Thursday, December 9, 2010
What does it mean to be a mother? Let me tell you. It means many different things. When you become a mother you become selfless, you learn to give, you put others first, you lose all privacy, you acquire tons of new responsibilities, you laugh and smile often, you worry constantly, you love honestly and fully with your whole heart, and you cannot imagine your life going back to what it was prior to become a mom.
Before having my daughter, I had no idea what real responsibility was. I lived life how I wanted, when I wanted. Sure, I went to work and school, but if I felt like taking a day off and lying in bed all day it didn’t affect anyone but me. That is not the case anymore. Having two children there is no such thing as a “day-off”. If I take a day off, who will take care of them? As a mom, my responsibilities never end. I am busy from the time I wake up, and it never, ever, stops. There is no longer any such thing as sleeping in(good morning sun!) or going to bed early. I am way to busy for that! I have to make sure meals are made, clothes are washed, toys are where they are supposed to be, the house is clean, my daughters ready for school, everyone is out the door on time, and back in time for pick-up, arguments are settled, toys are shared, teeth are brushed, and bedtime stories are told – and that is an “easy” day. More often than not, one child is up in the middle of the night needed anything from an extra kiss, to a new cup of water, to a diaper change. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that my days and nights would be filled with kissing boo-boos, changing dirty diapers, getting covered in everything from spit up to the occasional poop, laughing uncontrollably, and finding humor and joy in all the little things life has to offer. Now I know why they say being a mom is a full time job – well, it’s that plus more!
I have learned that in being a mother you have to be selfless. You have to give rather than take. And you always have to put your child first; always. Sure, there are days when I want to have a “me” day, but that is unrealistic and I know it. (But, hey, it doesn’t hurt to dream about it!). Take, for example, the “last piece of cake” syndrome. Picture it - The last piece of cake. The one you really, really want to eat. The piece of cake that you silently put on a plate, then try to sneak into a quiet, secluded corner to eat. The delicious piece of cake that you will, unfortunately, never get to taste because it is inevitable going to be eaten by someone else; a very tiny someone else. They must have “Mommy Radar” because as soon as that cake hits your plate, and those tiny ears hear it and those little bellies figure out what’s about to happen; they look at you with those big eyes, lick their lips, and ask for a bite. Before you know it, one bite turns to two, which turns into half your piece gone (without getting a bite yourself, might I add), which eventually turns into them wanting their own piece. Being that this was the last piece, you give in and let them have it. So much for enjoying your cake! If only you had waited for nap time.
Once you are a mother there is no longer any such thing as privacy. It is GONE! You cannot sit by yourself, shower by yourself, walk into the other room by yourself, or really breathe by yourself. There is always someone there – to keep you company, of course. Your child, while little at least, will want to be with you all the time and do everything you do. They don’t care that most people, namely you, don’t like someone pulling back the shower curtain mid shower, or barging in while they are getting dressed or interrupting while they are on the phone. They honestly think that they should be involved in whatever you are doing. So if you are one of those people that really value privacy, think about installing door locks on the bathroom, but be warned – they will bang and scream at the door. The most important factor that defines being a mother is the unconditional love that you have for your child. Prior to becoming a mother, it is entirely IMPOSSIBLE for you to imagine the extreme amount of love that you can have for one person. That love makes all the responsibility, the loss of privacy, and the inability to do anything alone completely worth it. With that love comes a whole slew of new “mommy concerns” – from worrying about your child, to be unable to wait for the next delightful thing that they will do.
Being a mother involves lots of fun and exciting things to balance out all of the “hard” ones. As a mother, you get to experience your child’s “firsts” – first tooth, first step, first smile, first kiss, first hug –all directed towards you because you are their first love. That is an amazing feeling. I am amazed everyday by the blessing that I was given in being a mother to not just one amazing little person, but to two. That is what being a mother really is – it is a blessing.