Being a mother is hard as hell! If no one has broken that important piece of information to you, let me be the first to let you know. Moms have the hardest job in the world. In other words, we are responsible for molding our children into well rounded adults with very little practice and on the job training. Consequently, a lifetime of therapy awaits our children if we screw up. I am prone to screw-ups. It seems like I might as well start looking for a good therapist for my kids.
It has taken me a little over 13 years and 6 kids to figure out that I don’t have all of the answers for the many obstacles motherhood has thrown at me. To clarify, I don’t believe anyone does. I was however, without any answers, prior experience or training, going to be the best mom ever. Ironically, I have failed more times than I have succeeded.
I remember the day my first son was born. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was a beautiful, blue eyed little six pound bundle of joy. At least that’s what he was at the hospital. I wondered who he would be, what challenges he would face, if I was going to be a good mom to him. All of my hopes as a mom was now actualized.
At the end of our hospital stay the nurse who was such a great help to me, wheeled me to our car with my precious little baby in my arms, and said the most profound thing anyone had ever said to me in the short time I had become a mother, “Good luck in life” and with that, she waved as we drove away. In that moment I wondered what she meant, it didn’t take long to find out what she meant.
It began the day of my son’s circumcision; immediately after the procedure was done, I tried to comfort my screaming baby and he showed me how much he appreciated me by pooping all over my lap. Not just any poop, green, seedy, runny poop, all over my skirt and down my legs. Yep. I had officially been shat on. I was winning. You haven’t lived until the child you pooped out of your body, poops on you. After that, to top it all off, I had to clean myself up with baby wipes and get to the nearest pharmacy to pick up pain medication for this tiny human that just emptied his bowels all over me. Motherhood.
Motherhood is messy and unpredictable. Similarly, I have been peed on, puked on, have had food spewed on me, and each time, I’ve taken it all in stride. It’s the part of motherhood no one wants to talk about. We all know that it can happen at any moment. Getting through that first year of motherhood with very little sleep took a combination of prayer, and sheer determination. Oh, and lots of coffee. As a result, here are a few things I have learned not only in my first year of motherhood, but in my motherhood journey so far.
My oldest son was the baby that every parent prays they don’t get for their first child. He cried all the time, even after he was fed and dry. In short, he just cried. For any and everything, the kid wouldn’t let up. As a result, I tried everything; taking him on drives in the car hoping the moving motion would soothe him, turning on the vacuum cleaner to hear the noise from the motor, I even tried putting him in his front carrier and walking him up and down the street to get him to calm down.
The kid was relentless, for that reason, nothing would work. I needed a plan quick! Therefore, I decided to put him on a sleeping schedule. Everyday, we kept the same routine. I stuck to that routine come hell or high water. Hell and high water came every night at 6pm on the dot. My child would scream for no reason, other than to hear himself sccreaming. The schedule seemed to work, hence we kept him on a strict schedule.
Hiding spots are no laughing matter. It’s imperative that you understand the seriousness in that statement. Kids will suck the life out of you if you let them, don’t let them, fight back. Let’s be honest here, I’ll let you in on some top secret information; I like to hide in my closet. Seriously. It’s where I keep the good snacks that I don’t want to share with the kids. Above all, finding a hiding spot, and taking a break could prove to be a life or death situation for your sanity. Remember, not too long of a break though, these kids are crazy, they’ll smell you from a mile away.
Motherhood can be a lonely journey if you don’t have a community to help you. Therefore, find a mom group in your area and get together as often as you can. My mommy meet-ups became the highlight of my week. We talked about everything from nipple confusion, to potty training tips. You name it, we discussed it. As a result, I felt better about not freaking out about not knowing which diaper rash cream was the best, and just picking up the cheapest I could locate. In other words, find your community and use them to help you in times of uncertainty.
No one is perfect. Sometimes you’ll suck at being a mom and sometimes you’ll be a rockstar. Embrace the fact that you don’t know everything about being a mom, and everything will be easier. Seek out answers and find what works for you and your children. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the answers. No one has all the answers, for instance, why is cornstarch added into some baby powders? I still haven’t figured that out. Not having all of the answers doesn’t make you look like a bad mom. It does, however, make you human. We all fall short. There isn’t one mom in history who has all of the answers. I can assure you, you won’t be the first. Motherhood is ever changing. Changes help us grow as moms.
Enjoy the journey! I’m sure you’ve come across older moms who smile at you and tell you how they wished their kids were that small again. It seems like yesterday when I was in the grocery store and a little old lady warned me that time will fly. For that reason, I probably should have taken heed to her words. Believe me, when you are experiencing loss of sleep due to late night feedings, around the clock diaper changes, and crying babies, time will definitely feel like it’s standing still.
Listen to me, time has wings. I can attest to it. Although I still see my son as the cute little squishy baby, he’s become an oftentimes obnoxious teenager. As a result, I wish I would have taken that old lay’s advice. So I’m telling you to do what I didn’t do. Enjoy the uncertainty, the hiccups, the unknowns. You’ll thank yourself later for being present in those moments.
Congratulations on being on this journey! Motherhood is one of the hardest, yet most rewarding roles you’ll ever have in life. In addition to all of the hard times, rest assured you’ll have some good times. As mothers, we aren’t paid in the ways we might be used to when putting in some much work is required, but hearing “I Love you Mommy” for the first time, will be a payday beyond words. In short, there’s nothing quite like motherhood, and there’s nothing better than being paid in hugs and kisses, nothing compares to it. I look forward to sharing more motherhood insight with you soon. In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram here.