Have you ever had a moment where you suddenly felt more like “you” than you ever have before? That is exactly how I felt the second I became a mama (and every moment since). What did I want to be when I grew up? “A mom.” That was always my answer. Ask any of my siblings and they will tell you how long I’ve been preparing to have that title. There literally were times growing up, that we had to take two cars so that my “baby’s” real carseat could be properly buckled in. Money from birthdays or holidays? Off to Carter’s I went to buy real baby clothes for my dolls. This trend continued as I got older. I wasn’t like most other teenagers, my weekends were best spent playing and exploring with the boys I nannied. Throughout highschool and college I never really was into the whole “partying” thing (okay before anyone who knew me then calls me out… of course I had my occasional crazy, wild, fun nights out…*insert me reminicisning here* but it certainly wasn’t constant) I wasn’t at all sad to be pregnant with our first son on my 21st because going out for a drink wasn’t really “me” anyways. I love nights in (or adventures out) with my husband and our boys. That’s who I am at my core and the times I feel the happiest.
When I was 11 years old, a family moved in across the street. They had two young boys. I rushed to the computer to type up a “mother’s helper” flyer to give to the mom (I was pretty shy and it took everything in me to walk over there). Thank goodness I found the courage to introduce myself and hand her that flyer. Those “two baby boys” later turned into three. The “new people” that moved in across the street turned into my second family. Oh, and that “mother’s helper” job turned into a full time nannying job that lasted throughout high school and beyond. All of this meant I finally got to practice those mama skills on real babies. I love those boys (who are all growing up too fast and make me so proud) and that family with all my heart and am so thankful to them for trusting me with their little ones way back when. All of these things prepared me for the day when I would be mama to my own babies.
Sometimes (not always) when I meet a mom at a park, in a store, etc. they begin to talk about being so tired because their little ones aren’t good sleepers, how their house is never clean, or the dishes that are piling up. They are overwhelmed and suddenly I become very quiet. I suddenly feel guilt that I sleep more now than before kids or feel bad that at the end of almost every day all the toys are put away perfectly (almost to the point of obsessive about things being in their “right” spot…my husband loves this about me…wink wink, I can spot a misplaced toy from a mile away.) Is their experience wrong or bad, not ONE bit, it’s just that I have a totally different experience with motherhood. My babies are great sleepers from the start (knock on wood), I love cleaning up all the toys and to be honest I am blissfully (some might even say obnoxiously) in love with every single second of being a mom. At times, I feel like moms have this bond over their lack of sleep, messy house, etc. and I find myself just going along with it to not come across as “miss super mom” or “miss know it all”. Why do I do that? Why do I feel like my experience as a mom is any less valid or worth sharing than theirs?
Is every day easy, is my house always perfect and am I always “put together”…FAR from it. There are days I wear my husband’s sweatpants and a shirt out of the dirty clothes pile (ok this happens more than I care to admit, haha)! There are days you couldn’t take one step without a toy being in your way and there are days when there is more dirty laundry than clean. So I sincerely hope this post isn’t coming across like I have everything all figured out and am a professional mama. Not true AT ALL. I also don’t for one second judge another mom, for ANYTHING. Motherhood is different for every single woman and there is far too much judgement being placed on moms as it is. Being a mom is anything but easy. I learn something new every single day and no one can be fully prepared for this crazy adventure. It’s just that I thrive in the chaos of motherhood. (Put me in a business setting of any kind, for example, and I would likely crash and burn)
If there is one thing all of us mama’s can always bond over, it is our overwhelming love for our littles. At the end of the day breast or bottle, cloth or disposable, working or stay at home, one child or 6 children, clean house or messy…we are all just doing our best. So whatever your experience with motherhood is don’t be afraid to share it. Don’t become quiet or feel that you have to be the same as the mom standing next to you in the park. Be proud of your triumphs and be proud of your struggles. I guarantee there is a mom out there who feels exactly the way you do and there is nothing more comforting than knowing you aren’t alone.
We are mamas & we are ALL amazing. ♡