Remember the days of playing house with your friends? It was a race to be the first to claim being mom. Probably because that meant they got to boss everyone around, ya? We would usually end up with more than one mom, and we would grab a baby doll and tuck them into the covers. Push them in the wagon or stroller, and then when we were done we would shove them in the closet and run off to a new adventure.
Twenty years and two kids later I can say with confidence we got exactly everything wrong about being THE MOM. Of course, we do get to boss people around, but they rarely listen, and almost always fight back.
No one prepared me for motherhood. The million parenting books on amazon are a testament that I may not be alone here. No one knows what the heck they're doing! Which is surprising since we spend the first quarter of our lives on the other side of that coin. Turns out being a child with a mother is nothing like being a mother with a child.
I didn't know that my daily nutrition would consist of the scrap food my kids left on their plates, or let's be honest, the food I've eaten straight off their faces. Yesterday I had to tell my two year old not to lick the pee off her hands. I mean, seriously, I had no clue I'd ever string together that sentence.
I didn't know that I would fight the same battle today that I've fought every.single.day. for the past six months. Or maybe longer, who knows, I haven't slept enough in 4 years to have anything but short term memory left. Maybe God intended us to never sleep so we would forget the hour long tantrums that toddlers can throw over a sock that wasn't put on just right, or how hard it is to get a toddler to pee in the dang potty. Your battles may look different from mine, but battles they are none the less. Kids have a way of being both hilarious and infuriating simultaneously.
Being a mother has consumed me in a way I hadn't even recognized until recently when I spoke with a friend without children. She said "so many moms seem to lose themselves." At first I wanted to correct her, but I realized while she wasn't totally correct, she always wasn't completely wrong. It's true we can't have it all. I underestimated the number of times I would choose them instead of me. Saying "no" to a lunch date with a friend, not answering the phone because I 'just can't right now', skipping date nights. It's the little things that have piled up to bury the me I once was.
And yet, I don't hate who is left behind. Someone who strives to be compassionate, who is always serving others. A person who spend their days making silly voices, and chasing little people with my signature "butt dance" move. My days are sleepless and silly and usually hilarious (maybe not in the moment, but eventually I see the humor). My kids are slightly weird and usually look homeless, but they're happy.
With Mother's Day in our midst, I'm here to cheer you on as you drop the pretenses and appreciate the TRUE stories that make up your days. You may not always get it right but you're a superhero, who doesn't need a perfect scene to be appreciated and admired.