As I sit here surrounded by the little people who call me mom, I can't help but look around at all the things I need to do. Laundry needs to be started, since I was informed this morning that my husband is out of clean socks. Dishes are still in the sink from last night's dinner, the cat threw up, and my one-year-old daughter is set on getting into every drawer in the house before noon.
I have three kids, ages 6, 4 and 1. This is my life. My busy, hectic, crazy beautiful life, full of messes, tantrums, and driving. But I love it anyway. It may sound insane, but becoming a mom has made me realize... sorry, what was I saying?
Most people have this perception of stay-at-home moms that we sit around all day, drinking coffee and eating Twinkies and doing little else. I believe this stereotype to be false because first of all, I don't like Twinkies. (That's right — I said it.) Second of all, I drink my coffee in gulps as I rush around the house trying to parent my children and...sorry, I forgot my train of thought again. Anyway, life is busy.
Just the other day, for instance, I dropped off my two sons at different schools, shopped for groceries, picked up my sons, made dinner and took care of a teething baby. Some days aren't as busy, and I get to put up my feet to catch up on whatever cartoon my son is into at the moment. But those days are few and far between.
Motherhood, like finger painting, is messy. It's full of color, laughter and cleaning, and it's not for everyone. I love my kids more than anything, even coffee, but parenting is hard... did I already say that?
I love being a parent, but to be perfectly honest, sometimes I miss being a kid myself. I can't tell you how many times I've wished to go back in time to have my mom braid my hair, make me yummy snacks and tell me I'm pretty. Life was so simple. Now I'm the one in charge of snacks...and dishes, laundry, homework, hygiene, appointments, and pretty much everything else.
Now, I'm the one who answers to: "Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM!!" Which brings me to my next point: why don't kids ever ask Dad for things? Why must my children walk right past their father to scream for me, while I'm head-first in the dryer trying to get clothes out after running the machine eleven times in a row? Even when my husband offers to step in, I still hear, "No, I want mom!" Unless, of course, Daddy decides to make scrambled eggs. Then I get to hear about how Daddy's eggs are way better than mine. Gee, thanks, children...maybe that's because I make them in between changing diapers and running around the house like a lunatic.
It may sound like I'm complaining, but I'm actually doing others moms-to-be a favor. If I act like being a mom is super easy and I've got it all together, that might give other moms the impression that motherhood is supposed to be easy. That would be a lie. Motherhood is supposed to be rewarding and wonderful, yes, but it's also easily the hardest thing I've ever done. If you went to bed last night utterly exhausted, surrounded by toys and clutter, and wondering if you're a good enough mother, than rest assured: you're doing motherhood right.
Sometimes, when my kids are peacefully asleep in their beds, I just gaze at them creepily, wondering how I ever survived without them. They are my reason for breathing. I am who I am today, because I get to be their mother.
So much of motherhood is hard, but the other parts are incredibly fulfilling. When my kids look up at me and say things like "You look pretty, Mama," or "Mommy, I love you more than everything," that makes all the hard days so worthwhile. Sometimes, when my kids are peacefully asleep in their beds, I just stare at them creepily, wondering how I ever survived without them. They are my reason for breathing. I am who I am today, because I get to be their mother. Becoming a mother made me realize just how much love my heart can actually hold. (It's also taught me how to change a poopy diaper in eleven seconds flat, while my ninja of a baby turns over and crawls away mid-wipe.)
But seriously, becoming a mother has taught me so many things about myself. It's made me realize that I'm a super strong person. Becoming a mother has given me the uncanny ability to take care of multiple people at once on five hours of interrupted sleep. It's given me the ability to get all three kids dressed, fed and in the car for school in five minutes. It's given me the power to help my son with homework, cook dinner with a baby on my hip and whistle a happy tune all at the same time. It's also made me realize that coffee should probably be a sixth food group.
So as I was saying, becoming a mom has made me realize how truly blessed I am to have such a full and busy life. Most of all, I've realized...oh, shoot. What was I talking about again? I can't remember. I better go make some more coffee.