10 Things I Said My Children Would Never Do

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The people who can raise a perfectly well behaved child are those people who don’t have any children. You know who these people are because they don’t have dried pudding on their jeans. There wasn’t a toddler close enough to quietly put a booger in their hair while they struggled to adjust the cart seat strap.

The people who can raise a perfectly well behaved child are those people who don’t have any children. You know who these people are because they don’t have dried pudding on their jeans. There wasn’t a toddler close enough to quietly put a booger in their hair while they struggled to adjust the cart seat strap.

Before I had kids, I was also an expert on raising children. Here are some of my “expert declarations” and a brief rundown of my “actual” findings…

1. My kids will never behave that way in public. By “behave,” I meant they’d never throw tantrums in the store. Those hysterical fits that sound like they’re being chased down the cereal aisle by an actual shark. When tantrums actually happen in public, I react the way anyone in my situation would. I ask random people if these are their kids. Or, I’ll whisper to the people next to me: “I’m the nanny.” Occasionally I compliment my children on their form as they thrash and contort their body in ways that defy both human biology and physics.

2. I will never leave the house looking like that. Oh, but I do. It’s not that I don’t care about how I look. I mean, mostly I don’t really care how I look, but a lot of times I actually forget to do things like brush my hair or put on makeup or brush my teeth. I have, however, never forgotten pants. You’re welcome.

Related: How to Identify a Mom of Young Kids

3. My kids will not eat crappy food. My toddlers are picky. So, getting them to eat anything that isn’t a sticker or a crayon is a small victory. If they pass on green beans and carrots and choose to inhale chicken nuggets or pepperoni, it’s an amen-arm raising-hallelujah-kind of moment. I always toss in a gummy vitamin twice a day, this is how I live without guilt.

4. My house will never look like that. My house looks like a Build-A-Bear Workshop exploded in it. There are stuffed animals, clothes and toy parts scattered everywhere. I’ve learned that cleaning up after kids while they’re awake is like trying to clean up splattered food from an open blender, that’s still running. It’s exhausting. The only way my house will ever be clean is if it spontaneously combusts.

5. I will never be late anywhere. The slowest my children ever move is when we have to go anywhere that has a start time. On any given day, my kids burn around the house like their pants are on fire. They move with the energy of 80 toddlers, breaking the sound barrier as they circle the dining room table for the billionth time. The second I have to be anywhere, time goes backwards. It turns into negative time. That’s how long it takes them to get to me. -15 minutes. Don’t get me started on putting coats and shoes on. Let’s just say that no one can put their arm through the coat holes when they’re too busy trying to put their shoes on their ears.

6. I will never negotiate with my children. Negotiation is a powerful tool. It gives my children the chance to exercise decision making. Thus pushing them towards successful independence. Just kidding. It gives me my way. For example, if little Susie wants ice cream, she has to eat three more chicken nuggets. If she doesn’t eat them, everyone else at the table gets ice cream. Raising a child is like a business. It’s all about incentives. Okay, maybe it sounds more like bribing. To-may-toe. To-mah-toe.

Related: How to Properly Threaten Your Children

7. I will not allow my children to watch TV. During winters such as these, when your family is one snowflake away from mumbling themselves into full-fledged cabin fever, TV is a sanctuary. A magical box that emits irresistible sounds and colors that buy me at least 15 minutes of motionless activity. Where I can resume banging my head against the wall without interruption.

8. I will never get annoyed by my children. Sometimes I initiate a game of hide and seek that I don’t tell anyone else about. Then, I’ll hide in places where a 3-year old would never think to look, like inside the dryer. And I eat candy.

9. I won’t let my kids stop me from traveling. Taking a trip to Target requires more items than settlers needed for the westward expansion. If our forefathers had mostly toddlers in tow, they’d have made it as far as Ohio before one of them realized they left a toy behind. After the meltdown was over, everyone would mutually agree that Ohio was “west” enough. We do travel now that we have kids, but I’m not up for discussing our experiences. I’m still trying to sort it all out in therapy.

Related: The Top 10 Things Moms Do At Target

10. My kids will listen to me. I honestly believe that early childhood development doesn’t include the ability to listen. Hear, yes. Listen, no. For whatever reason no one hears me until I’m in full blown auctioneer mode, rattling words off at 115 decibels. By the time anyone in my house responds, I’ve sold a sheep and four tractors at a farm auction six counties away.

There’s nothing more humbling than becoming a parent. There’s no experience in life that challenges your character, patience and endurance like raising children. Well, maybe surviving the Alaskan wilderness in the winter after being chased by a pack of ravenous wolves is more challenging. Hopefully those wolves were chasing you at -40 miles per hour and mostly kept their boogers to themselves.

