Eleven years ago we rescued a tiny puppy and called him our baby. We thought he would be good training for becoming parents one day. I remember people making fun of us for thinking a puppy would prepare us for a baby. They told us were naive and to go ahead and catch up on sleep now. I rolled my eyes at their comments and convinced myself my needy puppy was providing all the mom prep I would need.
And then we brought home our first baby. Oh. My. Word.
Why didn’t anyone tell me how tired I would be…for YEARS?! My kids are 7, 6, and 4, and I’m exhausted. I find it very unfair that God created them to have endless amount of energy and questions, and didn’t feel like giving me an extra dose of energy and answers for those gazillion questions.
And let’s talk about those questions. If my daughter asks me one more time if she can have a unicorn cake for her birthday (in July), I’m going to tell her I’m not making a cake this time. And why does my middle son want to discuss conjunctions and interjections as soon as he wakes up? And if I hear one more, “Hey Mom, did you know the Titanic…” statement from my oldest kiddo, I’m going to ban all Titanic books in our home. Why didn’t anyone tell me the questions would be unending and any topic was fair game? As in, any topic? Should I repeat the questions my daughter asked me when she barged into the bathroom and saw a tampon? I’m still recovering from that episode.
Speaking of bathrooms, why do my kids wait until I’m in the bathroom (with a locked door now, thank-you-very-much!) to ask me important life questions that would really be better handled with a face-to-face conversation. Or the tattling that occurs when I’m occupied? C’mon! Can’t a mom have three minutes to pee, regain her compose, check Facebook Marketplace and wash her hands?
And let’s talk about the things that I had no idea I would say to my kids. Things like, “Stop vacuuming your brother! Get that mermaid out of the toilet! Why are you sitting on your brother and farting in his mouth? Did you just lick that apple and put it back in the bowl? Why are both of you peeing into the toilet at the same time…and why are you standing on the toilet seat as you’re doing it?! Did you just eat dog food? How did your head get stuck in the railing? Stop slapping other people’s bottoms. Don’t pick your nose…don’t eat that booger…don’t wipe the booger on the wall!”
You guys. I sound like a crazy person with the stuff that spews out of my mouth at my kids.
I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing, nothing prepares you for parenthood. That puppy did jack squat to prepare me for being a mom.
My Mom used to tell me that the days are long but the years are short. I used to think that was one of those wise sayings that parents say once their kids grow up and move out. I never really got it. And then I became a mom. I didn’t get it right away, but as two more kiddos came into our home, I started to fully understand that saying. The days really are long. So, so, sooooo long. There are honestly days when I realize I never brushed my teeth or my hair––and I’m a hygienic person! I never thought I’d forget to brush my teeth.
I still clearly remember when I brought each one of my babies home from the hospital. The years really do pass by quickly.
When I think about that, it takes my breath away. And not in a good way. I start to think about how no one told me watching my kids grow up would be so rewarding and so heartbreaking. These little boogers that I would give my life for are going to grow up and leave one day. And they’re supposed to. My job is to prepare them for that. But man, thinking about that tears me up. The days may be long right now, but what am I going to do once they’re gone from my home?
No one told me what an emotional roller coaster motherhood would be. I wasn’t prepared to go from rage to sorrow to love in a matter of 30 seconds. No one has ever made my feelings so mixed up. Sometimes I feel like a psychotic person with the amount of emotions I experience in any given five minutes.
The one thing everyone consistently tells me is that I’m going to miss these days. And I know I will. But I also know that I won’t miss that booger wall in my boys’ bedroom.