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A very dear friend of mine who embraced motherhood much before me had a key chain with that phrase on it. Along with a wild-eyed, frizzy-haired cartoon mama balancing a phone, a sack of groceries, and a baby (or more) at her heels. Several years later and my twin toddlers in tow I have to say that hits the nail on the head.
BEFORE I was a mom, I thought I knew what being a mom meant. More specifically, I thought I knew what moms did. I thought all moms were pretty much the same: they snuggled their babies, they kissed ouches, they agonized over how choices they made today, would affect the adults their children would grow up to be.
BEFORE I had kids, I was an excellent mom.
I was superb. No one could beat me at this Mommyhood gig.
My kids slept through the night, ate all their vegetables, said please and thank you without being asked, never talked back or argued with each other, looked neat as pin, never had an evil thought, played in the mud, or disobeyed.
BUT THEN, THEY WERE BORN.
All my perfecting parenting flew out the window.
I have already discovered that uninterrupted sleep is for sissies, vegetables are great for throwing; my kids enjoy the fine art of screaming, and neat as a pin was a funny, distant thought. In other words, I was in the middle of raising humans and it wasn’t as easy as it looked.
I’m almost two years in and, without a doubt; this ‘Mommy’ gig is the hardest job I’ve ever known. The most rewarding, by far. But the hardest. I didn’t fully understand that when I took the promotion. Six months in, I started to figure it out. But now? There’s a whole new level of realization.
And it sneaks up on you.
Don’t get me wrong. Being a mommy is still the best decision I ever made.
But that doesn’t change the fact that, somewhere along the way, the Mommy life begins to consume you. It suddenly becomes hard to distinguish the line between caring for your family, and taking care of yourself. And if you are not careful, it threatens to take you down (mentally).
All us mommies have been there at some point or another. Go on, admit it. ( I won’t tell on you, I promise ! )
During all these tough phases and times that threaten to take you down, remember that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there, struggling with the very same things. Rest in that. It’s true, we are blessed to do what we do.
I’ve learned in my almost two years as a parent that motherhood is not for wimps. It’s also not meant to be done alone. I have realized that I am I’m a better mom when I lean on others, letting go of my quest for “independence” and accepting gracefully any help that my parents, my extended families, my friends, neighbours, etc. can give me. I’m also a happier mom when I toss out the guilt and all the regrets and just try to be present. Every single day.
I’ve worn a lot of hats in my days and my role as a woman is constantly evolving, but I hold none of them as precious as when those dirty little faces lean in for a kiss and call me “Mumma”.
Being a mom has already proven to be the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, and somehow the most incredible. Sometimes I think what have I done? Then I just look at my boys and realize for the millionth time that every sacrifice I have already made and every sacrifice I will make for them in the future is worth it. I know some days will be crazy and reduce me to tears. But I also know that my life would not be complete without my boys, and I thank God every day for healthy, happy babies that have made my life so much sweeter.
So that’s why motherhood is not for wimps. You love it and you hate it. It’s so stinking hard and it’s also wonderful. You can go from crying to laughing in a matter of seconds. You make sacrifices you never imagined you would make. You realize that you were absolutely crazy for signing up for this job, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.