If I had known…

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If I had known what sleep deprivation really felt like before I had kids…

If I had known the full measure of bodily fluids I’d have to clean up throughout my children’s childhoods…

If I had known how much the sound of “Mama? Mama? Mama?” could grate on my last nerve after hearing it for more than a decade…

If I had known that sometimes I’d take an extra long time on the toilet, just to have a few minutes to myself…

If I had known that those few stolen toilet moments would almost always be interrupted by tiny fists knocking on the door anyway…

If I had known how often I would have to repeat the same directions and corrections over and over and over and over…

If I had known that every “expert” remedy for whining, crying, moping, disobedience, disrespect, and laziness would be completely ineffectual half the time…

If I had known that loving your children doesn’t mean liking them all the time…

If I had known that I would sometimes cry in the shower because there was no other place to vent alone…

If I had known that I’d be so “touched out” by the end of some days that the thought of getting busy with my husband would repulse me…

If I had known that I would never be able to truly, fully concentrate on anything ever again…

If I had known that it doesn’t get easier as they get older, just hard in different ways…

If I had known I would feel terrified almost every day that I am failing at motherhood in some way…

If I had known how truly unrelenting parenting was going to be…

I would have had my children anyway.

Because if I hadn’t…

I wouldn’t know how miraculous it feels to have a human being grow from a tiny speck to an entire person inside your own body.

I wouldn’t know that the smell of a newborn’s head is the best evidence that there’s a heaven.

I wouldn’t know the magic of having a baby fall asleep in your arms and never wanting to put them down.

I wouldn’t know the unmatchable thrill of watching your child walk, use the potty, ride a bike, or read a whole book for the first time.

I wouldn’t know how the sound of your child’s laughter can lighten even the heaviest of days.

I wouldn’t know how an innocent, wide-eyed stare can melt you right through the floor.

I wouldn’t know how awesome it is to witness the daily, gradual unfolding of a person you helped bring into the world.

I wouldn’t know the pride of seeing your children navigate difficult situations using the tools and qualities you’ve helped instill in them.

I wouldn’t know how much pure, unbridled joy there could be in seeing your children triumph.

I wouldn’t know how much unexpected, humbling grace there could be in the constant struggle of trying to be a better parent.

I wouldn’t know how the act of parenting your own kids can help heal your own childhood hurts.

I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey.

If I had known what motherhood really was like, I’d have done it all over again.

(I’d just have slept more when I had the chance.)

15 Things Veteran Moms Really Want to Say

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Becoming a mother is like walking into a high school cafeteria. The cool moms, women who manage to get dressed and brush their teeth on a daily basis, sit at their own table. The moms who breast feed sit together, while the formula moms sit elsewhere. The sleep trainers swap stories at their table. The co-sleepers eat their lunches alone, so they can finally stretch out. The attachment parents wear their babies at the corner table. And everyone waits for a new mom to drop her lunch tray, so they can gasp and point fingers and roll their eyes at her missteps.

Well, this is the picture perpetuated by the Mommy War mentality, an archaic notion that reduces grown women to catty school girls. This analogy falls flat for too many reasons to count. We’re all moms, so we haven’t been served a meal in years, and we don’t know when we’ve eaten food that’s still warm. And given an opportunity to complete a sentence, most of us wouldn’t waste it on passing judgement especially on new moms.

The us vs. them mind set is the exception not the rule. When an “experienced” mom sees a “newbie,” the look in her eye as fruit loops cascade from the open van door is not judgement; it’s nostalgia and camaraderie. We’ve been there, and if a child didn’t need our attention “now, Mommy! Please, Mommy, please! Mooooooooomeeeee!” we’d say…

1. It’s totally normal that the car you used to get detailed on the reg looks like the place Goldfish crackers go to die. Just yesterday we found the remains of a hot dog beneath our seats.

2. We’re truly impressed you prepare healthful, organic meals everyday from scratch, but don’t beat yourself up if when you lay in bed reviewing what your child actually ate, you discover his calories came from pickles and Nerds. It happens.

3. We agree that the hands-down best high (no matter what you did in college) is the one you get from your baby laying heavy in a heap on your chest. Thank you, oxytocin. And no judgment here if you forgo a night out to cash in on the opportunity to cuddle up.

4. Don’t worry if you consider purchasing a taxi cab because you heard the plastic partitions can be made in soundproof material. We already looked into that.

