Motherhood comes with many joys, headaches, frustration, and most of all, love. Love, the one thing that makes us put up with all the not so joyous parts of motherhood, stopping us from putting our child on the curb with a large piece of cardboard reading “FREE”. But there are times when a root canal is less painful than raising kids.
Sleep. Beautiful, wonderful sleep, how I have missed you. If you’re a parent of a good sleeper, and you get six to eight hours of well-rested, uninterrupted sleep, please know how lucky you are. The rest of us, go through the day in a zombie-like state, functioning on autopilot. First, there’s the infant stage, where they wake up at least every two hours. If the sleep gods smile down on you, the baby will fall back asleep in their crib. If not, and your beautiful, sleeping angel cries the second you lay them down, you beg, plead, cry out to the gods you’ll sell your soul just to get a few hours of much-needed sleep. Then the time comes to transition to a toddler bed. I advise all moms that if your child is not a great sleeper, skip the toddler bed and go straight to a twin. It is so much easier to cuddle next to them than try to cram your adult size body into a toddler bed with the rail digging into your back. (Trust me on this one.)
Children are a hotbed for germs and us moms always end up being the landing point of whatever bile comes projecting out of their sick mouths. We all have been there, you know your child is about to be sick, but there’s no bowl or bucket nearby. You have just a split second before your carpet is ruined and you’ll have to rent a carpet cleaner to try to get the smell out. So you cup your hands or lift up the bottom of your shirt to form a makeshift bowl trying to catch as much as you can. And of course, what kid wants to sleep alone when they’re sick? You either cram into their little bed or let them sleep with you in your bed (with a waterproof pad on of course). And the inevitable always happens in the middle of the night, they puke all over the bed. You change their jammies quickly, throw a couple of thick towels on the bed because you know it’s going to happen again and you only have one more set of sheets. (Don’t judge me, I know I’m not the only one who has done this.)
How many times a day does our patience get tested to the very last thread? Moments where we feel like bashing our head into a wall multiple times. Trying to explain tomorrow to a three-year-old is alone enough.
“This day?” They ask.
“No, tomorrow,” you answer.
“This day?” And so on and so on.
I usually follow the train of thought of explaining the whys to my children. Why they must help around the house, why they must pick up their toys, whey they aren’t allowed to do this or that.
But, of course, this almost always turns into a debate where I end up saying what I always hated hearing as a child myself- Because I said so! Maybe my mom was smart when she just said this off the bat and avoided the headache before it.
If you have more than one child, the fights are never-ending. Why is it so hard for siblings to get along? Some days, I can’t even go to the bathroom without World War III breaking out. I have joked that I needed a referee’s whistle since it seems that ninety-five percent of my day is spent breaking up fights. Which by the way did nothing except getting the dog more hyper. There could be a toy no one has touched in months, but as soon as one child grabs it, you can be sure another one is going to want it suddenly. The screaming, the hitting. Every. Single. Day. It makes you wonder why the hell you ever wanted kids in the first place.
But at the end of the day, as you look at them finally peacefully sleeping, you’re overwhelmed with love, wondering how it’s possible to love another human with every fiber of your being. And when you get an unexpected hug or an “I love you” it makes every one of these not so joyous moments worth it.