Being a mom is one of the most fun, and one of the hardest things I have ever done. There are so many ups and downs that it sometimes feels like a roller coaster. However, I have never had a better job in my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. However, there is no instruction manual included when you become a mom. There is no “How-To” guide when it comes to raising children. Nobody holds a class and tells you everything you need to know. Mostly, you figure it out and learn the hard way. Here are 10 things I’ve learned about being a mom.
You Need to Be Flexible
When you become a mom, everything seems to be on a schedule. When your baby eats, sleeps, and sometimes even poops, all seems to fall on some unwritten agenda that you aren’t privy to. Just when you think you have it all figured out, that sweet little baby will go and change it up on you completely. One minute your baby is taking 3 naps a day. The next they are down to 2 naps. Your baby drinks 4 ounces at a time on day. The next day they are chugging down 6 ounces at each feeding.
One of the most important things I’ve learned about being a mom is that you need to learn to roll with things. Be flexible in your schedule and your routine. If you try to stay too rigid, you will end up making yourself and probably your child completely miserable. If only I could tell you exactly how many times I made myself crazy over my son taking a nap before an event we were scheduled to go to. But you know what? Sometimes he napped, and sometimes he didn’t, but we always survived.
Appreciate the Small Things
Being a mom is hard work. Really hard work, at times. And there is no grand awards ceremony for doing an amazing job. (At least not one that I’ve been invited to yet.) There is no raise in pay or promotion for busting your butt day and night. Nobody throws you a parade. It can seem like a very thankless job sometimes.
But it is not. Look at that smile on your child’s face when you are playing together. That’s your thank you. Your partner telling you that dinner was excellent? That’s your reward. The flower your toddler picked you from the neighbor’s garden? That is your trophy.
One thing I have learned about being a mom is that those small things are life’s biggest rewards.
Being a Boy Mom is Fun
Growing up, I always pictured having a daughter. I never even considered the possibility of having a boy. I don’t really know why that is. However, when I got pregnant in 2014, I just knew somehow that I was carrying a boy. Call it intuition, or just dumb luck with guessing, but I was right.
I was excited. I also felt a little lost. I only had nieces. All of my friends had girls. What on Earth was I going to do with a boy? What did it even mean to be a boy mom? I mean, I had friends that were boys, and I’d had boyfriends, but I knew nothing about little boys. NOTHING.
What I’ve learned about being a mom is that being a boy mom is so much fun. I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy anyway, so I don’t mind watching and playing sports, or playing cars and trucks, or police man, or fire fighters, or watching hours on end of Thomas & Friends. I have also learned that the term “momma’s boy” is absolutely correct. There is just something special about the relationship between a mother and her son. The mother/daughter relationship is special, too, but in a different way.
My boy is just that: MINE. He is my little buddy, my partner in crime, my snuggle buddy, my bedtime kisses. I am his world, his home-base, his boo-boo fixer, and his best friend. He is just the sweetest little guy. I can’t even imagine my life without him. Which is interesting since I always thought I wanted a girl.
As moms, we always want to protect our children and we do everything in out power to keep them safe. We spend hours of time and oodles of money baby-proofing our homes. We research what to do when they are sick. Maybe we make homemade baby food or make sure they eat a healthy balance of foods. Moms do everything and anything they can think of to keep their children healthy and happy.
But what I’ve learned about being a mom is that no matter what you do, injuries happen. Babies fall. Toddlers crash into things. Some kids are like little train wrecks. Lucky me, because I got one of those. My son started walking at 9 months old. By 10 months old, we’d already had our first head bump. And again around 11 months, and 1 year, and so on. My now 3 year old’s legs frequently look like an abstract painting of scrapes and bruises.
All the preparation in the world, and your little one will still get hurt. All you can do is keep them as safe as possible, and know that the bumps, bruises, scratches, ans scrapes will come anyway. But it will be okay. You will become the expert boo-boo fixer along the way.
Nobody Knows What They Are Doing
You may run into parents in your travels of this journey called motherhood who seem like they have everything figured out. They seem to be rocking motherhood like they invented it themselves. They may have the perfect outfit, and the latest hairstyle. Their children appear polite and well-behaved. Their marriages seem blissful, and their family successful.
