“There’s a feeling sometimes in motherhood that you’re alone in what you’re going through, and none of us are alone. We’re all going through the same thing.” – Nia Vardalos
This blog is not about dishing out parenting advice. I’m often trying to talk through a parenting issue to come up with a solution for myself, but I’m well aware that my solution might not necessarily apply to everyone else.
If my writing can help someone, nothing makes me happier, but I am obviously not a parenting expert. I’m learning as I go. Aren’t we all?
In my opinion, the mommy wars are absolutely ridiculous. We’re all different and complex individuals with different and complex children, so how on earth can someone expect the same rules for what’s best to apply to everyone?
I believe we all have the power to tune into our own instinct with knowing what is best for us and best for our children. Parenting is going to look different for everyone, as it should, since we are all different.
Instead of offering parental advice, I’d much rather use this platform to focus on parental truths. I want to share the truths of my experiences in mommyhood (as I did here and here), because in all likelihood, if I’ve experienced something, someone else will see part of their truth in my experience. And there’s nothing more comforting than a “Me too!” offered to this weary mother of two.
This week, I’d like to focus on the moments that I didn’t see coming in mommyhood.
We are all prepared for certain moments with our kids: the milestones they will reach, the lack of sleep we will likely endure, and, if we are wise, the fact that mommyhood will likely be the biggest challenge in our lives.
But I didn’t predict the following moments:
That on any given day I would feel like a pinball in my house. I often feel as though I’m not getting anything done because I’m dealing with a million small interruptions throughout the day. Diaper changes, Lego tragedies, messes, snacks, necessary toy kitchen play time, mediating fights, etc. All of these small interruptions (though some are my favorite moments) make up my day. The timeline of the day as a mom of littles isn’t linear. It’s as predictably all over the place as their toys are.
The moment of realization that there are no vacation days from mommyhood. Okay, this one is sort of obvious, but it didn’t sink in until reality made it clear for me. It’s like I read the memo before becoming a mom, but I didn’t fully understand what NO VACATION DAYS would feel like until I experienced it. Even when I do get time away from the kids with my husband, it feels like something is off, like I’m missing a limb. I can never completely relax, thus the NO VACATION DAYS warning.
The moment, after a long day with the kids, that I would make an excuse to run an errand when my hubby got home from work, just to get a break from the insane asylum. Also, that 5 minutes after leaving said insane asylum that my hubby would text me to inform me that my son was in tears because he stubbed his toe, and my daughter got into the little Legos. And finally, that I would react to this text with laughter, because thank God he got a taste of my day.
That I would come to question my sanity with every fiber in my being for purchasing beige expensive dining room chairs in my pre-children days. I couldn’t just go with beige or just go with expensive. I had to go with both beige and expensive. Sigh.
That I would experience murderous rage in the grocery store parking lot. It happens once a week when I load my daughter into her car seat while simultaneously gripping the cart with my foot, leg shaking and all, so the cart doesn’t trail off into the middle of the driving lane. Why the uneven pavement, WHY?!?!
The many moments the kids do and say things that boggle my mind. For instance, when Peyton got creative and decided to break apart each individual Cheez-it cracker into teeny tiny pieces on the coffee table. Thanks Pey! This same day, Parker hit me up with the simple question, “Can you count to every number except for infinity?” We rely on Siri a lot in our house.
The moment at the end of the day when the kids are in bed. I’m equal parts filled up and spent of all my emotional energy. It’s the stuff of love when you are giving and simultaneously receiving in an exhausting and wonderful exchange all day long. It’s the greatest, hardest thing ever.
There’s beauty, and humor, and truth in all of the unexpected moments of mommyhood. When I stop to pay tribute to these moments, it helps me recognize that it’s all truly a wonderful ride.