Recently, my little crew and I were sitting at my husband’s indoor soccer game in the cheering section. He’s a man of little words, but one thing I know is that he loves when we get to watch him. It’s hard to beat the “go, daddy, go” cheers that erupt from my sweet girls’ mouths.
In the section we were sitting in, there were a few other moms with little kids sitting by us. As we sat and watched the game, I heard one of the moms sternly tell her little girl, “no more to drink! We were up 5 times last night in the bathroom and I’m not doing that again!” I chuckled to myself, thinking about how much actually having kids of my own has changed me. Before I was a mother, I would have heard that comment and thought, ” I will never say something like that to my kids!” Ha. Now I can say for certain, I absolutely have said something like that, on more than one occasion. It made me think of all of the things that I used to think about what kind of mother I’d be.
Before I was a mother (and my husband was a father), we would see a child misbehaving in a store or restaurant and think: “our kids will never act like that in public. Now: we have been those parents in the store/restaurant with the screaming children. Don’t get me wrong, we expect our children to behave politely and try to teach them how to channel their feelings and emotions in a way that won’t make them explode. That being said, and the thing we’ve learned: children are learning too. They are learning their boundaries, and it is healthy for them to be told “no” and not get everything they want. This can sometimes result in an emotional explosion. It doesn’t mean parents with screaming children are bad parents– it means that they have normal children. The best thing you can do is give them a smile.
Before I was a mother, I had never experienced what “sleep deprivation” actually meant. If I wanted to lose sleep, it was completely of my own choosing. But now, after experiencing many sleepless nights with my kids, I would not trade it for anything. Because while being a “mombie” (mom-zombie) has become my new norm, I would have missed out on late night snuggles, opportunities to kiss fever-ridden cheeks, and priceless bonding time while nursing. That’s worth losing sleep to me.
Before I was a mother, I gagged at the sight of kids using their sleeves to wipe their snotty noses. I was not a dependable source to clean up messes. I was encouraged in college to choose nursing as my profession, but I knew I couldn’t hack it. I wouldn’t say now that I am a pro at messes, but I certainly don’t bat an eyelash at a booger. And I’ve gotten really good at breathing through my mouth while changing poopy diapers. It’s amazing the strength and ability that you find within yourself when it is your child. When they say, “it’s different when it’s your own,” it’s true. And I actually plan on going back to nursing school someday.
Before I was a mother, I only kind-of understood the love my parents have for me. There are alot of different types of love that we as humans can feel. I am grateful for the blessing it is to be able to experience the maternal type in my life. It’s a love that will NEVER fade. It is larger than this world– it is eternal. It is an emotion that helps us understand God’s love for His children- and having that opportunity is truly a privilege.
Before I was a mother, I was an amazing employee. Having a job came so easy to me. I worked hard and excelled in everything I did. My managers would sing praises about my quality of work and my work ethic. It probably went to my head a little bit even! So when I had to go back to work after having my first baby, it hit me like a brick wall. Suddenly, my job was not so important. I cried every day for the first week I was back at work. I had never been so flaky. Baby got sick, I took a sick day. Baby had an appointment, I left work early. It went on like this until I went part-time and eventually quit working for a while. Now that my oldest is almost 6, I have been in and out of the work force. I still get a rush from a job well-done. But I have realized that as bad as I want to be a good employee, the most important thing is that I’m a good mother. My kids deserve that. I have never wanted so badly to be good at something.
**I support both working moms, and stay-at-home moms (who are also working moms 😉 ). I have been in both situations. Only a mom can know what is best for herself and her family. **
I love being a mom. Sure, it is hard and messy and the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. But you’d be hard-pressed to find anything that’s more rewarding. You get paid in love, and that is the greatest thing of all.