Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I adore, love, cherish this day. My mom and I are very close, so it’s a way to honor her. But, I’m also a mom myself and it’s truly a celebration of the roller coaster ride I have been on for the last 4,939 days. But, who’s counting?
This whole mothering thing is way more complex than I anticipated. I figured since I had my master’s and had studied child development I had it all down long before Sam came sailing down the canal. Little did I know the unexpected things that awaited me. Here is just a small sampling:
- You learn that when a baby has an explosion in their diaper it can travel all the way up their back to their hairline. And, this usually happens in a restaurant or airport.
- A comment, a kind word, an acknowledgment from your child such as “Mom, I’m proud of you for running that marathon,” can instantaneously turn you into a crying mess.
- There is nothing sweeter than your little girl and her dad hand in hand
- You crave a break from the kids. You go to Las Vegas or Mexico without them and all you do is miss them. Except when you’ve had five martinis or are winning at the blackjack table.
- Blaming farts on the little people is one of the many ways you reap the benefits of motherhood.
- The first time your child’s poop turns from mush into a real actual turd is a an event. This usually happens once they start on solids and it is STARTLING!!
- When your child tells you they hate you, you know you shouldn’t take it personally. But it hurts. Really badly. Even if they’re only two.
- Kindergarten graduation kills you. It fast forwards your mind to a lifetime of commencement ceremonies, weddings, births, birthdays and anniversaries.
- Left to his own devices your son might put a penny into an electrical outlet and blow up the wall or take your “play” handcuffs to school for show and tell.
- It’s possible to get so angry you shake and the tendons in your neck pop out. On a regular basis.
- Baby/toddler/preschool farts can be just as voluminous and smelly as a 40 year old’s fart.
- You find yourself crawling into bed with your sleeping child in the middle of the night and laying your head near theirs just to hear them breathe and to smell their clean hair.
- The first time your child goes to the ER you do not get over it for weeks, maybe months. Your replay the event over and over in your mind – how could it have been prevented? Or you torture yourself with thoughts of how it could have been worse.
- You say the SAME shit your parents said to you that you promised yourself you would never say. “Because I said so.” “I’m telling your father when he gets home.” “You do not speak to me that way!” “Don’t point that loaded gun at me!”
- You wrap all the Santa gifts in the same paper and fake Santa's handwriting. You take bites out of the stale cookies left on the counter and leave black jellybeans on the front lawn and say they’re reindeer shit.
- You worry like crazy that you will get a sudden and deadly illness and that you will not be around to raise your children, to see them get married, to meet your grandchildren.
- You make your kids do the chores you hate like clean the toilet and empty the trash.
- You are constantly humbled by how little you know about parenting. Each stage brings a new set of challenges. Potty training. Biting. Bad grades. Cell phones. Peer issues. It never freaking stops.
- You will at least once or twice say something really mean to your child that you will later regret. Before you become a parent you think you will NEVER do this, but you will.
- The rewards and challenges of being a mother are ridiculous. Enormous. Unfathomable. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s been the most unexpected thing for you as a parent?
Any Mother’s Day plans for tomorrow? I’m hoping to get in my first long brick (90 minute bike, 20 minute run) then go stuff myself with french toast. Later I get to share a grilled shrimp dinner with my mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and moms to be.