I'm watching all these fantastic posts creep up all over the blogosphere about how awesome being a mom is. And, for the most part, it is pretty darn amazing. But sometimes... sometimes I wonder, "What in the world I was thinking?!?" How could I have ever thought that I could be responsible enough to bring another human being into the world? And yet, 10 years ago that's exactly what I thought.
10 years ago I was pregnant with Red and I had ALL the answers. I watched other parents and kids wherever I went. And mercilessly, I critiqued them.
"Those parents are way to harsh, I'll NEVER be like that! If they would just do this... it would be so much better!" or
"Those kids are such brats! My kids will NEVER be like that! If the parents would just do that... the kids would be so much better behaved"
My vast stores of parental knowledge lasted for about 8 months. Then reality came in the form of a red headed creature who screamed throughout the night. My amazing Mom came and stayed with us to help out. The day she left, Hubby and I cried. She wasn't that far away, but we had no idea what to do with this tiny person who was 100% dependent on us.
Where were my answers? I had been so sure and confident a few days before! Where had my never ending supply of knowledge disappeared to? I was lost. And so, I did what all new moms do. I struggled. I tried my best and plodded up each new hill, attempting not to mess things up too much along the way. And then Little Bug came along and we had a whole new set of struggles. He was, of course, followed by Baby Girl who brought a diva like quality to the struggling.
I have since come to realize that motherhood kicks my butt on a fairly regular basis. I'm getting better at it, but I'm not the totally amazing mom I thought I would be. It's hard. I lose my temper. I am prone to rash decisions. I am cranky. I make more than my share of mistakes. I don't have the answers I once thought I did.
But, then I have to remember the moments that make it all worth it. Some of these experiences are small and others are almost overwhelming. But the good moments never seem to last long enough. For example: Little Bug said his very first prayer the other night! My heart overflowed as we signed and said words together. The joy I felt is indescribable.
The next day he pooped in his pants 5 times - including once while he was in an inflatable bounce house with a bunch of other kids. The frustration and embarrassment overshadowed that joy. But the memory of that prayer brings those feelings rushing back. And I guess the trick of motherhood is learning how to chain all of these moments together without letting the hardships overpower the bright spots.
I still don't have all the answers I thought I had 10 years ago. But, I feel like the few answers I have now are worth so much more than the unrealistic ones I thought I had before. I'll keep struggling as we head into new territory with each kid, but hopefully I'll be able to focus on the things that make being a mom such an amazing blessing.
Happy Mother's Day!