I Am Not The Mom I thought I’d Be
I was the perfect mom…until I had kids of my own. Now I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, survival-mode mom, on my best days. I never expected I’d be so comfortable in this role, and yet, feel so foreign at the same time.
I swore I wouldn’t be THAT mom.
The one with the escape artist kid that can somehow maneuver from the tightest belt restraint in a shopping cart. The mom with one in the carrier screaming, and another doing gymnastics moves while using one pinky fingers to hold onto the moving shopping cart as he practices a backbend. Yep, that’s me. You know you’ve seen me at Target. I told myself that I would never ‘allow’ my kids to act up in public. HA-like I could control a toddler on the verge of a meltdown or even make them sit still.
I promised myself I would never bribe my kids with candy. And yet, here I am never leaving the house without a hefty stash of snacks and candy to be pulled out at just the right moment. My kids would never eat junk food, and would only serve well balanced meals. Screen time would be limited, and I would create structured activities for my kids daily. Once I had kids of my own, all of that quickly went out the window.
I thought I would always look put together.
Before kids, I never understood how moms didn’t have time for their own personal care and hygiene. I just knew I’d be the exception with my daily shower and perfectly placed hair and make up. Oh how naive I once was! Now, instead of apologizing for my appearance, now being “fixed up” is the rarity.
Stay at home mom wasn’t for me.
I thought I’m die of boredom (ha-what I’d give to feel BORED these days). I thought I could never spend that much time with ANYONE. (ha-I’ve spent more time with my little people in the past 6 years than I’ve spent with any other human in my entire life). And I am LOVING my role as a stay at home mom. It’s nothing like I thought it would be.
I wouldn’t be a helicopter mom.
I would never be that mom to hover over my kids. I’d give them freedom, and independence and the perfect childhood. But man, did I underestimate the eminence WORRY you instantly inherit for these tiny humans. Sometimes I have to remind myself to back off, give them space to learn, because I’m just so darn worried about their overall health, safety, and well-being. I so badly want to put them in a bubble, that I know doesn’t exist. I want them to learn to walk while wearing a bike helmet. I’m a stickler about holding hands in parking lots, because I’m endlessly terrified of my little chicks getting hurt.
I NEVER thought I’d catch another person’s vomit, urine, blood with my bare hands without a second thought.
But I have time and time again. These babies are an extension of me that I never understood before meeting them. I would do ANYTHING for them.
When I look at my mom journey over the past 6 years, it’s nothing like what I thought it would look like. Although I am far from the kind of mom I thought I’d be, I continue to surprise myself at the ease and struggle of this job every single day. I’m better at forgiving, and patience, and unconditional love in ways I didn’t expect. And yet, I’m worse at keeping my social life, making time for myself and my friends without kids. I don’t look like the mom I had pictured, but I love this role that has shaped me into such a completely different person all together. I’ve gained things I never dreamed of, and have given up things I swore I wouldn’t, but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. These three monkeys make all of it so, so worth it.