I overheard a conversation last night between a pregnant, first-time Mom... and a Mom of 3 kids (I'd say all of her kids were somewhere between 1-5 years old...) And this is how the conversation went:
First Time Mom: I'm feeling a lot of emotions... I'm excited... I'm nervous... I'm anxious... I just want to be a great parent.
Mom of 3: Oh, honey! You are going to absolutely love being a parent. It is amazing. You will be wonderful at it because you were called to do this.
First Time Mom: I know I am going to love it... I'm just nervous about balancing it all.. work, being a Mom, being a wife, taking care of a house. I don't know how it's all going to come together, you know? I know it will be exhausting, but worth it.
Mom of 3: Oh honey, you will be so good at this! Don't worry at all. I love being a Mother... I think it's really simple to balance everything. You will get in to a routine and it will be a piece of cake, I promise! Our house runs so smoothly anymore! My husband and I love it!
While I am sure 'Mom of 3' was just trying to give encouragement, I think it's dangerous to tell a first-time Mom, "Once you get in to a routine.. it will all be a piece of cake. I PROMISE!'
Here's the advice I would give to a first-time Mother if they ask.
It's not a piece of cake.
Now, don't get me wrong here, folks.
I LOVE being a Mommy. It is the greatest gift God could have given me and I DO NOT take it for granted. I know there are women that try to have children and unfortunately, they cannot. I know I am blessed that we are able to have healthy, happy children. I thank God for them every single night after I wrestle them both to sleep ;)
What I'm saying here is... I'm not going to blow rainbows and butterflies up your butt.
Being a Mother is one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs out there....
but I stress TOUGHEST.
Nothing gets my panties in a bunch more than eavesdropping (oops) in to conversations from pro-Moms to soon-to-be Moms and hearing angels sing as she is talking. Being a Mother is a breeze for you? Awesome! You never want a break from your kids? Way to go.
But I am guessing you are the exception.
Being a Mother is tough.
When you see those two blue lines, you better get ready for a wild ride.
Did you like your sleep before this? Well, suck it up. Because that's done for the next 18 years (maybe even longer if you're a worry wart, haha) Soon, you'll be seeing 2AM, 4AM, 6AM, and hearing your alarm clock going off.... while simultaneously hearing the screams of a newborn. Oh, sure. You'll try and coax them back to sleep with a binky, but bottom line is... They're hungry. So, you'll spend the next 30 minutes feeding them, trying to keep them awake to actually finish the bottle, burping them, and laying them back down.
Personal time? Get outta here. You wanna know how I pee? With a 5-month old laying in her rock and play, right in front of me, staring... and with a 2-year old begging me to let her take a bath for the 19th time today. And guess what? I let her. You pick your battles, folks. Ha! Wanna know how I shower if I have to get it done through the day and nap time is no where in sight? With a 2-year old crawling all under my feet, crying when shampoo drips down on to the floor, covering her eyes from the evil water... It's fun! ;)
Oh, your friends wanted to meet up for food in 20-minutes? Yeah, you better check yourself before you wreck yourself. You've got a diaper bag to pack, kids to install in car seats, and you better wipe those spit-up stains off your shirt and jeans, sexy.
You got your favorite TV shows? That's cute. Well, you better think it's even cuter to watch them on DVR at midnight on a Friday night because that's the only time you get the TV to yourself. Before you know it, 'Yo Gabba Gabba' and 'Mickey Mouse' will be taking over your TV in ways you would have never imagined. You'll even find yourself singing along. Scary.
Becoming a Mom for the first time means not functioning in the morning until you have at least 5 cups of coffee coursing through your veins. It means late nights, early mornings, pretending that make-up from the day before is your make-up for that doctor's appointment this morning. It means running behind schedule, spending money on necessities as opposed to wants, sniffing butts to see if another human being has pooped, changing diapers that change your nail polish, begging kids to eat (even if it means a happy meal from McDonalds for the second time this week.) It means thinking a vacation is a 10-minute shower alone. You might even have time to shave your legs. Dream, girl. Dream.
But being a Mom for the first time also means that you will learn what it's like to fall in love with someone before you even know what eye color they will have. Being a first time Mom means you will finally understand what unconditional love really is. It means you will know what warm cuddles after bath time are... what it's like to see another human being in pain and realizing you would give your own life just to make it stop. You will fall more in love with your husband as you watch him laugh and play as soon as he walks in the door from work. It means you will finally understand what everyone has been telling you for years... "Life goes by too quickly" because one day, you'll be giving birth, and the next... you will be planning their 3rd birthday party. Becoming a mom for the first time means that you will get to kiss booboos, make bad dreams disappear, change their wet butts so they find comfort, take millions of pictures (some of which you'll forget to print off.) Being a first time Mom means you will finally understand the true meaning of family. You'll realize that watching 'The Lorax' at 9pm beats any bar atmosphere you'll find. Being a Mom for the first time....
is hard work,
but worth every bit of it.
First time Mom, I don't want you to get this false realization from some women that it's 'easy.' I've heard it from someone before. 'I can't wait to be a Mom some day. I love all of the cute outfits I see you put on your daughters. I love all of the pictures you post of bath time... and taking walks. Makes me want to be a Mom. It looks so fun!'
It is fun.
But what you don't see in my pictures is a 12:30AM feeding when I just got my 2-year old to sleep at 11:45PM. A 4-month old teething so bad that nothing will soothe her. Non-stop screaming on 45-minute car rides to church. I-phones soaked in cups of coffee. Laundry piled up so high you can't see the 2nd shelf in her bathroom closet.
Being a Mother is hardwork.
It's not for the faint of heart... it's not for the selfish.
It is for the caring... it is for the loving. It is for those that have realized that although you might smell all day long... and although you might have dishes piled up in your sink from 3 days ago... your floors haven't been swept in weeks.. you're covering up the bags under your eyes with make-up... you know you're still blessed.
First time Mother, I would never call parenting 'a piece of cake.' We are all just trying to do our best. And that's all anyone can really ask of us. All you need to know about being a first-time Mom is this:
You're going to love that little 7 pound cutie with all of your heart.
Everything else will fall in to place... even though sometimes it might not feel like it.
If you're struggling at first, that's alright... we were all there.
If you're struggling 6 months down the road, that's alright... we were all there.
Being a Mother is hard work.
But it's the best thing you will ever do with that precious life you have been given.
Enjoy it. Take it all in--- even the bad days (because you will have them!) It's not going to always be sunshine and flowers... but I always like to quote one of my favorite movies in situations like this:
"You never see the hard days in a photo album... but those are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next."
Breathe, first time Mother. You're in for the ride of your life.