1. There is no such thing as quiet time. If my house is quiet I have to check my children to make sure they are breathing.
2. A hug is truly the most powerful drug out there. It can cure boo-boos, make a multitude of tears stop, and it is in high demand. As a mom with young ones I can still get a hug anytime I ask. From what I hear, I need to cherish these hugs, as they don’t last forever. So I hug. Every single day. Probably every hour of the day, and that does include in my sleep.
3. A vacation is not a week-long trip at the beach. (Actually my husband and I never saw this as our oldest came nine months after we married. Plan B was our 10 year anniversary and we happened to have a 6 month old at the time.) But I can find a vacation in a solo trip to Target or the library. I relish the hour my girls are in the drop-in care at the Y. Those are my vacations. They’re infrequent, but fun.
4. Legos are little plastic death creatures. They hurt more than anything when you step on them with your bare feet. Little People hurt too. And surprisingly a pacifier that you aren’t expecting. But they are nothing like a Lego.
5. There is absolutely no point in cleaning the house. It is the world’s most frustrating thing to do with kids because they are little tornados that claim they are helping, but they actually make more of a mess than if you could have a mini-vacation to clean. See number 3. I can make a vacation out of cleaning my house by myself. All I need is no interruptions and incredibly loud music.
6. Be prepared to answer questions you don’t have a clue how to answer. Smart phones are lovely for this. You can at least Google an answer even if it’s someone else’s version of an answer. If you’re lucky you’ll get an “oh” for a response instead of “why.” If needed you can always pull out “Because I’m Mom and I say so.”
7. Your child literally has a section in your heart. Whether she is adopted, naturally conceived, a foster child, or (I pray not) in Heaven. If there is something wrong you hurt down to your core. I never knew there were so many ways to be a mom either. But there are. We moms know when we are. We can see it in another mother.
8. Mistakes are the best thing ever. Maybe you spent your life trying not to make mistakes. Maybe you were lucky enough to know this already. But as a parent, it’s fabulous to watch your child make mistakes. Because YOU are there to help them learn from them. I love to see mistakes in my children. That’s what makes them the quirky little creatures they are.
9. Somehow your children pull the best (and worst) pieces of you and rearrange them into their own self. Yes, it’s a bit vague. I see this the most when my children are driving me insane. My son thinks he can argue until the end of a conversation. And I want to reply back to him each time. My youngest daughter wants to cuddle. And I love to cuddle (just not that much!) My middle child is independent. She loves to grab her Leappad or a musical toy and just go disappear into another room. I envy that. If I try someone (even the cats) will follow me.
10. The most important thing I learned once I became a mom—how incredibly lucky I am. Sometimes I hit bad days when I worry so much about my kids. I worry about my son’s diabetes, or if my daughter’s back brace is going to prevent surgery, if this cold is turning to pneumonia again, if we try mixing the thyroid medication with ice cream will she take it. Yet, I am able to worry about these things. There are so many moms out there who have had the world crash on them. They may have lost a child. Or have a child with terminal illness. To me, that is the worst possible thing in the entire world. Or the moms out there who want to be moms and can’t for one reason or another. I never know what to say to you moms as I would love nothing more than to see you experience the incredible craziness of motherhood. And I think it’s completely unfair. Or the moms who chose to let their child go to another family because they couldn’t give their child the life they deserve—if I could give you a medal I would.
So, yes, I am incredibly blessed in my life. Even when I look and feel exhausted, and completely annoyed by my children (because I probably am), know that I do know how lucky I am. And I hope those of you reading this know that too. Give your mom a hug if she’s still in your life. Give your children extra hugs. Because even if they say they hate it, they don’t. They want to know their mom loves them.