Being a mom is not for the faint of heart. Can I get an amen?!
I didn’t become a mom until I was 28. In fact, I was just barely 28. My oldest was born a couple of weeks after my birthday. I had secretly hoped she would arrive on my birthday because I thought it would be the greatest thing to share a birthday with my first baby. Plus, I was done being pregnant. I felt like I had grown to the size of an adult elephant and was unhappy with all of my maternity clothes. But as much as I willed it to happen, it didn’t. And she was much later than her due date.
I can recall a conversation I had with David one day the year before I found I was pregnant with our first little girl. We had escaped the big city lights of London for a weekend getaway on the shores of England celebrating our anniversary. There was the best family owned Italian restaurant we had just enjoyed dinner at and we were walking along the shoreline back to our hotel. There wasn’t a soul around. The smell of saltwater filled my nose and the waves gently crashed on the shore, the street lamps glowing across the way.
We walked hand in hand as we discussed the idea of having kids. Our hearts were moving towards the direction of starting a family but we weren’t quite ready at that moment. I remember asking him if he thought that we would have already had kids if we had gotten married sooner. He replied with a maybe but reminded me we were where we were at and that was ok.
Another year went by before I found out I was pregnant. I was giddy with excitement and dreamed of the day she would be there in my arms. The day I could cuddle her in close, nurse her, push her around in the pram, baby wear. There were so many things I could not wait for.
The reality was, she cried. All the time. And never slept. I could barely get anything done without her screaming her brains out. It was incredibly harder than I ever thought. I remember telling a friend that I never read about non sleepers in the baby books. My life was forever changed and I cried a lot as I continually rocked my newborn.
Eventually, we got the hang of life. Maybe not for awhile, but there did finally come a day before our second was born where she started sleeping longer stretches at night and taking naps during the day. It was glorious.
Then, I was pregnant our middle. I felt sicker than sick and could barely keep it together to leave the house for awhile. One morning, I was running late for bible study at church. I had given my just over 1 year old toddler some cereal for breakfast and was trying to get myself put together before leaving. I turned my head for a couple of minutes and came back to a mess of cereal all over the floor that was already drying to the floor in large clumps. I took her out of her high chair and gated up the kitchen so she couldn’t play in it. I didn’t have the time to scrub the floor so I left it. And then proceeded to confess what I had done with the other moms in bible study.
I think being a mom has been one of the hardest jobs I have ever done before. Definitely rewarding but incredibly challenging at the same time. I look around at other moms that I think have it all together only to find their child too has screamed at them for being asked to try hummus or had an accident at the grocery store or eaten cat food.
The important thing is that we all stick together. We encourage one another as we go. We cheer in good times and in hard, we bring coffee after late nights of being up with sick kids, we cry together, we laugh together, we extend grace to one another.
Mom life is not for the faint of heart and it’s not one to do alone. Find your people. Reach out. Invite them into your cheerio covered floors and remind each other that you are in this together.
And cherish those times you get out without the littles. There will be plenty of time for snuggles the next morning, but I know it’s incredibly hard to leave when the sink is piled high with dishes, there are toys covering the floor, the husband has been gone all day at work, but you have to care for yourself too. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not good at that. I’ll be honest. I look at the ever growing laundry list of things to do or clean or little people to feed and I start to shut down and think that my time would be better off doing all the things that I just want to forget about and that probably won’t get done anyway as I am falling over due to sleep deprivation! But, find the people. Get out and see the people. Or don’t. Find what works for you!
And know that mom life? We are all in this together. I see you mom at the grocery store pushing all the kids trying to figure out what’s for dinner. I’m doing the same, trying to make it through before anyone melts down on the floor And by anyone, I mean more specifically me.