Today is the last day of my month long celebration of my 2nd Blog anniversary ( And MY 600th post in 2 years) and I wanted to share Truthful Mommy Tells All~ My TRUTH about Motherhood. I also want to thank all of my fabulously talented and honest friends who shared their truth with my readers. You are my village and you all help me through this journey of motherhood with our conversations. I hope that sharing my TRUTH over these past two years has been a source of comfort and commiseration for you to know that you are not alone in this roller coaster of uncertainty that we call parenting. My truth is something that I have been learning slowly over the past 6 years and even more so since I have joined the blogging community. I don’t think I can contain it all in a single post but I will share some of it here. Again, thank YOU for joining the conversation and trusting me enough to share your experiences with the TRUTH about Motherhood community.
My TRUTH about Motherhood; My Sunshine
- No Mommy is an island. Sometimes, it may feel like you are stranded alone and desperate on an island all by yourself with the crazy little natives but you are never alone. All you have to do is reach out and there you will find the sisterhood that will rescue you from the solitude and the drowning days. Make no mistake, that life preserver can come in the form of family, a friend,your husband, the next door neighbor,the lady sitting across from you at ballet rehearsal, a mommy of one of your children’s friends, a doctor, someone you’ve met online or through your blog, or a complete stranger. We only have to be open to seeing the preserver, which usually comes in the form of a honest conversation.
My TRUTH about Motherhood, my Heart
- It really does take a village to raise a child. I have not lived close to family since having my children so I have had to be dependent on a small but mighty group of women who I am blessed to call my sisters. It only works if you can be honest though. Our tight knit friendships were forged through pain and honesty. The first step is acceptance. We had to accept that we are not perfect and everyone needs a shoulder to cry on, a hand to help up and an ear to listen during the tough times as well as a friend to truly enjoy the happy times.
- Children really do change everything. From the moment you are aware of their existence, they change you from the physicality of your body,what you eat, drink, your lifestyle, your finances, your perspective of the world, your job, your beliefs,your hopes and dreams even the very way that you move through the world.One thing I can guarantee you that you will experience when you have your baby, everything else that you ever held in esteem will become a distant second.
- You will love your children more than you have ever loved anything in the entire world. (maybe not at first and certainly you may not like them at times(especially the hormonal teen years) but you will come to love them always.)You will realize that you have forgotten most of your life before they came into it. You will realize that you are capable of being a selfless person, no matter how selfish you may have been beforehand.You will make sacrifices that you would have never in your entire life thought yourself capable of. Children test our character and stretch our hearts above and beyond capacity.
- You will cry at the thought of them growing up and leaving, no matter how absolutely crazy they may drive you when they are screaming, fighting, tantruming, biting their siblings,asking you the same question 7000 times,or staying up all night with colic. No matter how hard they may make life in the moment, there is nothing greater than tiny arms wrapped around your neck telling you how much they love you….looking at you like a fat kid looks at cake.There is no greater love than that experienced between a parent and a child.
- They make us better people.You will become a better version of yourself. Oh there will be days of complete doubt and feelings of incompetency and guilt. The guilt is almost too much to bear on some days. The guilt is the growing pains of motherhood. It is us metamorphosing into our better self. As we strive to be better people for our littles, we begin to experience regret for some of our actions. This is where we must forgive ourselves. No one is perfect. Some days we growl and roar and some days we cry and other days we do every single thing right and its the BEST DAY EVER but through every single minute of it…we love so big that our hearts are about to burst.This is love.
- Naps are as important to Mommies as food and water are to the rest of the population. Naps for the kids so you can have alone time.Time to decompress, think and regroup…to hang on to that last thread of your sanity. Naps for you because Mommies need sleep. Repeat after me…MOMMIES NEED SLEEP. This is so you can function at human capacity, be a better Mommy and feel better about yourself.Start this routine before the baby is born. If you are tired, take a nap!
- Motherhood is misery peppered with moments of complete bliss.It’s a lot of hard work with no downtime ( and really crappy pay) and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. But the moments of joy, all those moments that overwhelm and eradicate the minutia , they are so big that they fill our hearts like a camels humps and we can live on the joyous moments through the guilt and the self sacrifice and even the tantruming, nothing’s going right..I’m still in my yoga pants from yesterday and my hairs not been washed in a week days. The bliss is ethereal. The misery is relevant. One days misery is another days joy. Embrace it all, every single moment of it because it is fleeting.
