I’ve always wanted to be a Mom. I was thrilled to become pregnant with my son a decade ago (how the heck do I have an almost 10 year old?!) and again five years ago when I had my daughter. Having some experience now, I often find myself saying “Motherhood is not for the weak.” It’s fun, it’s beautiful, but it’s also terrifying. There are even times when it can be heartbreaking.
Here’s a glimpse of what I have learned about motherhood so far. I say this knowing full well that more experiences will equal even more lessons.
- Perfectionism is not required. Pinterest and social media leave us with many snap-shots of perfectionism, ranging from school lunches, cute crafts, adorable outfits, and everything in between. Often my vision does not equal my execution. I once spent three days trying to create the most perfect chocolate chip cookie banner for Lilly’s First Birthday. It didn’t take too long to realize she didn’t appreciate it! When I snuggle with my kids each morning, I know that they love me unconditionally – messy hair and morning breath included.
- I love my husband. I knew he was something special early in our relationship. He’s handsome, sweet, smart, and kind. What I didn’t completely understand is how much my love would grow when seeing him being a Daddy. I also underestimated how much I would need him and his commitment to making our lives run smooth. Did I mention he’s the family chef? This is evident each year when my children claim on their Mother’s Day Projects that I make the best canned soup or boxed Mac and Cheese. (I have learned to accept my limitations, see above.)
- The world is brighter. Bad things happen every day. All you have to do is turn on the news. Sometimes it’s downright terrifying to have to explain such bad things to our innocent children and simultaneously protect them from the evil out there. Now that the bad stuff is out of the way, how amazing is it to discover all the beauty that is in this world? I will never forget the first time my son discovered grass. It was so simple, but he immediately giggled and could not stop walking barefoot across our lawn – until he tried to eat it. Lucky for us, my daughter still gets excited over just about anything. It’s awesome, and I look forward to new experiences with them everyday.
- Friendships have new meaning. Some of my best adult friends are other mothers who I have met along the journey of parenthood. I love other people’s kids now too and take solace in the fact that we are all in this motherhood thing together. It doesn’t matter to me if you breast feed or bottle feed, work or stay home. Given our unique situations, we are all just trying to do the best that we can. I am so thankful for “Mom Friends” and that together we can help raise the next generation to one day take the lead.
- Appreciation for my own mom. I happen to have the most thoughtful mother on the planet… seriously. Hallmark has nothing on her. She’s always there when I need her and I’ve appreciated her help and guidance as I was getting into my groove as a mother. I remember calling her once at midnight because infant Carter had a slight fever. No questions asked, she was over in 5 minutes to reassure me he was going to live. My husband barely had time to open his eyes! “You called your mother?” Yes, I most certainly did!
*My mother-in-law is pretty darn special too. I appreciate our relationship and her skills to raise the amazing human I am married to.
- Heartbreak happens. Being a mother allows me to view everything through a new lens. My heart hurts for those who have experienced the loss of a child, and for those unable to have children altogether. I also experience tiny heartbreaks daily when I realize that this time goes by too fast. Yes, my son is almost 10 and it has been an amazing 10 years. But I can’t help but think that in 10 more years he will be out of the house and on his own. It’s true, the days are long but the years are short.
Motherhood is not for the weak and in I try to remain strong for the all the twists, turns, and sweet moments along the way. My kids only get one childhood and I want them to grow up knowing they are loved with everything I have… and to know that they can call me at midnight to check out their babies someday, too!
WRITTEN BY STACEY
Stacey Marks moved back to Buffalo with her family in 2015 after a ten year hiatus in PA. She has a day job as a marketing professional in Corporate America. The rest of her time is spent resisting the urge to micromanage the daily lives of her husband and two kids.