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Parenting: It's Nothing Like I Pictured It And That's What Makes It Beautiful

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So I rubbed your back, as your watery eyes cried wet tears down your cheeks, and I encouraged you…

To push that poop out.

Yep. This is life as a mom. I never pictured myself dueling as someone’s poop Doula until Motherhood. But I never knew what a Doula was until I was pregnant. So touché to that mom karma.

But this is what we do as mothers. We get worried when you don’t poop for more than a day. It becomes the focus of our existence. We don’t like when you are in pain, and we know that this situation ends in tears.

I didn’t picture a lot of things that I end up doing in my day to day as a mother. I didn’t picture the fits, the all-out tantrums like you are possessed by some sort of demon. You throw yourself onto the floor and wail loudly. I have actually threatened to call a priest for an exorcism. He may or may not be on speed dial.

I didn’t picture the bruises that come with mothering you. The constant crawling after the baby before she puts xyz into her mouth– “You are going to choke---noooo!” I didn’t picture the toddler charging at me at a million miles per hour and then---BOOM—big hug-tackle knocks me over while her head smacks my jaw. Sometimes it’s direct head hitting head, head-butt. Sometimes I worry that I may get CTE, so when I go completely insane, you all know why.

I didn’t picture the endless time I spend pumping. Pumping on bathroom stall floors. Pumping in-between two screaming babies in the back seat of a car. I never pictured a torture device pinching my boobs could hurt but feel so good all at once—but that's the motherhood paradox. How can something so good be so hard at times?

Because there is always a silver lining.

That toddler tackle comes with so much love—she just doesn’t realize her own strength. The milk I get from pumping feeds my babies. The tantrums come with a lesson learned. I also didn’t picture exactly how much love I would feel when I look at you. It’s the kind of love that you can only explain by becoming a parent. A snapshot, a guess, an explanation can’t do that love justice. Sometimes it’s better when reality doesn’t turn out exactly how you pictured. All of these moments are full of surprises, and that’s the beauty of them--you can’t guess what’s going to happen next. They are boundless, authentic, and messy---and that’s motherhood defined.

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