Musings on Motherhood
When I was a little girl, I had all of the usual aspirations: I wanted to be a ballerina or a princess. As I grew older, my dreams changed; I realized that Queen would have much more power than a mere princess. I went through other career plans as well, doctor (to help people), lawyer (to use my love of arguing, I mean, you can only be a teenager for so long), or teacher (very noble and self-sacrificing since they don't actually get paid for their work). But through it all, I knew that I ultimately wanted to be a "MOM".
I was going to be very good at being a mom. I was going to spend my days playing Candyland and pulling fresh baked goods out of the oven in my immaculate house. I was going to look like the moms in the TV commercials, too. I would be thin, always have a perfectly done face, beautiful hair (preferably thick and auburn). The details of how I was going to manage all of those things stayed comfortably hazy. What would it matter if I hate housework or my hair was stringy and blond? It's done on TV all the time.
Then reality hit. When my oldest was born, I lost a lot of the answers that I was so sure I had. Child development courses and four younger brothers did nothing to prepare me for the uncertainty of motherhood. But somehow I muddled through with a few of my theories still comfortably in place, and then came Nicole. With the birth of my second child I lost all of my remaining answers and was left foundering. I've never found my footing since.
Still, motherhood is the greatest blessing in my life. What other career would have you saying prayers every morning, thanking Heavenly Father for the person who kept you up all night.
Musings on Motherhood, Four Years Later
With my youngest child approaching four years old, and having spent a lot of hours playing Candyland recently, I can tell you that spending your days playing Candyland has been scientifically proven to slow down the movement of time. I'm not talking about the, "I wish this moment would last forever!"time. I am referring to the, "Will this never end?" time. (While I write this, Alex is trying to set up a Candyland meets Parcheesi game. I'm not sure how that will work, but he's a man with a plan.)
Fresh baked goods do awful things to my body and further mess up the kitchen that I still hate to clean.
All of the parenting wisdom that I firmly believed pre-children has been gone so long that I can't even remember what I thought I knew. I have only two parenting theories that I have come to believe, and I'm sure that they, too, will pass.
1. Life was much simpler when I had ALL of the answers and NONE of the questions. I've come to realize this truth as I've asked for advice in public forums. The people who offer advice generally have fewer children at younger ages who have never reached my situation. The people who have "been there, done that" will simply say that I need to figure it out for myself.Still, even on the days that I wonder if the children will ever go to bed and give me some time, I'm thankful every day to be the MOM.
2. Having been out of Junior High longer than I usually care to admit, I'm not too concerned with my public image. What I mean to say is it doesn't matter if the people at the grocery store think that it is odd that the children and I are all sporting eye liner mustaches or if my hair is purple because we had a wacky hair day. The grins and giggles of my little ones matter much more to me than the raised eyebrows of strangers.