Once upon a time I believed that Motherhood would be simple. It would be all fairy tales, afternoon walks and sweetness. Boy was I wrong!
As most young girls do, I imagined myself as a Mother someday. I would take care of my dolls by pretending to nurse them, like I had seen my Mom do, and then rocking them gently in my arms for maybe 2 minutes maximum, changing their perfectly dry diaper, then laying them gently in their cribs to sleep until the next time I felt like playing with them; Easy.
As a new mother I would take care of my real baby by nursing her for at least an hour, sometimes on cracked and sore nipples, rocking her for hours on end after she had woken up for the third time that night. I remember changing diapers that were nothing short of Chernobyl in their sheer explosiveness.
As a teenager I had pictured Motherhood as playing games with a sweet little angel who quietly did as he was told, giggling and telling cute little stories, just like the kids I babysat. Potty training would be just how it had been with my dolls; There would be a few ‘cute little’ accidents at first, but then once she had ‘gone’ in her potty, she would see how simple it was and it would be smooth sailing from then on.
The reality as a mother of three toddlers was quite different, of course. Meltdowns galore! In the grocery store, in the restaurant and sometimes, on a good day, it would be at home where I could turn on a cartoon for the other two kids while dealing with the third. Potty training was different for all three of my girls, but it was never simple and there were always unexpected accidents well after the ‘training’ was complete.
Once upon a time I said I wouldn’t have my kids sitting in front of the tv screen, or eating any sugar and I would never get annoyed with my own children. We let go of some of our hard rules for our sanity. Looking back, I feel it’s like trying to make rules for a game you’ve never played. Life would be pretty boring if motherhood was as I imagined it as a young child or a teenager. The challenges are what make life worth living and our children are more precious and unique than dolls that will never change the world or have children of their own.
Fairy tales are not all roses and butterflies and happily ever afters, but they do teach us some important lessons. I learned most of my lessons in Motherhood from my own Mother. It is a testament to how great my Mom was because she made it look easy. You just love your children unconditionally and give them the basics they need to live and you’re golden. Ok…maybe it’s not that simple, but I learned what I most needed to learn. Years earlier my Mom had learned what she needed to learn from her Mom, and my Grandmother learned from her Mom and so on and so on. They all learned to pass the love and kindness on and now I pass it on to my children.
Once upon a time I learned to love and that was the most important thing.
With much Love and Kindness on Mother’s Day and every other day.