Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 08:15 am
As a little girl, I grew up wanting nothing more than to be a mommy. Motherhood was my dream. I loved being around kids, and maybe partially being that I’m an oldest child, I loved filling that role of helper and teacher for them. I actually got my first babysitting job when I was 10 years old. It was for a sleeping child and it was next door to my house, but still. I had other jobs like most do, but often they revolved still around the world of children. My college education was in Early Childhood, and I chose to use that to become a full-time nanny. If I didn’t yet have children of my own, I figured I could spend my days helping train and care for someone else’s children. I was so excited to someday become a mother myself.
And then I had children.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, could prepare me for motherhood. There is truly nothing else like it. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not what I had imagined it being like at all. In my head, I dreamed of sweet, smiling children always eager to pitch in and help one another, playing and joyfully having fun. I thought I could rock them to sleep and then peacefully sleep myself. I imagined a house where everyone was always happy and loving. If I had to summarize, pretty much it was all sunshine and rainbows.
My perspective of motherhood prior to becoming a mother myself was only part of the picture. I was basically the babysitter who got to be a part of all the fun and silly moments, but not necessarily all of the real life moments. Being a mom is hard! It doesn’t end when you go to sleep or when you walk out the door to run an errand. There is no “clocking out” for the day. Once it starts, it never ends really. While there is much about being a mom that can be challenging, still motherhood is nothing short of amazing. As if the tiny little people growing inside of you during pregnancy isn’t amazing enough in itself, you actually have little people that will always and forever be connected to you. You actually share DNA with them! Some days, that’s an amazing reminder and some days, it can be an overwhelming feeling.
Being a mommy isn’t always the Pinterest perfect pictures. It’s not always watching your kids become best buddies. It’s not about your child being thrilled to eat that super healthy meal you just whipped up for them. But when those moments do actually happen, you get to be a part of it. And it means more to you than anyone else on earth because they’re your kiddos and your moments to share in too. It may not always be all sunshine and rainbows, there are absolutely moments that it sure feels like it.
As much as being a mommy isn’t what my younger self had dreamed of, I now see how it’s so much more. My kids argue, yes, but it allows me the opportunity to help guide them in life and show them how to disagree respectfully…even if it may take me ten more years to do that. My kids have nights that they get up repeatedly in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, but that gives me an extra moment to snuggle them and show them how much they are loved and cherished. When they try something new, I get to experience that moment with them. When they are having a rough day, I get to be the one to try to help make it all better. It’s about being their mommy both through the giggles and the tears.
These moments don’t last forever. These sweet little babies grow so fast. I never truly understood how fast until I actually became a mom myself. It seems like just yesterday, my itty-bitty-twinnies were able to both fit together snuggled close to me, but now they’re wild little toddlers running in all directions every chance they get. So I cherish those snuggles as much as I can. I’m not sure it would be quite as sweet without having the wild times with which to compare it.
Today, my oldest actually asked me, “Mommy, what’s your favorite thing about being a mom?” It’s a hard question to answer. Because as much as there are days that I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, days that I feel like I’ve failed completely as a mother, days that I’m exhausted, or days that seem to never end, I love it all. It’s real life. The good and the bad. I am blessed to be a mommy to my kiddos. They were given to me for a reason, and even when I may not feel like I am the best mom, I really am the best mom for them. I’m glad my mommy life isn’t like I dreamed it would be. It’s even better!
Honey Woods lives in Indiana with her husband and six kiddos ages eight and under, including her identical twin toddler girls. She spends her days homeschooling her four oldest, getting lots of snuggles, making giant meals for tiny people, working on the family business, and basically organizing the chaos. And in her free time… wait, nevermind.
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