The truth about motherhood
One of the best outlets for moms’ pride and moms’ angst is Facebook. And it’s kind of awesome. It’s a great way for grandmas and grandpas to see how those little grand babies are doing, to see all the cute things they do, and all the progress they make. But, it also allows moms to get advice from other moms.
“What do I do when my toddler won’t eat?”
“Is anyone else’s baby up all night coughing?”
“Any tips for weaning off the binkie?”
Sure sometimes you get some of those crazy answers, and some of those judgmental comments, but overall it can be super helpful. Never before has parenting advice from other normal everyday parents been so accessible!
However, when moms take the time to hop on social media and type a post or upload a picture, it’s usually going to be for something really cute and fun or something really difficult to either ask or complain about. We all do it, no reason to be ashamed for it. Why would I take the time to post on Facebook about the normal everyday stuff? I don’t need advice about it, and who really cares? It’s not really exciting or dramatic.
The problem is, new moms and even experienced moms see only these two extremes on social media and don’t realize that motherhood on a daily basis is very different from what they see. Yes, there are those amazing cute moments, and there are those really difficult moments, and those moments when you have no idea what to do, but there’s also all the moments in between. And those moments make up most of parenthood. If your life doesn’t look like the picture perfect posts you see on social media, don’t beat yourself up. Their life has all those other moments too.
There’s the moments when you leave the room to put in a load of laundry and when you come back into the room toys are literally everywhere, but your little one sighs so happily with the biggest smile on his face when he sees you’re back.
There’s the times when he’ll only nap if you’re holding him. You’re stuck on the couch looking at the dishes that are only half done, but at the same time there’s this precious angel face sleeping peacefully in your arms, and it’s a mixed feeling knowing how much he depends on you in that moment.
There’s the times when you’re sitting folding laundry and he crawls over and climbs up your legs and yells until you pick him up. You’re frustrated because there’s laundry all around you that needs to get done, and yet he laughs and giggles when you pick him up and you know he just wants you to play with him. You never feel so special.
There’s the moments almost everyday when you’re doing dishes and he realizes he can’t see you anymore, so he crawls around the house until he finds you in the kitchen. As soon as he sees you he cries and grabs your leg until you pick him up.
There’s the times he doesn’t need anything in particular and just cries, and all you can do is talk to him while you eat, or clean, or pay the bills and let him know you love him and it’s ok.
There’s the times he somehow gets to the pile of paperwork you thought was out of reach and pulls it all on the floor, and wads of wet paper are hanging out of his mouth. Your initial reaction is to yell, but when you take out the wad of paper in your silent panic he laughs and pumps his arms excitedly, and instead you say calmly, “no, that’s not for baby,” and entertain him with one of his toys for awhile, thankful he didn’t choke. A few minutes later you realize you made a better discipline choice not fueled by fear and that you spent time 100% focused on playing with your child, and you feel accomplished, because sometimes it’s easy to forget that he really just wants to spend time with you.
There’s also moments when you don’t do the right thing. It’s late at night, and you missed the first tired window and he’s got second wind. You’re desperately trying to put him to sleep but instead he’s trying to pull on your hair and glasses and laughing when you take them away. Then you yell out, “no!” and grab his hands so he can’t get to your face. You complain that you can’t do this and you can’t help but feel anger towards the little guy keeping you up late. Later you feel awful and snuggle that kid until your heart could burst.
Then there’s the times when you’re similarly overwhelmed but this time he’s screaming and crying instead of laughing and playing, and you know your too stressed to handle things correctly, so you simply put him down and just let him cry until you’ve calmed down enough to try again.
There’s the days when you’re so zapped of energy and all seems so helpless that all you can do is sit on the floor with your child in front of you, catering to his every need, but ignoring the mess of a home that surrounds you. At the end of the day your hubby comes home to a disaster of a house, but at least your baby is alive and healthy, and that is enough of an accomplishment.
There are the moments when you’re sleepy baby rubs his food covered face into your chest, and even though you’ve got apple and saliva running down your shirt, your heart glows from the affection.
There’s the big open mouthed slobbery kisses given on your cheek and over your whole nose and mouth that cover you in slime, but are the best kisses you’ve ever had.
There’s chewed up tissues, ear shattering screams of joy, cereal and fishy crackers smashed into the carpet, thumb sucking, throw up soaked clothes, wet bathroom floors after bathtime, falls and banged-up heads, too many stuffed animals for snuggling, story books with chewed corners and bent pages, formula powder coating everything, saliva soaked onsies, scrunched up faces when trying new foods, diaper blow outs, sleepy loopy times, laughing at nothing times, zoning in front of the tv on sick days, and so much more.
None of these things are all good or all bad, but are instead full of mixed emotions. And those are the everyday moments that fill a parent’s life.
It’s hard. It’s wonderful. It’s painful. It’s joyful. It’s overwhelming. It’s getting through one hour at a time. It’s exhausting. It’s a blast. It’s precious. It’s unforgettable. It’s heart wrenching.
They’re the most confusing, most sublime, most frightening, and most divine moments in the whole world.