5. There is nothing wrong with you at all if while cleaning the nursery in a few months, you tear up throwing away the nasal aspirators because your big girl can blow her nose all by herself. These milestones come out of nowhere.

6. Don’t you dare think less of yourself if you do the sniff test to your clothes before you consider washing them. A little spit up on the shoulder? If you can scratch it off, it’s perfect for running errands. We applaud you for “Going Green”!

7. We get it if when you decide to return to the gym, you do it under the guise of getting your body back but know deep down it’s for the childcare room. We’ve seen them sanitize the baby swing. No harm. No foul.

8. We applaud your homemade cleaning products. Vinegar is magical! We didn’t notice at all that you turned to Clorox and Lysol when your little one got his first stomach virus. We thought “projectile” was hyperbole, too.

9. Don’t question your strength just because you can’t take the lollipop your precious little one has been licking for 45 minutes. There is nothing stronger than a baby holding candy. Nothing.

10. No judgement here if you consider asking your husband to celebrate your birthday or his birthday or next Tuesday with a vasectomy.

11. Please don’t underestimate your parenting prowess when your little one embraces Time Out as an opportunity to play quietly and use his imagination instead of reflecting on his bad behavior. Enjoy the minute of silence.

12. We still think you’re fashion forward after you spent the entire day with Cheerios tucked into the folds of your scarf and a chocolate kiss mark on your cheek.

13. We admire any answer you can muster (as long as it doesn’t include details about grooming shapes and vajazzling) when your cherub asks about pubic hair while you’re both squeezed into a public restroom stall.

14. It’s not lying to tell your babe that Caillou went on vacation with his Mommy and Daddy and won’t be back for a long time. We call it self preservation.

15. You’re still wearing a nursing bra but haven’t breastfed in months? There’s no statute of limitations on those things. We can’t blame you for avoiding a bra fitting. One change at a time.

We could go on and on because motherhood is the great equalizer, and we’re all just doing the best we can. Instead of passing judgement, we’re looking for strength in numbers. However, if you happen to come in contact with Judgey McJudginstuff herself, we fully support you thanking her for her insight while patting her shoulder with a hand that may or may not have poop under the fingernails.

Welcome to the club.

To the Unwashed Masses of Mothers

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Dear Mom,

I’ve seen you around. I’ve seen you screaming at your kids in public, I’ve seen you ignoring them at the playground, I’ve seen you unshowered and wearing last night’s pajama pants at preschool drop-off. I’ve seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them. I’ve seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk.

I’ve seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee. I’ve seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four year old. I’ve seen you wiping your kids’ boogers with your bare palm, and then smearing them on the back of your jeans. I’ve seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

Related: 25 Ways To Annoy A Toddler

I’ve also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving, or whatever it was. I’ve seen you close your eyes and breathe slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk. I’ve seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse. I’ve seen you pacing in front of the house.

I’ve seen you at the hospital waiting room. I’ve seen you at the pharmacy counter. I’ve seen you looking tired, and frightened.

I’ve seen a lot of you, actually. I see you every single day.

I don’t know if you planned to be a parent or not. If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into the world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly. I don’t know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined “motherly love” would feel like for your child. I don’t know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth. I don’t know if you created your child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you didn’t get everything that you wanted. I know that you got a wealth of things you never knew you wanted until they were there in front of you. I know that you don’t believe that you’re doing your best, that you think you can do better. I know you are doing better than you think.

Related: Motherhood: The Big, Fat Fuck You

I know that when you look at your child, your children, you see yourself. And I know that you don’t, that you see a stranger who can’t understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager’s head sometimes. I know you want to toss your three year old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it’s finally quiet, you curl up in bed and cry. I know that sometimes, you don’t, even though your heart is breaking with exhaustion and the weight of crushed expectations.

I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does. The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges. Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights. And every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that’s your job. You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything you’re doing to moderate an argument over who’s turn it is to use a specific marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what color lipstick Pinocchio’s mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I’ve heard that you dance like a wild woman when it’s just you and them. That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you’re doing and trim the fingernail that your three year old insists is keeping her up. I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party. I know you fed your kids PBandJ for four days straight when you had the flu. I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch Super Why.

I know you didn’t expect most of this. I know you didn’t anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you’ve turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out. Or you were blind and terrified. You hired the perfect nanny. Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat packed baby furniture. You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an impostor was wearing your skin.

You’re not a perfect mom. No matter how you try, no matter what you do. You will never be a perfect mom.

Related: The Perfect Mother

And maybe that haunts you. Or maybe you’ve made peace with it. Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with.

