Mothers have a different kind of job. Its a job that doesn't stop, not even on vacations. You will still find yourself picking up shoes and putting together matching socks filled with sand while keeping the rental dishwasher running and planning the next can't miss activity. Its loaded. Its busy. It changed everything you thought you knew about who you are.
You glance sleepy eyed into a large apartment -like mirror that you should've replaced 5 years ago and you see a person looking back that you don't know anymore. This person is tired and worn and you aren't sure if those are laugh lines or frown lines. You would have to know the month and day of their origin.
You are mom.
You are the keeper of the water bottles and the planner of everyday. You are the payer of gymnastics and the buyer of organic fruits you hope the kids will eat. You are the one that gives up restful sleep to crawl into bed with a sobbing toddler that just wants to snuggle. You will push aside toys and ignore the pee smell. You will ask strangers to please pay more attention to their child in the play center than their phone. You no longer have a comfort zone. All zones have been touched and unmasked with truths revealed and tears shed.
You remember well your own mom and all the things you said you would never do, never say, never put on your child. Then one day you find yourself digging crayons out of a dryer sighing and cussing and wondering how long you will be in this phase.
The one today that has you running around from soccer to dance and grabbing glue at the store and tape from your neighbor. This phase that you prayed and wished for because you were so tired of the crying and waking up all night from a inconsolable baby. This phase where friendships matter for kids but are non existent for you. This phase were you find yourself apologizing for forgetting and forgiving yourself for not being enough.
Then the phase is over and a new one is thrust your way. Now you pick out fish at a pet store and try to help your 6 year old understand death. You buy new soccer cleats and clean out ears and study for spelling bees. You learn about penguin colonies. Its' time to realize, momma that this phase will soon be gone too. Arguing about cell phones and weekend trips away with friends. Hoping and trusting they know right from wrong and won't forget what you tried to teach.
Its hard and its real and it never ends. Just when you get the hang of it another phase chips your window and the only repairman you can call is you.
You have them now but will you always have them. Will they always pull a chair up to say momma what's for breakfast or momma I need to know.... Will they? This is the thought that shakes you awake at night and you can't get back to sleep so you turn on a small light on the other side of the house to watch them sleep and brush the hair across their forehead.
Its the uncertainty of their futures and yours that scares the bejeezus out of you. Its the what ifs and the I don't knows. But somehow we keep going. We keep smiling. We keep adding to our laugh lines.
Because this time is slipping and we can't hold on no matter how hard we try. Each day brings the challenges and joys, the laugh lines and frown lines and what are those? Crows Feet?
Each day. We lose a little more of us and we gain a little more of them. But the same thing is happening in their life too momma and its what they gain that will make this all worth it. It already does. It is so worth it.
So mommas, love those babies and the man that blessed you with them. Don't think about the I don't knows and what ifs. This phase will change soon and it wont matter that you never knew what you were doing.
You won't know in the next phase either.