Saturday, December 27, 2014

The 7 Hardest Parts About Being a Mom

Being a mom is tough and until you give birth, there are many things that you will discover along the way. Realistically, what you may imagine it to be will be different in ways than what is to come. Most parents will agree that the good things outweigh the difficult ones. Moreover, I created this list for all you mothers out there.

1.) As a parent, you will go to find an assortment of reading sources throughout the years. The reading sources can vary from books to magazines to online articles. If you were to pick up a copy of a parenting magazine, the cover will suggest "7 Tips to Handle a Tantrum," "4 Ways to Help Your Newborn Sleep Through the Night," or "6 Tricks to Conquer Talking Back." You want those things that you read to fix the problems. No one ever tells you that those different ways to try for each topic are not cures. They may work for a moment, but your newborn will cry again, your toddler will test the boundaries once more at the grocery store, your 4th grader will ask "why not?" another time, and your teenager will have another round of emotional distress.

But through all the stages of tears, there are break-through moments of being the one to hold your child, wipe away their tears, and even cry along with them. Even though it was hard to be on the receiving end of the crying spectrum, you are helping build character through each of those moments.

2.) Point blank, your food is almost always cold or you have to scarf it! Someone spills something, the doorbell rings with a neighbor child standing out front right when you sit down, or you have about 0.15 seconds to consume the meal before needing to be somewhere. It's a rarity to actually be able to eat and enjoy a meal.

But since the food is cold, by the time you eat it, it doesn't taste as good or look as appealing to you. Weight loss solution, anyone? Or you are too tired to eat it which means when you do actually get those seldom moments to eat a hot meal in peace, you enjoy it more and you do not take it for granted. Forks dig in, mama!

3.) As a parent, there are so many things to worry about: food allergies, autism, Down's Syndrome, heartache, bullying, child molestation, a broken bone, etc. There isn't a moment where you really don't think about how something is going to affect your child. You want to take the pains of life away from them with all of your heart. While you know that every person has something in life to go through, you are trusting God so hard with keeping your child safe from harm.

But God says, "Do not worry about tomorrow!" Easier said than done, I know. However, we really don't need to worry so much or we will worry ourselves to death. It's hard to not worry when your child is out past curfew or when you are in the hospital due to severe illness. You have to pray about it when you worry and ask God to help you allow Him to take control. You have to surrender to Him and have faith through the process. These are moments where we draw closer to Him.

4.) Expectations for various moments, events, or outcomes will change. Those picture perfect kids in Gymboree ads aren't real. We might try to dress our kids for a moment to take a picture and two seconds later they will get dirty in some way before the picture was taken. We may hope to wake up before the kids do to capture on camera their reactions on Christmas morning only to be woken up by a child who has already opened everything. We may want them to make a wise decision about something only to be saddened by the path they ended up taking. We may think that our child will heal from a disease only to be holding them in your arms as they pass away.

But through it all, we need to persevere. No matter how disappointed we are or how much life hurts us, we have to keep going. The other people in our lives depend on us, whether they are co-workers, family, or friends. We are all in this together and we can all lean together through the disappointments. So let those expectations and ideas of perfect parenting go. Instead, let's bond together past the differences and encourage one another.

5.) Loss of sleep is guaranteed unless you are away with your husband at a hotel and even then the two of you may have other plans. *wink, wink* That sleep you crave so bad is long gone the day you become a mom. No matter their age, you are up with them for one reason or another. If you have a baby, you are up feeding them. If you have a toddler, you are taking them to the bathroom. If you have an elementary aged child, you are up calming them down from their nightmares. If you have an adolescent child, you are up listening to them talk. Sleep is a thing of the past.

But that is why we as adults can have things like coffee or wine to help us get through. That is why we eventually become zombies and sleep is totally not within our grasp, but it's something you kind of get over after awhile. Sure you would love to take a nap or get a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, but it's not the most important thing that you think about anymore.

6.) You get to play the Good Cop/Bad Cop game. Sometimes you get to help them in good ways like when you saved the day by finding their favorite character inspired band-aids for their minor scrape. You get to be apart of the "Don't Mess With My Child" Club look when you see the kid who bullied them that one day. You get to share with them the things you got in trouble for as a child when they are having a moment and need to hear it.  Of course, then there are the days when you have to lay down the law with time-outs, spankings, groundings or whatever you do. You have to keep them home from an event because of something that they did. Unfortunately, since you were Bad Cop for a moment, they may not seem to like you very much.

But, all of those moments that require either Good Cop or Bad Cop are times you are building up a relationship with them or teaching them character. They are all for good reason and are all something that needs to be done. They will respect you for what you are teaching them. You are a role model for them and they will remember those things you are teaching them. Pretty cool, huh?

7.) Some days you wish you were in Australia (just like the boy from The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day book). Some days are tear-jerkers and some days you don't know how you even got through it all. It was tough and no good, all at the same time.

But take note that as often as those days seem to be there, you are apart of something incredible. As they grow up, tender moments of holding them close, when you smile together, bonding over this or that are moments that are irreplaceable. They are moments worth more than all the hardest parts of parenting combined. We tend to want to look ahead. But don't look too far or you will miss it all. We will soon be old, lonely, and belong in a retirement home with Betty who has Alzheimer's Disease. We will look back on our life and wonder why we wished it to be on fast forward. I know the old saying of "Cherish Each Moment" that you hear at baby showers seem redundant. It also speaks volumes. One of my favorite quotes says it all:

Cleaning and scrubbing will wait 'till tomorrow, 
but children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. 
So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! 
I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep. -Ruth Hamilton

So cherish each moment that you have and know that those hard moments will pass. The hard parts are worth it. Keep up the great work, mama!


  1. I cross-stitched and framed the above quote - I love it too!!!

  2. I need to do that for our home. What a great idea!