No matter how much you do, there is always more. No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved. They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything. No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play group, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy, and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There’s an old Yiddish saying, “There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it.”

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents. Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you. They will grow up certain that they won’t make their kids take piano lessons, or they’ll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all.

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at synagogue and concuss themselves on the handicapped rail, and somebody will still walk up and tell you what a beautiful family you have. You’ll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with that sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt this one thing: You are definitely not perfect. 

And that’s good. Because really, neither is your child. And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience. Nobody knows what your child’s squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations, Best Mom in the World. You’re not perfect.

You’re as good as anybody can get.

With love,

Me

The Motherhood Proclamation

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It seems to me that all of us are getting super sick of ragging on each about our choices as moms. I think we’ve reached a point where we need to grab the hand of the woman closest to us and just say “Fuck It.”

I don’t care if your kid sleeps in your bed with you until they are 100 years old or if they have never slept for one second of one minute by your side. Fuck it. I don’t care if your feed your kid baby formula or Kombucha tea or Spam or if you feed them the old-fashioned boob way. I just don’t care. I don’t live your life, so why would I?

Let’s all raise our collective mom voices together and say, Fuck it, we are all women and mothers and we are all doing the frickin’ best that we can.

Let’s be friends and fellow team-mates in this thing we call motherhood.

Please come to me when you are sad and shaken by motherhood, as we all are at one time or another. I shall hand you a glass of wine, if you are one who partakes, and just listen. I won’t try to solve it. I will just listen and nod in understanding of one who has been there, too.

Even though I believe my child is the most amazing walking sack of DNA that ever graced the planet, I also understand that he is probably as annoying to you as your kid is to me. I get it. No hard feelings.

I won’t compete with you in my mind. And I won’t compare my child to yours at every turn. I just won’t do it. Our kids will do their own thing in their own time and it really has nothing to do with us.

I will know that when you are screaming at your child helplessly in the grocery store that you have every reason and right to do so. Whatever it is that brought you to that point was as crazy as what brought me to the point of screaming at my own children in the sick room at the hospital that one day. I will remember this and empathize and give you a thumbs up.

I won’t judge your decisions in how to parent your child. I don’t know that kid like you do and I never will. I will mind my own business because if I judge, it is more about the insecurity I feel in my own decisions. I will remember this always.

I will lend a hand to mothers in need. We are all mothers and at one time or another we will all need other mothers. Whatever form that need comes in, if I have it to give, I will give it. An ear, a meal, a grocery trip, a hug, a beer, a laugh, a roadtrip, a sob session, a text, duct tape, whatever.

I will put myself on your side. And not on the opposite side. As women and mothers, we are the only ones that know how each of us feel. How that overriding love for our offspring makes us a little crazy sometimes. How our ovaries are sometimes tricky bastards and our hormones make us want chocolate. Our kids don’t get it. Our partners don’t always get it. So we have to stick together in this whole motherhood thing.

Let’s just put down all of these annoying arguments; working vs. non-working, breast-feeding vs. bottle-feeding, circumcising, sleep-training, punishment giving, organic vs. non-organic, potty-training, home-birthing vs. hospital birthing, stuff vs. not stuff, give ‘em the reigns vs. reign them in.

And then let’s burn these arguments. Burn them with our understanding that these are just little imperfect human beings that we are raising. They aren’t, in fact, a fragile alien species that require perfect parenting.

These kids will survive all of our good and bad decisions. We will shape them or we won’t. But maybe if we are a little more understanding of each other, we can instill that one important thing upon them.

And then the internet can be used for what it was intended for; looking at pictures of cute cats and making fun of celebrities so we can feel better about ourselves.

Are you in?

50 Lessons in Parenting Young Kids

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1. Super glue has no place in a house with young children.

