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The Truth About Motherhood

Social media makes everything seem easier, appear more glamorous, and look more beautiful than it really is.

Pregnancy and motherhood are made to look like a professional magazine layout when you are scrolling through Facebook, but it rarely reveals the truth of what is really going on behind the scenes.

Your husband’s loving hand on your growing belly is sweet, and all the birthday pics of babies in tutu’s are precious. We should take pictures of these days, and we should remember them with joy, but let’s be honest, having little children is absurdly hard work. And I don’t miss that part at all.

Sometimes people see me as “Mother Earth” because nurturing is easy and natural for me. Making a home cozy and cooking yummy food is like breathing, it does not challenge me in the least, but that is a very small part of this motherhood gig.

While raising kids, the majority of my life is me waking up at all hours to a full and disgusting diaper, a screaming baby, or a puking child. There is endless laundry, mounds of filthy dishes and no one knows where all the socks and teaspoons end up, no matter how organized you are. Being a mom means trying to stay awake all night to deal with a rogue teenager that stole your Jeep at 3 am. Being a mom means ripping a house apart to find cleats and jock straps as you rush out the door to spend the entire weekend baking in 98% humidity to watch little humans throw, catch and kick balls, over and over and over again. No one tells you when they hand you that soft, fuzzy innocent little infant that it will grow up and morph into an angry-emotional-pimple-covered-punk that at some point will reject you and break your heart.

That’s the reality of it. I know some women love this dark side of mothering. I am not in that group.

I don’t miss any of it, not even a little bit.  

I can’t relate to mothers who want to keep having babies until their uterus collapses because they just “love the way newborns smell!” Buy a candle that smells like baby powder, that works just fine too.

I really don’t understand mother’s that never want their adult children to leave. I am not talking about an 18 year old going off to college, that is a big adjustment for everyone, and there are supposed to be tears. It’s those clingy women that don’t know who they are if they don’t have their offspring under their roofs forever that is something I just don’t get.

I mean, I thought that was the point. We raise them, feed them, teach them about everything we can and then they leave, and live away from us so they can practice all the lessons in real time. Isn’t that the job? No, I don’t miss the hard days and even more challenging nights. I do miss knowing where they were, safe in their beds, crazy hair in the morning, all the kisses and all the snuggles… that is the best! 

That’s the thing, it is all just a season in a woman’s life, short little seasons of newborns, babies, kids, teenagers and adults in training. The seasons don’t last, but hopefully the people do.

Hey, if you really like stalking people on social media you might find that my adult children enjoy the occasional cuss-word, really enjoy adult beverages, and have an extraordinary amount of tattoos. You might think this is a direct reflection of my mothering. Throw in there the scandalous death of our 19-year-old son, and I am primed for judgement.  

Bring it on.

I love my kids. I think they are hilarious, and I would not change one thing about them, especially their tattoos. I think my babies are brave and I think their tattoos are beautiful. I don’t think they are amazing because they are perfect, and they are not successful adults because I was a perfect mother. I just love them, fully, completely, with no expectations and with no conditions.  

I failed, I fell, and I did not make homemade cupcakes that are Pinterest worthy because I hate baking, so I just don’t do it.  I forgot things and things fell through the cracks. I did not volunteer for every school committee and I made my kids do their own homework, even if that meant a failing grade – especially if that meant a failing grade. Sometimes I had no idea what to do, or how to help my six wild ones. Sometimes they cried and I was helpless to stop the tears, so I just cried with them. I never quit trying, and they never stopped giving me another chance. I kept learning and they kept forgiving.

Now that most of them are adults I am no longer responsible for every meal they eat, or every decision they make. I get to just enjoy them and every thing that comes with them, and I love it.

I don’t miss the work, the sleepless nights or the never ending smell of dirty socks. I do miss seeing all their faces at the dinner table… I miss that the most.

I did the best I could, and then I gave some more when I had nothing left to give, because that is what mothers do.

I want to tell all mothers, especially the young ones, ”Relax honey, just love them and accept them as they are, everything else will fade away. Only love remains.”

That is all that is required to be a real mother everyday, not just this Sunday.