When I signed up to be a mother, I knew it wasn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. I knew it would be challenging as are all things you first try, but I also expected it to be the most beautiful experience of my life.
And it was.
It still is.
Although I hated the weight gain, I loved being pregnant. To be able to feel movement inside of you is truly miraculous and life changing. For me, it was my favourite part of pregnancy.
When your child is born and they place it in your arms for the very first time, nothing surpasses the deep love you instantly feel for a little being you’ve just met. In fact, this love I talk about develops slowly throughout the pregnancy as your child grows inside the womb and … it never goes away.
When my babies were born, I loved the feedings, the snuggles in bed, the hugs and kisses and the bright-eyes that greeted me after every night’s sleep or daytime nap. I still do. I love crawling into bed with my girls even now and waking them up in the morning with kisses on their sweet little faces.
I loved the pride I felt when each of my girls overcame or conquered each infant and toddler milestone. However difficult certain stages of growth may have been and how exhausted I always felt running after them, I enjoyed each stage of their development and would not have had it any other way. I say this now because the baby stage is over, I know. Hindsight always wears her positive specs, doesn’t she?
Even now that my girls are older, I feel extreme pride while listening to one read, watching them create and design little art projects or master the monkey bars, ask probing questions or wanting to discuss topics they’ve learned in school. I adore how their little minds and bodies work, grow and change.
Most of all, my heart swells with the ways each of my children love me. Even the teenager shares moments of affection for me every now and then. I will take any amount of hugs, hand holding or kisses from my girls, any time or anywhere.
With everything good and wonderful, come also the challenges and heartache.
Above anything else, I hate the worry that comes from having children.
When the kids are sick, I am always a nervous wreck. When they’re in pain or suffering from the symptoms of a head cold, bad cough or stomach bug, my heart hurts and I’m stressed until I see them on the mend or know that medicine is doing it’s job. I have a really hard time sleeping through the night hearing the coughs and moans and knowing that my little sweethearts are not well.
When you’re a Mom, you secretly wish you had access to a magic wand so that you can take away any hurt, sadness or discomfort your children experience as they grow and develop.
THE UGLY ME
This side of me jumps out every once in a while and especially when my girls wake me up in the night because of bad dreams. Of course, once awake, they ask me to lay with them because they’re frightened and when it happens once in a while, I oblige them because I clearly remember how it felt to be awaken suddenly from a nightmare. When the waking up in the night starts happening continuously, like it has been lately, I really just want to say, ” No! Mommy needs her sleep so stop your crying and get back to bed! “. Clearly, I don’t do this but there are many times when I’m so far spent I just want to say it and walk away. It’s crazy what a lack of sleep can do!
Needless to say, this mama does not sleep well in the kiddo beds and has not been getting her regular dose of Zzzz’s lately. Without a good night’s sleep it’s really hard to get through a day of work let alone mothering 3 girls and taking care of a household. One sleepless night is manageable but two sleepless nights in a row brings out “the ugly me”. Add frustration to the lack of sleep and it’s a recipe for losing my patience, raising my voice or saying something to them I regret later.
When this stage of “ugly me” emerges, I need to step back and regroup.
I remind myself that this is only a stage and that, like every other stage the girls have gone through, this one will eventually pass.
I think about all the women out there in the world who struggle to conceive and bear children and the extent they would go to be in my shoes, challenges, frustrations and all and I’m put in my place, big time.
Perspective, after a strong cup of coffee, helps me pull through the most challenging of mothering times. These little people who live with me, mean no harm. They’re just trying to figure out this big old scary world and need my help to learn the ropes of life.
After all is said and done and experienced, I signed up for this job knowing that it wouldn’t always be easy. I just hope that once my girls are grown-ups, they have fond memories of me being a good mother and not a scary one.