What a year it has been. Jackson is 15 months old now and boy has he changed my life. Being a mom is so different from what I expected it to be. As a teacher, I was able to manage a class of 21 kids, and so I thought managing 1 shouldn’t be too hard. I do love being a mom, but any mom would agree, it’s hard work. I’m pretty sure it’s the hardest job out there.
Being a mom is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job. When you work hard at your job, typically you have your weekend to look forward to. You can catch up on sleep, hang out with friends, stay out late, maybe even do absolutely nothing but sit on your couch and watch Netflix. But moms don’t get weekends or even nights off. It is n e v e r ending.
Being a mom means that you do literally everything for someone else. It’s all about them! Your “you” time becomes a tiny fraction of what it used to be. Your days are spent alongside needy company. Small, everyday tasks become quite difficult. Brushing your teeth, fixing your hair, doing your makeup, even using the restroom can be a challenge. Snacks, lots of snacks come in handy during these times. If you don’t have a spill proof container for snacks, get one! You’ll thank me later. My favorite: Munchkin 2 Piece Snack Catcher, Blue/Green . If your lucky, they’ll give you a couple of minutes to get ready, but most days, I just opt out of the battle altogether. Less stress starts becoming more appealing than your appearance.
Early on it’s the bottles and the steaming day after day and for many of us, pumping. Going through 6ish bottles a day and cleaning all the pumping gear over and over is far from pleasant, not to mention exhausting. I literally made my steamer as full a possible so I wouldn’t have to do as many loads. I had a love/hate relationship with my steamer, but a good steamer is a must and mine was pretty awesome! It was inexpensive and got the job done quickly- Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer Your days seem repetitive and I remember googling EVERYTHING. I had a constant sense of worry. Maybe that’s just me, but I was so NOT confident at being a mom and didn’t have a clue what I was doing.
Then you have the diapers. First of all, they cost a fortune and you need an endless supply. I can’t even count how many diapers I’ve changed, but it’s enough to make me completely numb to whatever I may find in there. And the kids don’t make it easy for you to change those thousands of diapers – that’s the fun part! It’s not like the dolls you practice on while preparing for a newborn. It’s like taming a wild animal all while trying to stay clean.
Another factor that makes this job so hard is that babies are demanding at ALL hours of the day. Forget sleep. You are at their beck and call. If they feel like waking up at 5 AM ready to conquer the world, then you are right there with them. If they don’t want to eat any of the 5 different food items you’ve offered them, then you try another. They call just about every shot! So much for a relaxing dinner. Going out to eat is another story. I can’t tell you how many stressful restaurant experiences I’ve had. By the end of many meals, I don’t even remember having conversation, let alone getting to enjoy my meal. It is a constant task to keep them happy. There are times I feel like I will do just about anything for there to be peace and to avoid a fit. Fits are like nails on a chalkboard-especially in public.
This leads me to my next point. Babies can’t talk! As moms we have to figure out what the whining and fussing means, like we have some sort of sixth sense. My child calls everything “da” or “da da” right now. It’s taken me a while to get good at differentiating the “da’s”. Luckily early on the choices are minimal, but as they get older it may be a number of reasons or it could be nothing at all. So we spend lots of energy trying to figure out what they want. We will offer them anything just to make them happy so you can get through a meal or a grocery shopping trip. By the time you figure out something to calm them down, you realize you’ve skipped 5 grocery items you needed a few isles back.
What really makes things tough is when you get good at something and your feeling like a pretty good mom, and they suddenly wake up a changed person. What worked once may not ever work again. One day they like yogurt melts and the next, they want nothing to do with them. You don’t know when this change is going to happen and you’re honestly too busy to even realize when it does. You just move on and keep going…
Why would anyone want to do this job called mom? Well… the list would be way longer than the one you just read and I don’t think I would even be able to come up with enough words to explain. To put it simply, being a mom is the most beautiful thing I can ever imagine life offering. I would do ANYTHING without hesitation to make my little man smile. He makes my heart so incredibly full. I have a person in this world that will always be a part of me and I get to enjoy life with forever and ever. The amount of happiness he brings to us makes all those struggles seem completely insignificant. Being a mom is so much fun every day and is truly a gift!
It does get easier (in some ways). I think the stress of learning how to be a mom is what gets better. I don’t worry about the small stuff quite as much, and instead am really starting to embrace the whole experience. I have adjusted to this “new” life. Hopefully it doesn’t/didn’t take you as long as it took me.
So for those of you first time moms feeling the struggle, you’ll get through it! EVERYONE feels it at some point during this crazy ride. When things get tough, turn on a good song and love on that baby even more. A good song usually helps me bring the happy back! It’s the best ride you will every go on. Just try to enjoy it as much as possible. We are LUCKY to be called Mom.