My role as a mother is so different that I always dreamed it would be. I've watched my own mom, my friends and other moms around me for years and I guess I had put together some sort of picture in my head of what motherhood would look like. Being a mom has been a million times harder than I ever thought it would be and has exceeded my wildest dreams all at the same time. Some days I can't wait for bedtime to get here and others I feel like I never want to hang out with anyone other than my little family. It's a crazy road this parenting thing. I'm so glad that I chose the man that I did to be my partner on this journey.
Since today is Mother's Day, I thought I would share some thoughts that I've been having lately. I've been compiling this post since Emmy was born.
I wasn't expecting...
...to have so many emotions. Some days I can't stop laughing at their funny antics. Some days I count to 10 multiple times a day because it seems like they're determined to push every button until I reach the point of insanity. Some days I'm crying out of frustration and others I'm crying because I'm overwhelmed by all of the goodness in my life.
...to take so many pictures and videos. If I don't remember to clean my phone out and upload pictures/videos to my external hard drive on a weekly basis, my phone goes crazy. Little notifications pop up multiple times a day telling me that I'm running out of storage on my device. As soon as I've backed it all up and cleared it all off, peace resumes, but then I sit and think about just how many pictures and random videos I sent to the hard drive that I so desperately need to sort through (2017 goal). I'm grateful that we have phones that can so conveniently record the moments in motherhood that I want to remember forever.
...to get touched out. I'm a very touchy feely person and you will find me kissing and hugging my children often (I can't help it really, their cheeks are so squishy and kissable!!), so I never thought that I could get too much affection. The other day when I was feeding Emmy, Bensen was trying to climb into my lap and touch my face and Howie was rubbing up against me begging for scratches behind his ears, I wanted to scream, "Don't touch me!!!" I really do appreciate their love and affection, but sometimes I get a little overstimulated.
...to have so much fun. Having kids of my own is like being a kid again myself. I've always loved playgrounds and kid things, but they are a million times more exciting now that I have little ones to enjoy them with. And it's nice not to get weird looks when you're excited to explore a new playground or slide down the slide. I love experiencing the world for the first time again through their little eyes.
...to memorize the words to theme songs on shows. We don't watch a lot of TV, it's just not Bensen's favorite, although Emmy is immediately drawn to screens so that might change with her. There are a handful of shows that we watch on a regular basis, and they usually end up playing in the background while Bensen and I are doing something else together and not paying much attention to them. But I can sing you the words to every single one of their songs. Have you ever seen Furchester Hotel with Elmo?? They have an intro, a "catastrophe" song, a "don't check out" song and a few others that are played in every. single. 10-20 minute episode (the show seems abnormally short, but I've never timed it). Ever since Bensen and I spent the day cuddling when he had a fever, I have had them stuck in my head... nothing will get them out!!!
...to know my children and sense their needs. It's the weirdest thing to know when your child is hungry, tired, overwhelmed, scared, happy, excited, etc. Bensen will throw a tantrum and I can (usually) tell you exactly why that is. Emmy makes a funny face and breathes a certain way when she's getting tired and when I see that start to happen, I know that we have about 10 or 15 minutes before she needs to be in bed. There are some times when I can't figure out what is wrong or how to console my little ones, but most often, I can tell you what they need in just a few seconds. Tip: If a mom says that her child needs something or is feeling something specific, don't question her. Your experiences may suggest otherwise, but her motherly instinct is almost always right.
...to feel so protective. It is so hard to know when to let go and let your kids learn and when to step in and help them out. That is all I'll say on that one.
...to have so little time. I'm a rush, rush, rush type of person and I like to be as efficient as I can be in getting tasks done. Becoming a mom has taught me to slow down but it has also taught me to lower the expectations that I have for myself. If we're going to be out the door to go somewhere by 10 one morning, I have to expect that nothing other than getting both kids and myself (most of the time) fed and ready for the day will get done. I have to refrain from doing the dishes and sometimes even from cleaning up breakfast. And when we need to go somewhere. I plan to start getting ready to leave about an hour before I plan on heading out the door. Life is better that way, even though my to do list may be longer.
...to spend so much money. Necessary expenses aside, I have the hardest time passing up cute kiddo things. I avoid the toy aisle and put blinders on any time I have to go past the kids clothing section to get something in the aisles near there. Trying to rein myself in when I'm purchasing things for birthdays or Christmas is difficult too. Why do I always want to buy them so many things?! I love the excitement on Bensen's face when I hand him something that I know he'll love.
...to be so in awe. My children are little and young, but I learn things from them on a daily basis. It's crazy to me how watching them learn skills that come as naturally as breathing to me is so amazing. Every time I hear Bensen say a new word, I'm shocked and excited. Every time I see Emmy connecting the dots on certain things, I'm amazed. Human being are incredible, but my children in particular are something else (and I know every mom feels that way about her own).
...to want to time travel into the past AND the future. When Facebook memories shows me a video of Bensen playing with my pen and babbling to it like crazy, I want to go back. When I'm reminded of just how tiny Emmy was when we brought her home from the hospital, I want to get some more snuggles. Every day Joe and I say, "Won't it be so fun when Bensen/Emmy can do this??" I never want them to grow up, but at the same time, I wish time would go faster because I can't wait to see what they become.
Related: I Quit Breastfeeding and I'm a Better Wife and Mother Because of It
I love being a mom and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Although some days, I would give anything for just a few extra hours of sleep and a warm meal that I can eat without having to leave my plate alone multiple times while I'm eating.