Now in my 6 years of parenting, I have obviously become a very knowledgeable expert. Just kidding, I have no clue what I’m doing. But since it’s Mother’s Day, I wanted to share what I have learned in my long 6 years of moming.
I have learned that when you have a newborn baby, you should never assume the clothes you are leaving the house in are clean – there is some kind of bodily fluid somewhere on you, even if you don’t see it right away. It could be in your hair. (It is.)
I have learned that it is possible to feel guilty 6 years later about the frustration you felt at your baby when they just wouldn’t nurse right.
I have learned that being a mom makes you appreciate your own mom so much more. I have a mom who put herself second for me at the ripe old age of 18. By my age, she had 3 daughters, and I have no idea how she did any of it. My one daughter is too much for me some days. But she did it, and she did it well. I may not have always appreciated her sacrifices growing up, but now that I am making them myself, I recognize and appreciate them so much. She also taught me how to love fiercely, and I could not be more thankful for that.
I have also learned turning into your mother is inevitable. I catch myself saying things that sound exactly like my mom more often than I’d like. “Get that look off your face!” “Stop being a smart aleck!” It’s gotten so bad even my dad made a comment on it.
I have learned that you need other moms in your life that you can be real with about parenting. As much as I love my daughter and love to brag about the wonderful things she does, there’s nothing that relieves tension more than telling someone else your kid is an asshole. Try it.
I have learned that parenting desensitizes you to the grossest stuff. My daughter spit up on my face when she was little and I didn’t bat an eye. I’ve cleaned up more poop than I care to think about (Il Primo, 2011…if that place hadn’t shut down, I think we would have been asked not to return). I drove with a container of barf in my passenger seat because my kid needed to throw up while we were driving. I basically have an iron stomach now.
I have learned that you can’t protect your kid from all heart break. Lord knows I wanted to, would have done anything I possibly could to help avoid it – but it still happened. There’s no feeling like crying with your kid over something that hurt you both. I have my doubts that experiencing that gets easier with time.
I have learned that kids remember the things you don’t want them to. For example, mine remembered that once, I said about a trouble maker kid, “he needs a better mother.” She saved that gem and used it a few weeks later.
I have learned that there’s no rage like the rage you feel when another kid does something to your kid. I’m not ashamed to say it has made me take and hide the other kid’s toy in the past as a punishment. This kindergarten year, I swear I could have hit another child and not felt bad (or at least turned into the Hulk on his parents).
I have learned that being a mom (especially a single one) is the hardest, most exhausting, and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. There have been many times I’ve cried because I just don’t know what to do. Or because I’m frustrated and sick of not having another adult in the house to be on my side. There have been times I’m positive I’m warping my daughter and she’ll turn into a stripper or a serial killer. But when that little girl tells me she loves me, or tells me I’m the best mom, I know I have to be doing something right. And that feeling makes my heart so warm that I forget about the doubts – for at least the next 10 minutes.