn who I am and who I aspire to be as I parent these beautiful creatures and I am hopeful that, once they move out of the need-me-desperately-at-all-times phase entirely, I will be an even stronger me.
Or a me that can just nap and drink wine as I see fit.
Even at this phase, when most of my day is consumed by their needs (for food, and attention, and money, and rides), there are some motherhood truths I know for sure.
Motherhood Truths: 10 More Things I Know For Sure
You’re gonna sweat plenty.
Don’t bother with the small stuff.
Your kids are not going to hear most of what you say.
Until they’re ready to listen.
Flies like honey.
But, they also like poop. Which proves one thing unequivocally: flies can not be trusted and neither can the fickle whims of kids. They like apple juice one day and hate it the next. They want you to carry them in the morning and run from your arms, kicking and screaming to be put down in the afternoon. They want advice, but not yours. They want attention, but not too much. They don’t know what they want and, mostly, neither do you. Fortunately, you do know what they need and that is generally enough to keep everyone alive, if not happy.
Kids rarely say what they mean.
Because mostly, they have no idea what they even mean. They are emotions and impulses and firing synapses that may or may not be obeying a higher command. Eventually, with your guidance, it all comes together, but not until after puberty. Which brings me to my next point…
Puberty is Weird.
For girls, for boys, for the parents of both. It is confusing and awkward and emotional. It is different for everyone, of course, but there will be things and you will be like WHYYYYY, and the answer will be be PUBERTY.
You will never be sorry for spending extra time.
You will always wish you had more.
You’re not always going to be right.
And, while it makes sense to pretend you are where your spouse is concerned, with kids it makes sense to admit you make mistakes.
You will look in the mirror and see your mother.
Or you father. Or your grandma. Or whoever it is that raised you. And one day, your kid will look in the mirror and see you. Remember that when you are standing there throwing a fit about something.
You’re going to have favorites.
Not a favorite kid, silly, favorite moments. That moment in the morning when they crawl into your bed (or, let’s be real, roll over and cuddle into you because they’ve been in your bed since 1:45 in the morning), that moment you put them on the school bus for the first time, or later that same day when they get off and jump into your arms. I want to remember my life as a series of favorite moments, with my favorite people.
You will wake up some days and wonder what in the actual f*ck you’re doing.
How you became this person with a thick middle and a dirty college tee you actually wear to the store. How you fell into a life where the most exciting thing you will do this weekend is go watch a bunch of 6 year olds kick a ball around a muddy field at 8am on a Saturday. How you got to be the person who is barely on time, and always sticky. And then, you’ll remember: you’re living your best life.
Want to read more parenting truths?
Check out this post: Things to Remember on Your Worst Mom Day Ever