Think back for just a moment, moms, back to the days before you had children.
Remember everything you envisioned motherhood to be? You probably had a lovely little collection of mental snapshots all filed away in anticipation of the day you had children of your own.
If you were anything like me, your virtual photo album of motherhood probably contained photos like the following:
- Gently rocking a peacefully sleeping baby.
- Cuddling on the sofa with a brood of sweet and well-behaved, (and very, very clean,) children.
- Calmly reading stacks of colorful story books every evening before bed.
- Walking hand-in-hand through lush forests, seizing upon every possible learning opportunity as we discuss various points of nature.
- Planting kisses on scraped knees.
- Imparting great spiritual wisdom in moments of distress and decision.
- A spotless, beautifully decorated home.
- A mom who is patient, loving, and ever-prayerful for her children.
And if you’re anything like me, your photo album likely did not contain any photographs like these:
- Pacing with a crying baby who refuses to sleep. Night after night after night….
- Finding your beautiful collection of children’s books shredded and partially eaten by your toddler.
- Crayon sketches everywhere but on paper.
- Chocolate milk handprints all over a freshly mopped floor.
- Returning from a trip to the park in tears because a journey into nature that took 2 hours to prepare for ended exactly 14 minutes later with one child falling headlong in the mud and another nearly wandering into traffic in the chaos of the cleanup, all while the baby lay screaming bloody murder in his stroller the entire time.
- Approximately 3,000,000 Legos in my house. Everywhere.
- Spending HOURS in immediate care center waiting rooms.
- Plunging toilets. Again. And Again. And again. And again…
- Suddenly realizing your 6 year old is on his third day in those Superman pajamas. And not really caring much.
- Helping with 5th grade word problems that fry your brain.
- Ugly potty training experiences.
- The joke-telling stage.
- LAUNDRY! So much of it you find yourself hearkening back to the good ol’ Middle Ages where people wore the same clothes for weeks without washing them! (Kind of like those Superman pajamas…)
- Family heirlooms broken by flying action figures.
- Two-hour searches for missing favorite toys.
- DREADING the bedtime routine and wishing desperately they would all just collapse in place so you could carry them to bed and be done with it.
- Hearing your name called 2000 times per day. AT. LEAST.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I became a mother. I had no clue how hard it would be or how tired I would feel at the end of every day.
But I also had no idea how blessed I would feel. I had no clue it was even possible to love a little person so much, or to feel such joy in their every achievement.
I never knew hugs could be so warm and wonderful, or that, at day’s end, something so simple as, “You’re the bestest Mommy,” could sound like music to ears weary of cries and complaints and requests.
I never knew a person could feel the kind of happiness I feel when I see my child delighted. I never knew that being a mom could make me so complete.