Every woman who is fortunate enough to have children will have a different experience with motherhood. Every child is different, every mom, every dad. I know this. But, out of all the parents and kids I have met, I have realized that we are much more similar than we think. Most first time moms go through high anxiety levels, and pass that anxiety onto their oldest. A lot of dads are the "fun" parent while mom is juggling discipline, preparedness, the schedule, and nurturing all at once. All kids possess tiny quirks that make them purely adorable and hilarious. I am so thankful that I can relate to other moms, even women I've just met, so closely. It makes me feel very connected in a role that can become very lonely day to day. I've commented many times to friends that I am not sure I could have survived being a stay-at-home mom in a world prior to technology in the palm of my hand. I can google any question I have, I can post pictures of my kids in an instant for distant relatives, and, most importantly, I can stay connected with friends who are, more than likely, having the exact kind of day I'm having. We're all in it together. Motherhood. Here's what it means to me:
Motherhood is having to go to the bathroom so badly but holding it because your toddler just exclaimed that he has to go potty.
Motherhood is cutting the tiniest fruits, even a blueberry, into halves or even quarters.
Motherhood is getting your child juice. And then a vitamin. And then his banana. And then some more cereal. And then some more milk. And then some more juice.... before you've ever even taken a bite of your breakfast, just to have him look at you and say, "Mama, you need to eat!"
Motherhood is going from a dead sleep to running upstairs as fast as you can when your child yells, "Potty!" in the middle of the night.
Motherhood is completely ignoring the signs stating the weight limit on jungle gyms to climb to the top and rescue your kid who is too afraid to come down the slide.
Motherhood is feeling guilty for having a messy house when you're playing and feeling guilty for neglecting your kids when you're cleaning.
Motherhood is holding your hands out for your baby to throw up into because there isn't a bucket handy.
Motherhood is not being able to relax at all until you know the kids are asleep at nap time.
Motherhood is never using the bathroom alone again.
Motherhood is translating every word, sound, grunt, sign, or bit of body language to people who don't spend all day with your kids. Sometimes even to their own father.
Motherhood is examining the contents of even the worst diapers to see if your child should stop eating a newly introduced food.
Motherhood is thinking that being out until 7pm is late.
Motherhood is finding sentimental value in every old shoe, scribbled on paper, favorite type of cookie, frequently read book, and most-watched shows that your children had, did, or had anything to do with.
Motherhood is proudly cheering them on at every milestone while sobbing on the inside because your baby is growing too fast.
Motherhood is praying your child starts feeling better but secretly loving that all they want is Mom when they're sick.
Motherhood is putting clean sheets on the beds in the morning just to have both kids wet them during nap that same day.
Motherhood is (sometimes) feeling unappreciated. But, also knowing that, to your kids, you're the prettiest, funniest, woman with the best singing voice and a kiss for every boo boo.
Motherhood is wearing yoga pants so often that when you actually shower, get dressed, and brush your hair (nothing special) your toddler exclaims, "Mommy, you look so pretty!"
Motherhood is counting down the minutes until bed time just to be reminded that the real peace comes when your infant falls asleep in your arms. If that moment never ended you'd be content.
Motherhood is the most important thing I will ever do with my life. It's frustrating, guilt-ridden, trying, tiring, hilarious, messy, loud, silly, never-ending. I am, in no way, the best mother. So far from perfect. But, I don't think I do (or have done) anything better than being a mom. I truly feel like I have found my purpose in life and cannot picture myself doing anything else with my time - at least for now.