Let me let you in on a little secret I’ve learned about being a mom. None of us know what we are doing. Not a single one of us moms. Not completely. We are mostly all just going with the “fake it ’til you make it” motto. We act like we know whats going on, but deep down we are winging it and hoping for the best.
That mom with the seemingly perfect life doesn’t necessarily have it any more figured out than the mom with the wrinkled t-shirt and Cheerios in her hair. Some of us are better at the “faking it” part than others. I, for example, tend to embrace the “hot-mess” approach to motherhood. Either way, our children are loved and cared for and we are all killing it, even if we have no clue what we are doing.
Sometimes Doritos are Breakfast
We all strive to be as healthy as we can be, and teach our children good healthy eating habits. We will cook nutritious meals. Labor in the kitchen for something worthy of a spot on the Food Network. Then, our children may turn up their noses, and toss the meal to the floor.
Another thing I have learned about being a mom is that it is great to teach your kids to eat healthy, but sometimes, you have to give in and let them eat Doritos for breakfast. This is for your own sanity. There are days where its just not worth the fight. I say embrace it. Nobody has ever died to my knowledge from eating junk food for breakfast on occasion.
Now, please pass the coffee, and the bag of chips.
Making Mom Friends is Hard
Being a mom can be lonely sometimes. Sometimes you are the first of your friends to have children. Or sometimes you are the last and your friends’ children are grown. Sometimes mom life gets so busy that its hard to connect with your friends and get your schedules to line up. So many moms are faced with the challenge of making new friends.
What I have learned about being a mom is that making mom friends is hard. I mean, how do you even go about approaching another mom? “Hey, I see your kid is eating their boogers. Mine too enjoys boogers.” Face palm. Sometimes it can be easy to make small talk on the playground with another mom, but turning that into a friendship can be so difficult. See my post about Making Mom Friends for some tips on how to overcome this hurdle of motherhood.
Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom is Hard
So this is one misconception I will admit to before having my son. I always thought that being a SAHM was easy. Well, maybe not EASY, exactly, but way easier than holding down a 9 to 5 job. I thought it was all playing and eating and watching daytime t.v. on the couch. Man, I wish!
What I have learned about being a mom is that being home with kids all day can be rough. You can be isolated, since your only company has a vocabulary consisting of 5 words, and a bunch of random sounds. You are typically responsible for not only keeping the children alive, but also the upkeep of the home. This can include cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, running errands, and about a billion other things.
And you have to do these things pretty much all at once. Usually while you are slaving away, there is someone screaming for your attention or doing their best impression of a tiny tornado in the next room. It is a lot of work. It can be fun too. There is playing and some eating. If you get really creative, you may be able to work in some daytime t.v. or even some reading. It takes a lot of practice but once you get it down, it can be very enjoyable. Just don’t expect it to be easy.
You Will Miss Life Before Kids
There will be times as a parent, where you will miss how your life was before your children were born. For me, this usually happens when I am trying to use the bathroom, and the toddler barges in and tries climbing onto my lap. Having kids really does change things pretty extremely. I miss being able to make last minute plans for a Friday night with my husband. I miss being able to take a long shower without someone banging on the door asking for milk.
And you will feel guilty about these thoughts and feelings. That good old mom guilt will attack you. But these thoughts are completely normal. Everyone has them on occasion. Its okay to feel nostalgic. Its fine to miss things like privacy and spontaneity.
What I’ve learned about being a mom, though, is that in the end you wouldn’t have it any other way. Your children will be your whole world. Just know that it is normal to have these feelings sometimes.
You Are Not a Bad Mom
That mom guilt that I mentioned before can be a real pest. Moms are always second guessing their decisions and choices. This goes back to none of us knowing what we are doing. There will be times where that wonderful hormonal guilt will make you wonder if you are a bad mom.
The most important thing that I have learned about being a mom is that we are not bad moms. As long as our children are loved, sheltered, and fed, we are doing an amazing job. We may all have different techniques and styles. We may follow different methods for how to parent our children. But we are still all good moms.
You are the best mom you can be for your child, and that is exactly what they need. They need you, and nobody else. You are their mom, and you are the best one in the world to them. Never ever let yourself forget that.