What They Don’t Tell You About Being a Mom

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It is commonly said that there are a lot of things that women who are not moms do not understand about being a mother. Even though women who are not mothers probably hate to hear that concept enter a conversation, it is generally true. Accepted or not, it is, without a doubt, true that if we haven’t experienced something yet…we tend to be less knowledgeable about it.

I’ve been married for over nine years, so I feel like I got the married, being-a-wife thing down pretty darn good by the time kiddos joined our lives. Enter three kids aged three and under in less than two months and I am not ashamed to admit that I was one of those…a woman who didn’t understand being a mother until I really was one. We have three kiddos through fostering and adopting, so we certainly never had a generous nine month pregnancy time frame to be able to prep for the arrival of a single child…and certainly not for all three of them practically at the same time.

PicMonkeyDec2013post(2)There are many things that I was taking for granted until I became a mother…like taking long showers. Or even taking showers, for that matter. I think my record was five days.  Showering got to the point where it almost seemed like a waste of time. There are so many other things I could do in that time: dishes, laundry, pick up toys, have 15 minutes of child-free sanity to myself and a cup of coffee. Even though we have had three kids for going on a few months now, I think I would still rather have my 15 minutes of sanity and a cup of coffee than take a shower. Did I really just put that out there?

And while we’re on the topic of bathing…no one told me that bathing kids could be so unpleasant.  I don’t mind bathing the baby, but the older two…the older splashes and dumps water on the younger and the younger hates the hair washing part of bathing so there are a lot of tears at our house during bath time.  I usually make my husband do it, but on the off chance that he is unable, I break up the task by bathing one that night and other the next morning.  At least that helps to avert any type of water-splashing tear-shedding crisis.

One thing about being a mother that I didn’t really expect was that sometimes I need one of the kids to go to timeout so that I can gather myself. I think I am really benefiting from the time-out more than they are. Because, are they really considering what they need to change about their behavior? Probably not. But in that few minutes I can take some deep breaths, re-heat that cup of morning coffee for the 3rd time and maybe get to actually finish it. And when time-out is over, everyone has their happy faces on, and is raring to go again…myself included.

Parenthood is definitely a time of sacrifice.  Not only do we sacrifice our sleep, money, space, and time, but also our minds and our hearts.  The effort required to be prepared to leave our home with a small child, much less three children, and get out and about to successfully run errands or whatever else, is a small miracle…everytime.  The planning ahead, prepping, and following through on planning and prepping is sometimes so exhausting that we wait until the very last possible minute to do what we need to.  Such as buying toilet paper.  We literally didn’t  have any more toilet paper, so the hubs (who was home-bound due to the snow) was able to go and get some by himself.  I have to admit I was a little jealous that he got to go to the store on a toilet paper run by himself.  Sounds like a glorious time of self-rejuvenation if there ever was one.

Difficulty, tears, and sacrifice aside, parenting is an experience second to none.  It isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t for the faint of heart.  But for those who are parents, despite how the children came into the home; by birth, fostering, or adopting, it is exceedingly rewarding…though the rewards may be in the future, or few and far between.   The I love you’s, thank you’s, I’m sorry’s, hugs and kisses help make all the hard times worth it in the long run.  My favorite?  I adore how young children mimic adults in their play, often imitating tasks and activities that are part of our everyday lives, that we sometimes even consider mundane.  Seeing one of the kiddos make their baby doll a bottle the same way we do or always wanting to wear dress shoes like my husband does for work.  Hopefully as they age we can continue to impact them in all the ways that matter in regards to becoming loving, giving, gracious, patient, polite, respectful, faithful adults and productive citizens of society.

What things do you wish someone told you about before becoming a mom?  What advice would you pass on to new moms?

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I am a new mom…I became a mother to 3 children in less than 30 days. Sounds crazy, right?! It has been crazy…but we are surviving! Ha! My husband Gabriel and I have been married for over 9 years and we are in the process of adopting a sibling set through the Oklahoma State Department of Human Services. Those two kiddos are aged 3 and 2. We are also fostering their infant sister, whom we hope to adopt also. I spent the majority of my life growing up in “The Little Town on the Border” of Seneca, Missouri…which literally sits on the Missouri/Oklahoma border. I met my husband at a church in that town, and though we originally pursued college at our respective choices, I ended up transferring as a senior to this great state to get married. We both decided to pursue graduate school, and my Masters degree is in Early Childhood Education. I have worked for a public school, a child care center, and am now staying home and trying to keep my head on straight (and the dishes done) while trying to figure out how life is supposed to be with 3 young children. And ultimately, all you need to know about me is that I have been blessed in my life far beyond what I deserve, or could have even imagined. I give all the praise to God. (Now, if He could just send me a housekeeper…)

4 COMMENTS

  1. I love this! There are so many things that I never even considered, like how to go to the grocery store in less than an hour so we don’t miss naptime. Or the fact that my little weirdo was going to demand having a banana at the end of every meal no matter where we were eating. I admire you for jumping right in with three! I feel maxed with just one, can’t imagine what three are like! And hey, showers are overrated, that’s what dry shampoo is for.

  2. They also don t tell you this, though you know it without necessarily knowing how you know it: single mothers are usually seen as sleazy, irresponsible, damaged, untrustworthy, gold-digging and to be disapproved of. If you re a single mother, you often have to continually fight off these labels. “See! I m not lazy! I work full time and am trying to get a master s degree! I m not irresponsible! I was married when I got pregnant with both children and I take very good care of them! I m not damaged, look how calm and well-adjusted I am! I m not sleazy! I never introduce my children to anyone I date and I ve never even been in a strip club!” You feel like you have to be a perfect model of how to be a single mom so that you don t add to the negative stereotypes. Of course, no one is perfect, so you might add to them at some point. I don t know about other single moms, but I felt really guilty if I ever did fall into those negative stereotypes.

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