Raising Kids Who are Fascinated With Poop, Who Lick the Cake Batter and Watch TV

Photography by Gray Photography

Photography by Gray Photography

I’ve been a mother for six years now and I am pretty sure in many ways that I am different than what I envisioned I would be like as a mama. Prior to motherhood, most of us have this idea of what motherhood will look like and what we will look like while doing it. It seems so peaceful and put together, right?

And then real life happens, babies are born and shish gets a little messy.

I am here to tell you that motherhood gets really messy, chaotic and so very different from the peaceful journey that you envisioned. If you thought that you would never yell, well I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you may as well prepare yourself that yelling is almost like a requirement for the job. It happens. Not because you like it, but because children don’t listen. Yes Cathy, even your imaginary kids that you think will one day be angels. Girl, they won’t listen either.

Let’s talk about patience though. I’m sure right now you have PLENTY of it. You probably think you’re the most patient person in the world. But let’s consider how that patience will work out for you when you’re late for the doctor’s appointment that you’re about six months late going to, your kid hasn’t put his shoes on yet because he was in awe of his own poop in the toilet and your baby just crapped on you as you were getting ready to walk out of the door. Basically crap everywhere. And very little patience to be found.

Or how about the fact that you long for and hope one day your child will ask you all of the wonders of the world. You know, the real things like, “Why is the sky blue?” or “Where do caterpillars sleep at night?” But then there are more things like “What is heaven like?” and “But no really mom, how do babies come OUT of the belly?” Meanwhile you’re sitting there either A) banging your head against a wall because your child is on question 131 of the car ride B) you're trying to avoid answering the things that will scar them for life (like NO Unicorns are not real!) C) You’re trying NOT to tell them how babies come out just yet D) you basically have no clue where an effing caterpillar sleeps at night and you really just need five freaking minutes to yourself.

_____ breathe mama ______

But then we have things like sleep. You imagine that your children will somehow sleep all night because you will read all of the books, do all of the things and Lord knows you believe that babies should just cry it out. But then said baby arrives and the sound of their cries makes your heart hurt and your milk drop so you’re basically like screw it and you suddenly become your child’s little bi…I mean, mother. And you’re there for EVERY.WAKING.NEED. Thank goodness you were really lazy as a college kid and slept a lot then.

I suppose we should talk about all of the weird crap you’ll do. You will examine baby’s poop, you’ll hold barf in your hands at some point and you’ll get peed on by each and every newborn baby you bring home. It’s like they truly insist on marking their territory, not even kidding. You’ll become obsessed with things like chemicals in products and using natural baby wash. You’ll watch your baby sleep at night and ensure their chest is rising up and down. Up and down. Up and down….

In so many ways you will become the mother that you envisioned but you’ll also occasionally do the things you said you’d never do. Your kids will watch more TV on some days despite your “my kids aren’t watching TV” mindset earlier on. I mean really, that’s just funny now. Like excuse me….I need to go giggle for a second because I was right there with you. But bruh, you later realize TV can be like seven minutes in Heaven for moms.

And if you thought you’d look cute as a stay at home mom (you know decent clothes every day with pretty hair and subtle makeup) then let me just go ahead and break this news to you now. There’s a very good chance you’ll slowly evolve into a zombie who thrives on messy buns, yoga pants and no makeup. Bras optional. Spit up on the shirt required.

You see, motherhood takes SO many different turns and twists. It takes you down roads you swore you’d never be on and you takes you to places you swore you’d never be. You do things differently than you envisioned; sometimes you do them better than you envisioned. Other times not so much. You learn as you go and you begin to realize that no one really has the secret to motherhood, although we can all try to share it.

But the one thing that will remain just as you pictured it, or even better, is that you will love fiercely. You will love so much that it hurts. You will love so much that you’re pretty sure you saw fireworks the first time your baby smiled at you and that your heart legit melted the first time they said, “mama.” You will love hard and you will be loved so hard in return. You cherish the moments of running in the bubbles, dancing in the rain and licking the batter bowl. You will find delight in the small joys of a butterfly on a leaf and a cartwheel finally achieved.

While it may be messier and louder than you envisioned motherhood to be, somehow it will always manage to be even better than you could have EVER imagined. Because messiness, yelling and bodily fluids aside, you have the most important job in the world to what is now the most important people in your life. You’re their mother. Their safe haven, their joy, their compass, their leader of faith, their instructor, their encourager, their medicine and so on (you’re also their chef, launderer, maid, and little bi…but I digress again).

You’re their everything. And they are YOUR everything. And while it may be so different or similar than what you imagined, it will always be better than any preconceived notion of what it’s like. So enjoy it. Wrap yourself up in it, inhale their sweet baby scents and kiss the heck out of them. Give yourself grace when you’re not like the mama you envisioned, because truth is…you’re exactly what they need. Love hard, pray big and don’t sweat the small stuff.

And for those mamas waiting on the sidelines for their moment…to those mamas who are waiting to get pooped on, peed on and to love hard…just know that this Mother’s Day season I am specifically praying for you. You’re not forgotten in this journey and I pray you will soon have a squishy little one mark you as their territory too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of our readers. We hope you enjoy the day and remember how awesome you are and how amazingly beautiful this messy role as MOM is.