Saturday, July 11, 2009

What I didn't know.... (edited...I added a few more thoughts)

I read a post on motherhood on another blog, according to kelly.

She talked about the things she didn't realize about motherhood before she became a mother. Reading her post (and all the comments) made me think about what has surprised me about motherhood. Here are a few of my thoughts. I'm sure there are more and I agreed with many other people's thoughts (and disagreed with a few):

Hmmm... what I didn't know was how you could feel like strangling a child (but of course you don't) one minute and like hugging them the next. ... I never guessed that my kids would be able to make me so frustrated or angry or so happy and so proud. (Was that too honest?)

I didn't realize how hard it would be to not compare...my own kids with each other, my kids with other kids their ages, myself with other moms. It's not productive and I don't mean to do it, but it happens anyway.

I also didn't realize that I would be helped so often by others...strangers and friends alike. I don't think I seem incompetent, I think I usually do a pretty good job of handling 3 kids, but so often friends or strangers have offered help without me asking. Watching my kids while I work when my babysitter is sick, helping me unload groceries into my car at the store while I got the kids in the car, helping me in church if I'm alone with all 3, etc. I have been brought to tears by the kindness of others on many ocassions, especially when my 2nd had open heart surgery.

I had no idea how amazing it would be to watch my children interact with each other. Their relationship is so special, and they often surprise me with their kindness and sweetness. This is one of the most amazing parts of parenthood.

I never knew that my kids would be able to make me smile or laugh like nothing else. That there is nothing in this world to compare to the smile or laughter of a baby or child. That holding an infant in your arms is one of life's greatest joys (except at 3 o'clock in the morning when you are sleep deprived and the baby is sick and you would do anything for sleep!). And that the days (and years) pass by way too quickly. That you really shouldn't blink... That as the song says, "You're gonna miss this. You're gonna want this back. You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are some good days. So take a good look around, you may not know it now, but you're gonna miss this."

I, unlike many others, would never have guessed how much I would love being pregnant. (I really do!) Or that having a baby naturally would literally change my whole perception of myself and what I can do.

Or that, at the end of the day, we all do the best we can and that we need to let that be good enough. But that I would often wonder if it really was.

I had no idea how hard it would be to work full time and be a mother. It is overwhelming and exhausting... There is always so much more to do and it is hard to juggle and determine priorities.

But I also know that it is hard being a stay at home mom. I am like a stay at home mom during the summer (since I'm a teacher) and I LOVE it! Most of the time. But there are days when it seems like the house is a mess despite my efforts, and dinner doesn't turn out and the kids fight and I haven't slept and I'm restless and every once in a while, going back to work seems like a break. I had 2 days like that this past week. I was grumpy; the kids were grumpy; we were all a little stir crazy. So, I admire those of you who are stay at home moms.

Wouldn't it be nice if parenthood came with an instruction manual? But then, I guess many of the lessons we need to learn as mothers are personal and individual. And what works for one child or one family won't always work for another.

But most of all, that being a mother is the best job in the world and that despite the difficulties, you wouldn't trade it for anything!!!!