For My Sister, Hope

For My Sister, Hope

Noel tells me I need to be more positive about being a mom–especially when I’m talking to you. Maybe he’s right, but you know I’ll always tell it to you straight. You are about to hop onto one of the wildest rides of your life.  Being a mother is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Nothing could have prepared me for it. You literally become someone new overnight. At times it’s disorienting, overwhelming, and downright exhausting, but it can also be exhilarating in ways you never could have imagined. Being a mom is weird like that.

There will be times when you realize you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, but don’t let that psych you out. All of us mommas have plenty of advice we’d love to give, but take it with a grain of salt because even if it looks like we have it together, we don’t. We’re all still figuring things out too. In the midst of your uncertainty, there will also be super-human, adrenaline pumping moments where the primal momma-bear part of you kicks in and you will know exactly what to do; heaven help anyone that gets in your way. And for the days in between, remember that right now your kisses have superpowers and your arms have the strength to keep the evils of the universe at bay.

There may be some evenings that you’ll fall to your knees in exhaustion crying to God that you “can’t do this,” but there will also be days that you’ll find your heart overflowing with gratitude.

Some nights you’ll be ready to make a deal with the devil for a good night’s rest and other nights you won’t be able to tear yourself away from your child’s bedside as you stare at their angelic sleeping face. Inexplicably, all children look like angels when they sleep no matter what sort of mischief they pursued during the day.

You’ll come to realize that the only thing separating you from the child-murdering parents on the news is the ability to close the door and take a few deep breaths.  And as long as you’re able to step away, you will still be a good parent. There will also be times where you won’t be able to get enough of the soft touch of their hair on your cheek as they wrap you in a full body hug. Strangely, the time between the two events may only be a matter of seconds.

You’ll crave silence, but then when you get it you’ll find yourself in a panic, and usually for good reason.

Some days your house will verge on being declared a national disaster and you’ll feel like you didn’t accomplish a single thing. On those days remind yourself that you deserve an awful lot of credit for keeping everyone alive and fed.

You’ll do things you would never do for yourself, have courage you never thought you had, and grow in ways you never thought possible. You’ll get used to people interrupting your showers, stealing your breakfast, and breaking your stuff. You’ll develop the survival skill of doing most everything one-handed while someone yells at you.

Some days all you’ll want is for no one to touch you or breathe on you and it’s important that you figure out a way to get that once in awhile. Even though there will be things you won’t be able to do once you’re a parent, don’t lose touch with the person you were and the things you loved to do. Both you and your children will benefit from you having other interests than their welfare. And for those times where it feels like your kid has hijacked your life, remember that there are other new and wonderful things you’ll get to do as a parent. When all else fails, sneak a piece of chocolate from your secret stash or take a nap instead of cleaning the house. Chocolate and naps are miracle workers.

Remember, you’re not just a mom, you’re a Mom. You’ll be doing the best social work you’ve ever done on the lowest pay, but your work will be beautiful and impactful. Know that just because you admit motherhood is hard doesn’t mean you don’t love it. Even on my worst days there’s something deep in my soul that whispers that these children were always meant to be mine and I know it’s the same for you and your little boy. You’re going to be awesome. Take it from an expert.

I am not a playground!

6 thoughts on “For My Sister, Hope

  1. Spot on! During the course of reading this post I thought, “I have really cute kids.” And then yelled, “I’m sick of you girls staying up late GO TO BED!” And then I decided to find some chocolate.

  2. Oh, this was perfect, and just the kind of thing I needed to read this weekend (when I am beating myself up for the house being a mess and wondering how I can be so exhausted and feel like I’ve accomplished so little). So thank you. Every new mom should read this (and every “seasoned” mom).

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