Ever since I was a child, I always knew that someday I would have my own kids and be a mom. I never questioned it; it was something I always wanted.
I was going to be a perfect stay-at-home mom and enjoy every single moment teaching and encouraging my children. Then, I actually had my own kids, three of them, and that is when I fell off my unicorn and tumbled straight back to reality.
The mom I thought I would be is very, very different than the mom I actually turned out to be. Eight years and three kids later, I have figured out that this “mom” thing isn’t quite as easy as I once believed.
Before they have children, I think all young people have their own thoughts and fantasies about what motherhood will be, what their lives will be. For me, I thought it would be a little bit more like playing house than it really is.
You remember playing house — dressing up “dolls” in cute little outfits, coming up with good recipes for dinner, going shopping or being crafty. I imagined that I’d go to yoga every day, get Starbucks on my way to volunteer for the classroom party bringing along with me the most amazing Pinterest treats I baked the night before, and spend my days doing fun crafts and going to parks and playdates with my children.
Go figure, there is a little more to it than that. I didn’t plan for all of life’s real struggles — finances, relationships, illnesses, and just plain old everyday annoyances. I didn’t anticipate that I would have these feelings of defeat, inadequacy, and being completely mentally and physically exhausted.
In truth, I yell far more than I want to, I am much more impatient than I ever thought I would be, and I am not always in control of my emotions.
One minute you’re snuggling with your baby, smiling at how cute they are, quietly helping them learn a new activity, or lovingly reading them a bedtime story. You think to yourself, I got this. I can do this. Then, BAM. Suddenly, you are being physically assaulted by the very same 2-year-old as she bites your arm and squeezes your neck fat because you asked her to wear pants.
Then two minutes later, you are back to being brought to tears at how sweet and proud you are of your little one when he writes you a love note you or makes a spot on the couch and snuggles up next to you.
I really find it funny how difficult the most basic things can be when you have small children. Things I never imagined would take so much time or be such a big fight. Simple and normal things such as getting your kids to eat something, anything, getting into the car, putting on shoes, or just teaching them how to use a toilet.
I certainly never thought I could work up a sweat from going to the grocery store — carrying a kid, pushing the cart, running after an escapee, and the pure stress trying to get my freak show out of the store before it is too late.
Then there is my house. I would describe it as utter chaos. I do my best to keep up with the chores, but the dishes from yesterday sometimes sit on my counter, there are piles of laundry all over, granola bar wrappers in every corner, and the toys…oh, the toys. I have every intention of having them all separated neatly into separate bins and keeping everything that goes together in one spot. That’s a joke.
So, no, I am definitely not the perfect mom I once thought I would be. I’m far from it. Every single day, I am reminded how far from perfect I really am, how far from even being “okay.”
My house may not be clean and organized, my kids sometimes smell, I am not cool, I’m definitely not patient, I lose my temper (a lot), and according to my kids, I’m not fair (ever).
But I am here for them no matter what. Their wacky mom loves them completely. I am fumbling through this motherhood thing — taking this one day, one step at a time, and doing my very best. My kids are my life. All I can do is pray that the mom I turned out to be is enough.