Some people were made to mother. They are full of that motherly instinct. Some of us are faking it hard. I did not grow up dreaming of all the kids I would have. Maybe because I wasn’t sure what to do with kids. I wanted kids to like me, but never felt like I knew how to get them to.
Before our first baby was born, my husband had changed more diapers in his lifetime than I had. You would think I chose to have five kids because motherhood comes easily to me. You would be wrong. Thankfully, God had a better plan for my life than I did.
But just in case some of you are anything like me — maybe you’ll relate to this:
1. You have no desire to hold other people’s children. Babies are cute and all, and you notice that they are, but why would you need to hold them? You have your own.
2. You rarely notice other people’s children. Heck, you don’t hear your own half of the time. You sit visiting at a friend’s house and it doesn’t even occur to you to acknowledge their children playing nearby or engage them in play yourself. You’d much rather continue the one adult conversation you’ve had all week than begin yet another session of make believe. (Even though you realize you have no adult ideas to share anymore.)
3. You’re children say your name 5 times some days before it registers.
4. You don’t know how to treat children differently than adults. You expect them to be able to do things and focus like every other normal human being. Just get dressed! Just read the word! Just spit your toothpaste in the sink and not on my shoe!
5. If your kids were your friends…you would not be friends. Who wants to be friends with someone who pees on your floor and then yells they don’t love you because you gave them raisins instead of craisins? Definitely we wouldn’t hang out anymore. Good thing they are so cute and like to snuggle. (And I must admit, this changes as they get older.)
6. You like to pee by yourself. Okay, even natural mothers probably agree on this one. Though really, as much as you’d enjoy a few minutes alone, you’re afraid of what they’ll do while you’re gone.
7. You loathe the sound of crying. And all loud noise. And mess.
8. Every teaching moment, story time, horsey ride, and pretend play is the result of thought-out effort. You look at your kids and have the conscious thought — I should go do fill-in-the-blank with them. And you get yourself to get up and do it. It doesn’t just happen.
9. You avoid babysitting. You always have. And you definitely try not to babysit children older (or different in gender) than your own. You don’t know what they do, and it scares you.
10. You really, really, really love your kids. Hey, even those of us who aren’t naturally good at parenting still really want to be. We feel sick over the moments we feel unable to be. We cry ourselves to sleep thinking how we’re messing it up. We pray they’ll turn out okay anyway. We can’t breathe at the thought of any harm coming to them. Their hugs, their kisses, their smiles, and their hearts mean the world to us.
Can any of you relate? Share some of your “unnatural” mothering moments. You’re doing a great job!