2. Neither do Sharpie’s.

3. There is no such thing as allowing your kid to play with your phone “just once.”

4. Don’t use Google to diagnose illnesses. Ever.

5. Dollar store toys cost far more than a dollar in frustration, anguish and regret.

6. The terrible twos are bullshit. The terribleness lasts through at least age four. Or, forever.

7. Always carry wipes, long after diaper wearing has ended.

8. Resist purchasing character Bandaids, unless you’re prepared to buy a box a week.

9. You can never have too many Goldfish. The crackers, not the live ones.

10. Don’t buy bunk beds, unless you have absolutely no choice.

11. Keep track of who gave what at birthday parties.

12. Never stock batteries in your house, or you will be forced to make obnoxiously loud toys work once again.

13. Buy Mr. Clean Erasers in bulk.

14. Backup all photos. Better yet, print them.

15. Look in the oven before you turn it on.

16. There is no point in making beds.

17. Accept the fact that you will turn into your mother.

18. Always check pockets before washing clothes.

19. There is no such thing as “running” into Target with children.

20. Take more video.

21. Daily baths are overrated.

22. Find young babysitters and groom them. The less attractive, the better.

23. Always have ample one dollar bills on hand for lost teeth and bribery.

24. Carry plenty of emergency snacks in the car.

25. Keep expensive cosmetics out of arm’s reach. Arm’s reach, on a stool and tippy toes.

26. The four year old check-up is brutal.

27. Look before you sit down to pee.

28. Train your children to clean up all Lego’s before bed, knowing that nothing is more painful than stepping on a Lego with a bare foot at midnight.

29. Save “no” for when it really matters.

30. Over-apply sunscreen.

31. Practice caution when approaching that stray raisin on the floor. It’s probably not a raisin.

32. Never pay full price for kids clothes. They always go on sale and the expensive ones inevitably get ruined first.

33. There’s a reason why people surprise their kids with trips to Disney: Their anticipation may kill you.

34. Don’t take their word for it when children say they don’t need to pee before leaving the house.

35. Lock your bedroom door.

36. And, your bathroom one.

37. Never open a can of soda handed to you by a child.

38. Walk away from temper tantrums. Or, record them for future enjoyment.

39. Upset as you may be, hair grows back.

40. But, not on Barbie dolls, so hide the scissors.

41. Never buy more than two pairs of shoes at once. Their feet will inevitably grow once you do.

42. No matter how hard they promise, kids will never walk that puppy as much as you hoped.

43. Give away the books you can’t stand reading.

44. No child went to college with a pacifier.

45. Don’t buy any toy that is meant to come apart, unless they can put it back together themselves.

46. Keep a well-hidden stock of lollipops.

47. Don’t allow Play-Doh on carpets. Or, indoors, for that matter.

48. TV won’t really turn their brains to mush.

49. A bathroom in a house with boys will never smell clean.

50. It doesn’t get easier.

Motherhood is…

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Motherhood is middle of the night wake up calls for a glass of water or a fan or a light or a blanket or a bear or a kiss or a band-aid.

Motherhood is making lunch after lunch after lunch after lunch only to find the healthy contents stuffed behind a car-seat.

Motherhood is all of your spending money.

Motherhood is not remembering what it’s like to get a full night’s sleep.

Motherhood is siblings bickering over who can look out of which window and who started it and who you love the most even though you love all of them the same but at the moment you don’t like any of them in the least.

Motherhood is wiping more poop than you ever thought you’d see in your life.

Motherhood is a car so filthy that you are embarrassed to let your own husband see it.

Motherhood is hearing the word “why” at least a hundred times a day and most of the time, not having an answer.

Motherhood is knowing, just from the touch of a forehead, almost exactly what your child’s temperature is.

Motherhood is stretch marks dominating your belly and feet a full size larger than before and sad, deflated boobs.

Motherhood is finally appreciating your own mother.

Motherhood is fantasizing over reaching the bottom of the laundry pile, knowing full well that it’s never going to happen.

Motherhood is singing all the words to your kids favorite songs even though they annoy the hell out of you.

Motherhood is never feeling at peace unless all of your children are with you, under your own roof.

Motherhood is always feeling mildly sick but never being able to wallow in your own misery.

Motherhood is never peeing or showering in peace.

Motherhood is using your sleeves to wipe runny noses and your spit to clean dirty faces.

Motherhood is being able to identify just who is coming down the stairs based solely on the thudding of their feet above you.

Motherhood is not even wanting to say “I told you so” even though you did, countless times.

Motherhood is when, just as you want to curl up into a ball of pure exhaustion and desperation, one of your children suddenly farts or burps or does something spontaneously funny. It’s the moment when you dissolve into a hysterical fit of laughter; the kind that you haven’t had since you and your seventh grade BFF were caught passing notes about which boy in your class you’d most want to be stuck in a closet with. It’s the moment you pause and look at your children, all piled on your bed, breathless and rosy cheeked, and think that the only things that really matter in the world are right there in front of you. They are yours, and they are worth every sacrifice and sleepless night.

And then, it’s the moment, two seconds later, when one of them will accidentally kick the other one on the arm and the other will bite in retaliation and you will wish, for the hundredth time that day, that you could just rewind time and savor that peace and joy for more than an instant.

Rinse and repeat a million times. That’s what motherhood is to me.