Barefoot and rocking only a Paw Patrol pull-up, the little blonde haired, blue-eyed three year old pushes my door open, peeks inside while holding a tire gauge, and says, “Momma, you wanna see my castle?” First off, let me just take a moment of silence to allow my heart to break because he said that sentence like a big boy only five minutes after he climbed into his own bed and told me goodnight. The child has slept in my bed for three years and five months and all of a sudden he’s just like adios, see ya tomorrow Brooke while raising his man sized coffee cup and tipping his hat.
Dear little boy, despite the fact that you are the cutest and sweetest little thing on the planet, the very last thing I want to do is get my 35 year old self out of this bed again since I have been trying to convince you that sleep is good and you should take part in it since you exited my womb. The child has never ever ever been a good sleeper and I would tell you about the first six months of his life, but I’m currently not in the mood to relive that “season” of my life. I’m sure your castle is the most impeccable castle in all the land, but to answer your question, “no, I do not want to get up to see your castle.”
But you probably know exactly what I did.
I got up to see his castle. Impeccable. Just as I expected.
Note: His bed didn’t last long and his head is now jabbing into my elbow as I type this.
Person 1 – (Answers phone) “Buddy!!”
Person 2 – “I’m on my way to come pick you up and we are leaving for an extended amount of time. Maybe we return, maybe we don’t.”
Person 3 – “I’m packing right now.” (Click)
Sometimes I turn on motherhood podcasts (hoping for something funny and real) and then I want to throw up. Sometimes I stupidly scroll through social media and question why in the world I even have this tool because it makes me want to throw up. Sometimes (almost all the time) I chug chocolate milk after running for long periods of time and that too makes me want to throw up.
There’s this ideal that motherhood is beautiful and full of cupcakes and rainbows and unicorns prancing through a daisy patch and if you read those motherhood books, you will know what to expect; but having over a decade of experience in motherhood, I’ve learned that there is no way to prepare for this role and that cupcakes end up smashed in the floor. (Hints the reasons why I never give you The 3 Keys to a Merry Motherhood or The 5 Steps to Raising Respectful Rugrats.) I have simply found it makes more sense to me to share the beautiful/ugly of my life so that you know you are not alone.
Here are just a few of the things that I’ve found out about motherhood ten and a half years in. (Written with “you”, but we all know I’m preaching to myself.)
- You will love these small humans with the greatest love you are physically and emotionally capable of loving with.
- You will wish they understood what be quiet means and sometimes think it would be cool if they played a game where they taped each other’s mouths shut for at least 20 minute increments to encourage the silence.
- You will give more of yourself than ever imagined. Physically and mentally.
- You will feel a constant sense of selfishness.
- You will feel a constant sense of guilt.
- You will feel like you have nothing left to give, then give more.
- You will stare at your children with complete adoration while they sleep and wonder how this can be the same child that brought you all the anger and frustration just a couple hours ago.
- You will find spaghetti sauce all over your computer because, when desperate for sanity, you left your house to go run during supper and no one thought to move it before slamming spaghetti.
- You may desire to clean their rooms/the house with all the love in your heart and then want to punch a hole in the backyard because the beautiful cleanliness that took seven hours to accomplish was destroyed in 24 minutes and you are unsure of what the substance is that is on your bare foot.
- You will give them the last bite of your cereal more times than you can count.
- You will give them the last Oreo (or you will hide and eat it yourself).
- You will give them the flipping sock off your foot as you are walking into church.
- You will want them to stay small forever.
- You will want the jank days to go by quicker.
- You will give up your dreams.
- You will feel huge swells of pride and excitement when they learn to skip or ride their bike without training wheels or poop in the potty or catch their first fish.
- You will want to carry any ounce of pain they feel.
- You will deeply desire that you teach them well so that they don’t make the same mistakes you did.
- You will love and love and love these little humans so much that it hurts.
- You will wonder if you can still recall what life was like when you got to sleep through the night, nap, or watch grown up movies.
- You will want summer break to end and you will want summer break to never end!
- You will wonder how a 20 pound child takes up so much room in your king size bed.
- You will want to slit the tires of anyone who, in the middle of your frustration says, “you’re going to miss this”, but at the same time know they’re right.
I one hundred percent know that one day I will miss this, but sometimes when you’re in the midst of it you can’t comprehend it. You can’t even begin to fathom missing this.
Last week, I was forty minutes into a run when my oldest daughter, who was riding her bike next to me, had the audacity to ask, “Is being a mom fun?” Child, let’s save the loaded questions for when your mother is not running and can breathe. It would have been easy to say, “Yes! It’s so much fun!” But…I’m not sugar-coating this life thing to my children and want to give them the real stuff!
My short response during the run was “No.” When we got back to the house, and once I could breathe and speak normally again, I gave her a good solid answer and had a mom-like conversation laying out all the good and all the bad and all the in-between.
Motherhood is the absolute best job and the absolute hardest job. Sometimes it brings you joy upon joy upon joy and sometimes you question what the heck you were thinking. (Of course, my conversation with her was a bit more lengthy than that.)
So for all of you mothers out there, new or seasoned, thinking you aren’t measuring up in the motherhood world because your house doesn’t look Pinterest picturesque every moment of the day; give yourself a break. That’s not real life. For all of you mothers who are feeling guilty because you aren’t loving every second of this role; despite what social media portrays, you are not alone. For all of you mothers who have thought man, I can’t wait to have another baby because that means a solid day or two in a hospital not having to wait on others. And for all of you mother’s who are on the brink of a breakdown, hang in there! I hear, if you’re lucky, they give you grandkids and that’s really where it’s at…grandmas want to see all the castles!
Bye friends! 🙂