Yesterday would be my 6th time celebrating Mother’s Day, as a mom. I’ve never been much of a birthday person. I don’t love the attention and the pressure of planning something. However I do love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so what can I say- I’m complicated.
I do really love celebrating Mother’s Day. It’s just a chance for me to take a day and appreciate the three most important things I’ve ever done. Besides marrying my husband, which was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made, creating a family with him and bringing these three little people into the world has been an overwhelming beautiful adventure.
I’ve been reflecting back on the last 7 years or so as a Mom. I sat in a quiet dark room, with my candles, playing Sarah McLachlan in peace on my bed. NOT come on. I’m a mom to a 4, 6 and 7 year old. I am never in a quiet room, anywhere. In between wiping butts, making lunch, doing homework, picking up legos, stepping on the legos when they are on the floor again, reading books, and hugs- I have reflected. In a very scattered way. This is far and away the hardest job I’ve ever had. There are tiny moments where I want to run away for a day or so to be in quiet, but at the end of every day even at my most exhausted there is always that moment when I’ve read them their books, sang them our song and see a look in their eye that just rocks me to my core. Being their mom is everything I am here for.
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:
- You are capable of more than you think you are. Before I gave birth to our second daughter, Dylan, I remember thinking there was no way that I could love another person the way I love Blake. How could it be? My heart felt so full. Boy was I wrong. With each birth, it’s like my heart doubles in size. The love I feel for each child is greater than any love I ever thought imaginable. And yes, after each birth I struggled to find my footing. But somehow it’s like you gain an extra hand. I could feed a baby a bottle, while reading a book to my toddler and help my other toddler eat. You just figure it out. It’s not always pretty, or perfect, but you can do it.
- I am not always failing. Figuring out how to split yourself up to tend to each child’s needs is definitely my biggest struggle as a mom. I feel like I am constantly trying to make sure that each of them feels loved and included. Sometimes I am just exhausted, and just play a movie. It feels lazy and definitely not like mother of the year material. But I got a card from Blake, my eldest, yesterday for Mother’s Day and when asked what her favorite thing to do with me she responded “Just lay down and watch a movie.” So it hit me that even when I think I’m being lazy or failing as a mom, it’s just the moment when I’m nailing it. Also I’ve had birds on my person on more than one occasion so technically, I just win as a mother, right?
- Kids are born as they are and we just shape them a little. Now watching three kids grow up, it is clear that their personalities are formed from inception almost. My husband and I do things exactly the same for all of them. My oldest daughter is the rule follower, gets straight A’s, wins the kindness awards, and moves more cautiously. She didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. Then my second daughter, walked at 9 months, literally jumps from couch to couch, has had stitches 2 times on her face, and told us she wants to leave school to travel the world on boat. My son is constantly in character whether that’s Tarzan or a T-Rex, and if you ask me his scholastic potential I will say he’s a third kid and 4 so I’m not entirely sure which way he is going to go yet #realtalk
- Things may go as planned but most likely it will absolutely not go the way you thought it would. This has been the hardest lesson to learn, but the one that has granted me the most happiness. I used to try to plan and anticipate every single aspect of our day, and then when things didn’t go as planned I would become so upset or get so stressed out. I’m not saying I don’t plan at all, but I do allow for flexibility now. No plan or activity or schedule is as important as it seems. Sometimes the beauty lies in the things that weren’t planned at all. Like you think I would plan to have a bird on my shoulder… no, no I wouldn’t.
- Ice Cream Cures All. I’ve learned that almost any time one of my kids is acting out or not acting like themselves, the root of the problem is they need special time. For the quick fix I escape with him/her and we get some ice cream together, just us. Sometimes a little one on one time is good for the soul, and not just their soul- definitely mine.
- Never Stick your Finger in the back of a diaper. I don’t think I need to go any further here. We all understand what happens here, right?
- Learn from my mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes. So. Many. I’ve forgotten formula, bottles, pacifiers. As they’ve grown, I’ve forgotten lunches, project due dates, birthday parties. I’ve said the wrong thing. I’ve reacted wrong. A good example is that time I forgot to pack a change of clothes for the kids, because what could go so wrong at the park? Well there was a very large puddle that day I guess the other lesson here is that also be easy on yourself when you don’t exactly learn from that mistake. Years later, I also had not packed clothes and well:
- Enjoy it because it just flies. This is something people tell you all the time. It’s almost annoying how often someone says this to you. But there’s a reason. One day you are holding this tiny little baby in your arms. Your hair is dirty, you aren’t sure the last time you showered or ate an entire meal from start to finish sitting down, and you are so tired that you dream about sleeping while you are taking a tiny 15 minute nap. You think this phase will never end. Then it’s like your thrusted in the future and your daughter is telling you that you embarrassed her at her soccer game because you were cheering too loud. Boom. The phase is ending, and all you end up wondering is if you held her enough? Did you play with her enough? Did you take it all in? And when you start to panic that you didn’t hold her long enough you will begin to downward spiral and beg your husband to reverse his vasectomy, to which he will obviously reply NO. So I will just look at my 7, 6 and 4 year old and make sure I enjoy this time with them. As the more seasoned moms keep telling me to do. And although I may get annoyed at times, I know they’re right. It just flies.
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