Saturday, May 7, 2011

20 Unexpected Things About Being a Mother

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?

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. There is nothing sweeter than your little girl and her dad hand in hand
  4. 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.
  5. Blaming farts on the little people is one of the many ways you reap the benefits of motherhood.
  6. 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!!
  7. 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. 
  8. Kindergarten graduation kills you. It fast forwards your mind to a lifetime of commencement ceremonies, weddings, births, birthdays and anniversaries.
  9. 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.
  10. It’s possible to get so angry you shake and the tendons in your neck pop out. On a regular basis.
  11. Baby/toddler/preschool farts can be just as voluminous and smelly as a 40 year old’s fart.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!”
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. You make your kids do the chores you hate like clean the toilet and empty the trash.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and moms to be.

SUAR

54 comments:

  1. awww. i'm not even a mother and i'm teared up! happy mothers day to you and your mom! :)

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  2. I can't be with my mom this mother's day (being in South Korea kinda makes it difficult), but she and I just made plans to do a 5K together when I am home to visit this summer! :D

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  3. Your list is very, very accurate. I use "because I said so" at least once a day, I think.

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  4. What a fantastic list! Brought a smile to my face. One of the most unexpected things I've found about parenting is that I could quite happily sit in my son's room and watch him sleep - all night. How did I ever produce anything so adorable?!
    He's a bugger when he's awake though!

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  5. All true. Nothing really prepares you for exactly *how much* you can love these little obnoxious boogers.

    My shocking moment: when you're in the hospital, and the nurses are all over themselves being helpful. And then they release you. Alone. With... A tiny person. Alone.

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  6. I loved this b/c it is sooo true! One of the most unexpected things for me has been how much those little moments when my boys climb into my lap and snuggle close to me mean to me. I know it will be too soon where they don't want to do that anymore, and it makes those little moments that much more special.
    Happy Mother's Day Beth!!

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  7. This was perfect, love it! The most surprising thing about motherhood has been how fast they're growing up and how I feel like hyperventilating each time I realize another day is gone. Love them so much!

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  8. I read Anne Lamott's "Operating Instructions" before my son was born (in 2003!)--and I was touched by the description she gave when she saw her son for the first time: "He was beautiful, like moonlight". That, too, was my memory of the first sight of my son--like moonlight. Ahhhh.

    On a lighter note, I have said the most ridiculous things as a mother: "Don't lick the kitty!", "Why on earth would you put Spiderman in the microwave?!!!!", "Really? You fed the dog 5 doughnuts, Really?", "Okay, we'll just look for the marbles in your poop tomorrow. DON'T FLUSH UNTIL I LOOK AT THEM!".

    Your post made my mother's day!

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  9. I love watching my mom be a grandma! My kids love their grandparents house and it is a gift I wouldn't trade!

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  10. This is so wonderful and so true! Black jelly bean reindeer turds... brilliant! I usually just chew up some carrots and lettuce and dribble it out of my mouth on the floor in front of the fridge... and track some dirt in the kitchen in the same area... to simulate hungry reindeer raiding the fridge. One year my oldest wrote Santa a letter asking for his autograph (I think to see if it was like mine) so I googled 'Santa's signature' and forged it!

    Other than what giraffy mentioned :P... the most unexpected thing for me has been experiencing how my love is infinite... feeling that has been startling, arresting, expanding, mind-blowing. I am so in love with being a mom :)

    Wishing you a very wonderful Mother's Day, SUAR!

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  11. Great list and so very true. I am constantly surprised by motherhood but mostly I think it's just how fast the time goes by - how quickly they go from being this tiny bundle you bring home from the hospital to these little people full of personality and opinions. It's a cliche but time really does move too fast!

    Happy Mother's Day Beth!

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  12. Pretty much all I can say to that is... Amen! Except it doesn't bother me when my kids say they hate me; I know they don't mean it anymore than I did when I said it to my mom. (I only remember saying it once, as a teen, and I was racked with guilt for the next 20 years. She, however, doesn't remember the incident.)

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  13. Lovely...and funny. Happy Mother's Day.

