And seeing a new baby got me thinking about motherhood. It seems pretty self-explanatory, doesn't it?
- Get pregnant with baby. (Yeah. It's that simple. Right.)
- Deliver the baby. (That didn't go so simply for me either.)
- Bring the baby home. (Even that was challenging for me with Isaac, Sidge, Abigail, and Hannah.)
- Raise the baby. (Working on that x4 as we speak.)
I was a young girl who spent a lot of time with young children. I babysat a ton. I worked in the church nursery. But while I thought I understood motherhood, there were a few things that have simply, flat-out surprised me about motherhood and, more specifically, motherhood with multiple children in a short period of time.
Here are my top ten surprises:
- The little things. This is my chief complaint. No one ever explained to me how many "little things" kids collect, receive and want to save. Coloring pictures, rocks, sticks, stickers, pieces of paper, barbie shoes. I mean how in the world do you keep all this organized and decide what to keep and throw away?
- How often kids want to eat. I honestly think there is a child telling me "I'm hungry" nearly every second of every day. Didn't I just feed you? Seriously you need to eat ... again? Water? Really? You need water? Didn't you just drink water yesterday?
- How much crap I have to pack to go anywhere. How can someone so small require so many things in order to stay alive?
- The drama! No one ever explained to me that most of my day would be spent participating in "crowd control." I am constantly trying to move children from one place to another so that they can play and learn peacefully without another child hitting them or yelling at them or stealing their toys or, heaven forbid, looking over their shoulder to watch the same movie they are watching.
- The laundry. I promise you, that laundry multiplies while it is in the laundry basket. I am sure of it.
- The inability to carry on a complete conversation. "How was your day at work?" can take me about 12 minutes to ask when the kids are present. It's better if I say, "Was your day good or bad?' One word answers are much more sustainable.
- How hearing your name can get wearisome. Whenever I feel like I am hearing "Mommy" too often, I say, "I changed my name." This means they now have to call me "Supermom." This makes them laugh and makes me laugh and lightens us all up.
- How fast they grow. I'm serious. By the time I try a pair of jeans on the child, fold them, and then bring them out for church on Sunday, they are too short. Can jeans shrink in the closet?
- How often someone is sick. I've started to just be in denial about a fever or a runny nose. I'll see a runny nose and talk myself out of it. "Maybe it wasn't really running. Maybe it was an optical illusion." or "Maybe that barf is from the dog. Maybe it wasn't a kid."
- How quickly I can go from the depths of despair to the peak of happiness. How can a tiny little being move me from gagging to yelling to crying to smiling and feeling like my heart might burst out of my chest? They are such amazing people and I feel so incredibly honored to be their Mama.