Being a mom means your glasses are always smudged.
Being a mom means your clothes always have peanut butter or cheese or syrup or some mystery goop all over them as you walk around in blissful ignorance.
Being a mom means you talk about poop far more than you ever thought you would be ok with. And yet, strangely you are indeed ok with it. It’s important shit.
Being a mom means you cheer for things like fastening velcro shoes and properly putting rainboots on the correct feet. Cleaning up the basement gets a damn parade.
Being a mom means you say things like, “You aren’t going to get a piece of Easter Candy when you wake up if you don’t settle down and take a good nap” when Easter was two months ago. And it still works.
Being a mom means you throw everything healthy into a magic bullet and add a little vanilla yogurt to sweeten it up and HOPE HOPE HOPE that they keep deciding to give your smoovie a “thumbs up” for as long as possible. “BEST. SMOOVIE. EVER.” Ah, that beautiful music.
Being a mom means that one day you look at a picture someone else took of your kids and marvel at how long their legs are.
Being a mom means you yell when you don’t want to and more than you’d like.
Being a mom means you apologize to your kids. A lot.
Being a mom means you forgive your kids. A lot.
Being a mom means you learn to go easy on yourself. You cannot possibly be all things to all parts of your life.
Being a mom means you realize as perfect as you believe your precious little snowflakes to be, they are, in reality, little kids. And they can be terribly behaved, just like everybody else’s little kids. Just as we all can be. And it’s just so comforting.
Being a mom means you forfeit almost any food you are eating for your children and forage for something else for yourself. I said ALMOST ANY FOOD. The chocolate sticks with me, kids.
Being a mom means you seek out the understanding “mom I GOT YOU look” in stores, in restaurants, at the park, and you know with no words spoken that SHE KNOWS. SHE UNDERSTANDS. SHE IS OUR PEOPLE.
Being a mom means that you respect your elders a hell of lot more. I mean, the ones deserving of it. You listen to their stories and their wisdom. You benefit from their experience, strength and hope. You seek it out. You know you don’t, IN FACT, know everything.
Being a mom means when they come tell you that they made a new friend at the park, you beam with happiness for them. I never knew I could be so happy for anybody else. And then you hear the whole story or better yet, you watch it happen, the introductions, the like-mindedness (‘Want to run around? OKAY!”) and you just melt. They are real little people now and it’s incredible to watch.
Being a mom means that you hope they never ever stop saying OPAMEAL SQUARES and WOOP-E-WOOP, but know that they’ve learned so many of the other real words, so that day is coming too.
Being a mom means you are up early every morning even when you don’t have to be because your body clock will not let you sleep like a normal human being any longer. And that’s ok, because what a beautiful morning it is.
Being a mom means you hate it when you see them bicker and fight but when they work together as a team, you glow. Kindness wins.
Being a mom means you constantly have lists running through your brain like, groceries, target, costco, library, last poops…..
Being a mom means you want them to grow up and be healthy and yet you bawl your eyes out – I mean really seriously ugly crying – every time you have to add things to the give away or KEEP FOREVER BECAUSE THEY ARE MY BABIES DON’T YOU GET IT DAMMIT piles.
Being a mom means you clean poop off walls. More than once. And you justify it by saying, at least it wasn’t blah blah blah…… NO. How do these little monsters have us justifying cleaning poop off walls? Sorcery is afoot.
Being a mom means you don’t take any of it for granted. There was a time when our house was so quiet. Deafeningly so.
Being a mom means you do more each morning by 8am than you ever did in a whole day before kids.
Being a mom means you are actually, by definition, less selfish than you used to be. Although when you do indeed, do something for yourself, it FEELS 10 times more selfish sometimes. You have to learn about self care in a healthy way.
Being a mom means everything makes you cry. And I mean EVERYTHING.
Being a mom means you have to exert all the control you thought you learned in theatre school when trying NOT TO LAUGH. You were never trained this well.
Being a mom means you are kicked and slapped and teased and disrespected and tricked and conned.
Being a mom means you are kissed and hugged and tickled and rubbed and gazed upon with all the love that exists and that you didn’t ever know could be so all encompassing.
Being a mom means you hear your kids say things like, “I don’t like it when you say no” and “You’re not nice” and you still have to stick to your guns because you know it’s what’s best for them.
Being a mom means you get to be a gd hero because you got them a donut when you got your coffee.
Being a mom means you fall more in love with your partner every day watching him fall more in love with these kids – and they with him. Parenting takes a hard toll on relationships, but nobody has what we have. Having kids will absolutely ruin the marriage you once had. Nobody has our exact story and our exact connection and nobody else gets it as well as we do. We take it all out on each other because we fundamentally know that the other understands. But that love is compounded now and when you look at him above your kids at that exact second when you both are trying so hard not to laugh or cry, well, that’s everything good.
Being a mom means you hear “I wuv you mama” at times you least expect it.
Being a mom means you finally love your body. There is no shame. My kids will not see shame when it comes to my love of my body. They see and feel my body soft and strong. That’s what I see too.
Being a mom means you miss them so so so so much when you are away from them and yet when you are with them you would give anything for a 10 minute break.
Being a mom means everything wonderful and terrible and heartbreaking and life affirming all wrapped up into one package that is worth more than any amount of money.
Being a mom means I remember every day that for a long time, I wasn’t a mom. And that walking amongst us are women that ache and grieve with loss. I will always remember and I will always walk with you.
Being a mom means you aren’t just a mom to your kids, but a mom to everybody’s kids. And if something happens to any other kid, you feel it as if it’s happening to your own. And it hurts so much. Where there is injustice, WE ALL RAGE.
Being a mom means that some days, a lot of days, are really really hard and exhausting. But intertwined throughout those days are those pearls. Those ribbons of goodness and light and hope that keep us fools coming back for more. On the days we want to walk out the door and not come back, we still stay. Staying is the thing. Being a mom means being filled with hope and disappointment and gratitude and longing and not ever once wanting to change a damn thing about it.
Being a mom means you laugh. And you laugh and you laugh and you laugh and you laugh. And then you cry. And you cry and you cry and you cry. And it’s intrinsically human and beautiful and you are struck by just how normal it all is and feel that gratitude down to your toes. Normal. A normal life. And the gratitude for that normal life washes over you like a baptism, each day at different points and you are reminded and renewed from the weight of it.
Being a mom means you find strength and courage where you had no idea it existed and when you’ve used all that up, you find more.
Being a mom means being taken for granted and being a rock. Their rock. It means that they know you are there for them. Their safe space. They can treat you awfully because you are always there. Safe.
Being a mom means you give everything you have and just at the moment when you think you cannot bleed one more drop for these kids, they fall asleep. And you go in and watch them sleep and your tank is filled to brimming for the next morning. You want to wake them up. But not that badly. Tomorrow is soon enough. If we are lucky.
Being a mom means appreciating their differences and celebrating their unique talents and their humor and their kindness. These kids are just awesome. I cannot believe I get to hang out with them every day.
Being a mom means walking behind them as they hold hands and they look back at you and say “wook at dis, mama, hold our hands” and you know. You know without any shred of doubt that this is the why. I don’t know the how but this is the why.
Being a mom means that they won’t remember every song you make up to sing for them, but they remember some. And when they cup your face in their tiny little dirty hands and sing those songs back to you, you think, how are you even possible?
Being a mom means everything. I love being a mom. I love love love love being their mom.
Just a Mom – On Feminism and Infertility and Hope