Motherhood has a way of teaching us surprising lessons.
It challenges pre-conceived notions about life.
Motherhood is both wonderful and exhausting, exciting and mundane.
The emotions of motherhood, the highs and lows and the rate they change, cannot be tallied or tracked on paper. How can someone I love so much frustrate me this much!? How can I be worried so much about someone who has a total mass of less than 25 lbs!? I’m not being dramatic. The love a mother has for her children cannot be exaggerated. Still, even the most observant mothers need to experience certain things in order to fully understand.
For instance, if you thought that a normal bedtime was 7 p.m., you’d be wrong. That’s apparently THE VERY HOUR when children become scared, hungry, interested in books, and downright thirsty. Oh, then they need to use the bathroom.
If you thought 7 a.m. was the normal time to “rise and shine”, you’re wrong again. The ideal time to rise is based on the first rays of light coming through the window. Room darkening shades are a TOTAL waste of money.
If you thought that toddler’s tantrums were based on reality or reason, I don’t even know what to tell you, except you need to spend more time with kids. Tantrums, as it turns out, are based on perception of extreme mistreatment and injustice like the wrong colored sippy cup being administered, the wrong drink IN the sippy cup, the wrong character on the cup, or the wrong person handing them the cup.
Tantrums can be triggered by the desire to NOT wear a jacket, the mention of going to the store, not being allowed to buy candy once inside said store, being buckled into a car seat, or simply the urge to go outside right.at.this.very.moment even though it’s only 5 a.m.
Watching a tantrum is like watching a writhing, shrieking, sobbing contortionist performing his final act.
Children will embarrass you. They’ll point out people’s worst features –in front of them– at loud decibels– whilst pointing. Subtlety is not a strength.
You learn that toddlers’ appetites are unpredictable. They refuse to eat one day, causing you to panic and take temperatures. “You have to eat, or you’ll get sick! Wait, are you sick!?”
Oh, and food tastes change dramatically as well. On Monday they love carrots, and the next day, NEWSFLASH, all that has changed and they are willing to DEFY THE WORLD in order to not have to eat them at dinner time.
As they grow, the lessons are less obvious and take more time to learn.
You’ll learn the delicate balance of letting go during those tricky years between 11-18 when normal things become slightly embarrassing like kissing them in front of their friends, wiping their face in front of their friends, and reminding them of the family rules in front of their friends.
You learn that sometimes they really need to talk to their mother and sometimes they don’t. You learn to be perceptive to these times so you don’t miss them.
You learn that sometimes you need to let them fail in order to learn the lessons that will help them become responsible adults. And when they do fail, your mom-heart breaks as much as theirs. Conversely, when they succeed, your heart bursts with pride and excitement.
You learn that Time has a way of showing up and declaring “The End” to the childhood phase all together.
As they leave, you’ll learn that they take pieces of your heart with them out the door on their journey.
As they leave, you’ll look back fondly on the days when the scuffle of feety pajamas on the wooden floor broke the 5 a.m. morning silence. (You might not even mind recalling the sound of tantrums.)
You realize that time was precious and memories were made in the midst of what seemed like the mundane whirl of family chaos: running to lessons, buttoning jackets, combing hair, family meal time, working on homework, games in the yard, snuggling to watch a movie, or family pizza night.
Moms, the “ordinary days” were actually an extraordinary gift from God.
Motherhood is a gift, every stage of it.
I’m so thankful for that gift, and for my children, who taught me so much and still teach me every day!