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  14. All true! What was unexpected for me was how smart my own mom got all of a sudden. When I was 15, she had no clue about anything but when I brought home this wailing, confusing little bundle from the hospital I realized the woman was a GENIUS :) Still go to her for advice all the time. Have a terrific mother's day.

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  15. This is so great. Lots for me to look forward to. Totally made me tear up.

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  16. Aw! A funny AND heart warming post! Happy mothers' day Beth!!

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  17. Happy Mother's Day! I hear you on #8. My son graduates from PreK in about a month and when they sent out invites I started crying. My husband thought I brought my crazy to a new level! He has no idea what he's in for.

    Enjoy your day!

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  18. Both of my boys puke in public places, so much so that I am no longer shaken when 2 seconds after my son says "my belly hurts" I am catching throw- up in whatever I have handy, be it my shirt, purse, jacket ,hands. All my Mother says to me when I complain to her about this is.... "Payback is a Bit--!" And then she tells me all about how when I was a child I did this to her too many times to count! I wish all of you Mommies out there a Very Happy Moms Day! We all deserve it! And its the best job out there!

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  19. Each and every one of those is true. I actually have a picture of the first one happening to us. I made my husband take it because I thought it was so funny! :) Happy Mother's Day, Beth!

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  20. Jerk. You almost had me tearing up. My guy turns 4 in July.

    N

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  21. When you read things like - 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 - you relate so much that it can turn you into a crying mess.

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  22. hahahah. i'm not a mom but i loved this post! and i found myself nodding my head to each of your points. weird.

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  23. That the amount that you love them actually grows over the years. When they are young, you love them with your whole heart, well I assure you, that when they grow into young adults, you love them even more than you did when they were young.
    I am so proud to be mum to my two sons.

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  24. Every single one of those things is true! My kidlets are 19 and 20, and yet those poopy diaper moments just came right back to me (white outfit, no backup clothing in diaper bag, at a fancy schmancy restaurant - we ended up going just with a diaper and tossing the whole outfit). Thanks for sharing and Happy Mother's Day!

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  25. Happy Mother's Day to you.

    Starting the day off with a nice hour run followed by a 1,000y swim at least and then quiche with the wife's family....after I call my mother.

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  26. #12. I crave of doing this with my teenager. It's the only safe time to get snuggles without being pushed away.

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  27. Loved the post. As a mother of 3 (my 'baby' is 25) and grandma of 1 everything you said is so true. I'm doing a long 14 mile run then the kids are coming over for pizza. It's my day I can eat what I want.

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  28. Love that picture.
    Love this post.
    Happy Mother's Day.

    Love that jellybean and reindeer shit thing. I don't like the liquorice anyway!

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  29. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!

    Gotta Run,
    MIke!

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  30. Happy Mom's Day!!!! This list makes me want to have kids. Now THAT'S somethin'!

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  31. You hit the nail on the head. It's all true. Happy Mothers day to you.

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  32. Laughed so hard I cried. I'm going to copy this and email it to my mom. Happy Mother's Day!

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  33. Nothing can prepare you for being a Mother. Luckily I have a great role model. My mother is amazing. She has an enormous amount of love to give. My children love to spend time with her when they can, they are 16, 19 and 21. I have loved being a mother, an amazing ride.

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  34. Happy Mothers Day!! I hope it's a great one for you!

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  35. My four year old daughter has started the "I hate you" thing lately. It stings a little, but I don't react. she's just going for the shock awe. This morning though, she was mad and told me I wasn't pretty. That actually made me laugh hysterically, which made her more mad.

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  36. I'm not as parent yet, but this post gave me goosebumps!

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  37. Our first 911 call for our son and his first trip to the ER are years in the past and we still can't get over it. Still makes me tear up! And the poop thing...yeah, why does that shit (quite literally) ALWAYS happen when you're in public? When they're in your lap?

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  38. It really does go by SOOO fast! I feel like I just got out of college, and next year I'll have a high schooler! That's the thing everyone says that you don't believe, and it's so true.

    And of course, the sh!t up the back to the neck thing too...

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