I am Mom
I know how to make homemade playdough, build the best forts. I race matchbox like a pro, have the best Choo Choo sound around, and have built some pretty great Chima Legos. I have seen every Veggie Tale movie, can belt out any Disney song, and know how to shake my thang to Raffi. I despise The Wiggles, Spongebob, and Yo Gabba Gabba. I know how to sing the abcs, twinkle twinkle and every other nursery song imaginable and I have made up countless versus to nursery songs to keep them going long enough for tiny little eyes to close. I can recite Goodnight Moon, The Going to Bed Book, and On The Night You Were Born. I know the theme songs for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Curious George to name a few. I am fun.
I have stretch marks snaking my belly, an extra 5 lbs on my hips, spider veins on my legs. I’m lucky to get a shower long enough to shave, never mind actually getting lucky enough to shower. I have bags under my eyes and constantly have my hair pulled back in a ponytail. And after nursing 3 kids well, my boobs have shrunk to nothing. I have been peed on, pooped on and thrown up on. Yet, I am beautiful.
I can decipher every scream, cry, and whimper. I can discern the sound of my own child from others on a playground. First words that sound like no more than babbles to everyone else I can translate with ease. Every smile, every frown, every soft voice, every concerned look are cues to feelings that I learn to read and decipher their true meaning. I know the I’m lying look. I know how to balance schedules, plan play dates and pick the best schools for my children. I am intelligent.
I base good days on how many hours of sleep I got the night before. I haven’t peed by myself in 7 years. I have no less than 28 mismatched socks the size of my big toe. I have dressed tiny bodies and undressed tiny bodies no fewer than 9,490 times. I have changed somewhere in the ballpark of 5,000 diapers. I’ve cleaned up vomit, wiped snotty noses on what seems like a daily basis, and cleaned poop off the walls. I do 1+ loads of laundry 365 days a year and know all the tricks to get grass stains out of jeans, pen off walls, permanent markers off computer screens. I vacuum up mud prints, wipe up spilled milk, empty countless sippy cups and those darn stoppers from the dishwasher. I have coffee splattered on most everything in my house, greasy fingerprints on everything from waist height down and I can’t seem to keep an outfit clean enough to wear more than once. I am exhausted.
I kiss away boos boos, I provide hugs and kisses, I offer a listening ear whenever there is something exciting or difficult to share. I frighten away scary things and provide a sense of consistency and a safe haven in which to return. I give enough room so that they can stretch their wings, but provide boundaries so they know there are limits. I encourage from the sidelines, provide opportunity for natural consequences, and love without limits. I am nurturing, I am love.
I love how loud my boys are. I love the energy they have. I love their rough and tumble. I love their constant go go go. And yet, I relish bedtime, or quiet time when I can pick up a book, soak in a tub, have a cup of coffee I haven’t reheated 5 times, or sip a glass of wine. I am real.
I have raised my voice, issued timeouts, or reprimanded for wrong doings. I have spoken harshly and I make my own mistakes as a parent but I make sure to ask my children for forgiveness. I say sorry when sorry is due. I do my best to lead by example. I am not perfect, but I am perfect for them.
My car is a hidden treasure trove for graham cracker crumbs, fruit snacks, and library books. The rooms of my house are rarely clean all at the same time (unless my inlaws are coming over). My dining room table is covering with Legos, random homework assignments and the contents of the diaper bag the baby tore apart. I have a junk drawer that closely resembles under my fridge…a dark abyss where broken toys go to die, capless markers are strewn, and heaven help anything that ends up in there. I am priorities.
My belly has expanded more than I ever thought imaginable, my heart expanded even more. I have felt physical pain I can’t describe. And emotional pain with every tear my children have cried. I have ached with love and longing for babies that I never got to hold. I have carted around car seats on one arm and a toddler on another. I have lifted my children to the top bunk and once they’ve fallen asleep together I have lifted one back down to the bottom. I have shed tears of frustration in my daily repetition and in the same breath missed the redundancy of the little every day moments. I have grieved the daughter I don’t have, and redefined family in the beautiful way I have been gifted. I know when to ask for help and when to graciously accept help that is offered. I know when to fall to my knees. I am strong.
I have happy smiles emitting from tiny little people. I know what love feels like from the inside out. The good days outnumber the bad. I have prayed for them since the day they were conceived. I have 3 little voices that call me Mommy. I have 3 little voices that chorus I Love You. I have 3 little bodies that wrap their arms around me in hugs. I have 3 little bodies that snuggle and cuddle up next to me asking me to hold or comfort them without having to use any words. I know all of these things will change over the course of time as my littles grow big and they eventually marry, move on, and have families of their own. But some things will always remain. I am blessed. I am mom.
And I wouldn’t change a thing.