- You will never again think in terms of “Me” and “I”, it will forevermore be “We” and “Us”. It’s not enough that I have become this self-sacrificing, put them ahead of my every want and need, person. Now, when I walk through the stores..even when they are not with me physically, I say “Excuse us”” we would like…”. I get the strangest looks. Because even though they are not by my side, they have taken up permanent residence in my heart and I am sure they will remain there throughout my time on earth( I wouldn’t have it any other way). I have finally began to emerge from my Mommy coma and remember who I am and what I wanted before they came into my life. But my perspective has changed, all that was SO important to me before is not that important to me now. Things that were completely unimportant are now vital. I have changed. I am constantly evolving.I am realizing that as they grow and need me less, I can claim a little more of my time and thought for myself but they still permeate the very core of all that I do.For example, I write this blog because writing is a passion of mine, always has been. But I write about my life as a Mother, which is directly influenced by them. See how that works:) I guess I can look at it as I have the best of both worlds.It just took me a little while to learn how to exist with a foot in each world without losing my balance and toppling.
- Motherhood is the most humbling, amazing, insanity inducing experience that one can ever endure with a smile on their face and come out the other end feeling like not only did you survive but you changed the world. When I first thought of becoming a mother, I thought of holding a tiny new baby in my arms and loving it more than anything ever before or since. That I was spot on about. But I never could have imagined the ways in which motherhood has tested me physically, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. It has rocked my very soul. I have been pulled and pushed and stomped and scratched and beaten by motherhood only to emerge, stronger than I EVER thought I was capable of being. Motherhood has taught me that life is unexpected and in the experiencing is the living. We can not plan, organize, chart or will what life will bring to us when we have children. We are at the mercy of our all encompassing mother’s heart. I have been brought to tears by my child’s bravery, a tiny needle in an even tinier vein on my baby’s hand brought me to my knees, jaundice almost sent me into a tailspin, breastfeeding broke my heart, cartoons have made me cry, I have a phobia of raisins because one almost stole my daughter from me. I have gained superhero powers when the moment called for it. I have turned into a mother bear, tiger, and even a helicopter on occasion.I have become pliable where I used to be cut and dry. I have learned that I can bend and twist and stretch and pull and push but I will not break. I have learned that poop can be consumed in small amounts and not kill you. I have learned that pennies can be swallowed an come out the other end. I have learned that pearls, fuscilli, and popcorn kernels all fit perfectly up a child’s nose. I’ve learned that when a phone is in a grown ups hand a child will begin to talk incessantly. I’ve learned that when little people talk, they have a lot to say. I’ve also learned that they are a lot smarter and wiser than we give them credit for being.I’ve learned that when they are hurt or their heart is broken, my heart feels the pain..ten fold. I have learned that I would stop a bullet with my face if it meant keeping my child out of harms way. I’ve learned that if someone rear ends my car with my girls inside, they run the risk of a crazy whip-lashed lady jumping out of the car and attacking them. I’ve learned this and so much more that I’d need to write a book to share it all. But most of all,I’ve learned that MY world is a better place with my girls in it for me to love.
My TRUTH about Motherhood, My Life
- Motherhood is hard work.If anyone tells you any different, they are a liar. It is the hardest job that you will ever love. But there are moments when you won’t love it so much.That’s OK. That’s normal.If you loved every single second of every single day of Motherhood, we’d have to assume that you were on a high dose of prescription drugs or Mommy juice and that’s perfectly acceptable at times too. Just always remember, if you love your child unconditionally, do the best you can to teach them to be good people, and keep them healthy and out of harms way…YOU ARE THE BEST MOMMY EVER! (I know this because my girls tell me this daily, between the I hate yous and I love yous!)
P.S. This post originally went live on May 31, 2011 but I needed the reminder of all these things today. It’s a year and a half later and it’s still all relevant. I am guest posting at my friend, Gigi’s today talking about my early onset holiday burnout. She has a wonderful series called Around the Bonfire and asked me to join in. I am honored. Hope you will check it out.
I shared my TRUTH about Motherhood, what is yours?