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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Being a Mom: What No One Will Tell You

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I thought it appropriate to write a Mother's Day post.  Instead of all the happy, flowery poetry that surrounds Mother's Day, making it sound like some sort of a dream, I decided to write about some of the things no one tells you.

  • Labor pain is intense but is the most rewarding pain that seems to be miraculously swallowed up with joy the moment you set eyes on your newborn.
  • Strangers will stop you at the check out line and feel compelled to tell you (as if you hadn't noticed already) that your baby is missing a sock.  It's important to know that no matter what you do, some babies will always be left wearing just one sock.  You can backtrack your steps in Target to the very farthest corner of the store to retrieve it, but when you try to put it back on your child's foot, chances are he will yank it off and begin chewing on it leaving him one-sock footed once again.
  • No matter how many hair cuts you give your son, there will still be people who think he is a girl.  It's important to just come to terms with the fact that your boy may, in fact, be even just slightly more beautiful than your girls and no matter how often you cut his hair, his eyelashes will continue to grow.
  • When you welcome baby #2, you will question "What have I done?" and possibly even feel guilty of the attention you will be taking away from your first born.
  • Mr. Ferber was wrong.  Bedtime doesn't always work out so well when you let a child cry it out.  Sometimes they end up purple and throwing up from upset.  It really is ok to pick them up and comfort them for sleep.  But, if you choose to share your bed with them do so with full knowledge that it is a decision that will last for at least 3 years and possibly longer on stormy nights.
  • Potty training - Oh, potty training!  You will think these are the worst days of your motherhood.  Don't despair, however, you can rest assured there will be worse days ahead.  When your child is successfully potty trained, take a deep breath for about 6 years because pre-adolescence is coming.
  • Even picky eaters survive into adulthood.  While it may be shocking, there are a few adults who made it there without ever finishing their Brussels sprouts.
  • If you homeschool, your children will never be too far away.  This has its pros and cons.  The overall verdict is the pros win.  However, there will be days you question this decision to educate at home.  These are the moments you make a fast break to the nearest park or break out a video for the day.
  • Some days your child will make you feel like the labor pains are a relieving alternative to the pain they cause.  The heartache of words that come out of their mouths and attitudes that breaks your heart feel like a kick in the gut, like they yanked the sunshine right out of your day, crumple and tore it to bits and then threw it back at you like a stab in the back.  It will hurt when your dreams are nowhere close to their dreams and when your simple suggestions are not only ignored but argued and possibly even ridiculed.  Yes, that tender bundle of joy does have the power to make you question every decision you ever made and wonder if it's all worth the pain.
  • When all is said and done (though, I have not yet even made it through the teen years that are rapidly approaching as my oldest turns 12 tomorrow) All in all, that first look into your baby's eyes will hook you for life.  The good days make a mark in your heart like a beautiful song that never disappears.  And, the prayers of a mother are powerful.  A mother on her knees is the most uplifting sight for the entire family.
Happy Mother's Day!  Enjoy your personal journey and may your good days be more plentiful than any other.  May your joy swallow up all pain as it did the very first day you met your child.

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