My floors are sparkling. No, not because they are so clean.
2 words- glitter glue. ~Cathy Moryc Recine
Yes, I’m talking about Motherhood and I still have so much more to learn.
For those of you that do not have children, maybe you have seen some of those commercials for diapers, wipes, formula, toys etc.? You know, the ones where the babies are smiling and children are laughing? The moms appear relaxed and refreshed? Its not exactly like that. No, not exactly. Yes, there are some of those moments but there is more to it, much more.
Like most other moms, I always knew that I wanted to be a mother.
Exactly ten years ago this summer, I learned I was going to be a mom for the first time. My husband and I had just moved into our house that we were waiting to have built. We were both working full-time and had long, crazy commutes each day. Family and friends would visit us and comment on how “we had rooms to fill” or something like that. Blah..blah..blah.
Maybe it was time.
I had friends with newborns, nieces and nephews of various ages. I thought I was prepared. I was so wrong.
My sister had just given birth to her second child shortly before I found out that I was expecting. She welcomed a beautiful baby girl that she named Angela (also my sister’s name). However, some of the happiness and excitement became overshadowed by the fact that her baby would stay in the hospital because of some serious birth defects.
I remember when my husband and I went to visit her in the hospital for the first time. We had not told anyone that we were expecting yet.
There I was holding my niece in the NICU. Monitors were beeping, tubes and wires everywhere. I later watched as my sister took care of her baby along with the nurse and doctors. She comforted her in a way that only a mother could. It was at that moment I started to understand what being a mother was all about.
Several weeks had passed and my husband and I were hesitant to announce our pregnancy but finally we decided that we should. The very next day the phone rang very early in the morning. It was my mother. She was crying. I can still hear her words and remember the feeling of the tears running down my face. There aren’t any books, tv shows or magazine articles that could possible prepare you for something like that. Baby Angela had spent her entire life in the hospital. Just four short months.
The sadness, guilt and worry I felt were overwhelming, but it was nothing in comparison to what my sister and her family were experiencing. I admire my sister so much for her strength and courage that she had in the time that followed, especially for her son who was only 8 years old at the time and trying to make sense of the loss of his baby sister.
Exactly one year later, I gave birth to my baby girl who carries her cousin’s name as her middle name. None of my 4 children had the chance to meet their cousin but as they get older they will get know more about her.
Even with all of her sadness, my sister was truly happy for me becoming a mother. Having the bond of motherhood brought us closer in so many ways despite our 11 year age difference. There has always been laughter even through the tears. I can remember looking through some maternity clothes she saved for me that she wore during her first pregnancy 8 years earlier. I called her on the phone right away as I was trying on the shirts with big buttons, bright colors and busy patterns and told her that Ringling Brothers Circus called and said they wanted their costumes back. It was my way of telling her thanks but I can’t wear these clown clothes. I must admit that these days I feel proud when my kids say something sarcastic because I know exactly where they get it from.
What has motherhood taught me so far?
- Most of all it has taught me so much about love and patience.
- I’ve learned that no matter how much you plan, things rarely go the way you think they will.
- I’ve learned to always keep a sense of humor so that my kids can learn to find laughter and something positive in the most difficult situations.
- I’ve learned to live in the present moment because time goes by so quickly and you never get it back. Never.
What do I want most for my kids?
- I want my kids to not just know they are loved but to feel they are loved too.
- I want them to always be happy. No matter what choices they make.
- I want them to know its ok for them to be themselves and not what other people think they should be.
- I want them to understand that it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you have learned something from it.
- I want them to be accepting toward everyone and to always be aware and respectful of another person’s feelings. Even if they don’t agree.
- I want them to be able to look back at their childhood and have great memories not because of the things they had or the places they went, but for the way they felt.
- Most importantly, I want them to know that I will always be there for them. Always.
Has motherhood changed me?
Maybe it has in some ways. Somehow the things that were once so important have become almost meaningless and the things that I have over looked or took for granted are now a priority. It has made me appreciate all the ”little things“ in life and the miracles that happen each and every day. I focus less on all the things that really don’t matter. I used to worry about my house being a mess. It’s still a mess but I just choose not to worry about it so much anymore. I’ll have plenty of time to fix everything one day. But today is not that day and most likely tomorrow won’t be that day either. I’ve learned to embrace the mess and all the chaos associated with now having kids ages 9, 6, 4 and 2 years-old. Instead, right now I’d rather listen to what my kids have to say, to me and to each other. I want to see their smiles and hear their laughter, and more often than not, referee their arguing and console their crying.
Most days are challenging, some days more than others, yet somehow it all feels very natural too. Of course there are times I just want a day off. Some days I just want to stay in bed. I don’t want to carpool, go grocery shopping, do laundry, help with homework, cook dinner and all that other stuff that we all do. Every. Single. Day. Then I am reminded how much I am needed and then I remember how it’s all worth it because one day I won’t be needed the same way that I am now. I’m far from perfect. I doubt my kids will ever think they had the perfect childhood and I think I’m ok with that. I guess I’m still really the same person I’ve always been. Only better I think. All because of them.
Happy Mother’s Day