What I Want My Daughters to Know About Motherhood

Every once in a while I step away from crafts and tutorials to share a little bit about my life.Today's post is one of those posts in honor of all the moms out there...I hope you enjoy it, and if you don't, don't worry I'll be back to my normal craft filled programming soon!

Mother's day was last weekend.  The other day my daughters and I were sitting at the table eating lunch.  Mother's Day came up, and somehow I ended up asking my 5 year old if she thought she'd ever want to be a mom.

My youngest chimed in, saying "Yes!!" while my oldest hesitated for a moment.  When she answered, she said, "I don't know.  Maybe I'll just get a dog."  She thought for a moment and then said, "or maybe just a fish..."

I chuckled for a minute, but I also thought it interesting.  I think, even at the young age of 5, that she recognizes that motherhood comes with  a lot of responsibility.  She sees the cleaning, the laundry, the chores that I do every single day--and as someone who sees being asked to clean her room as the end of the world--she doesn't see such things as all that appealing.  I wondered though, does she see anything else, beyond the chores?

I couldn't help but think of all the things that I, as a mother, hope my girls know about my journey in motherhood.  I decided to make them this top five list:

1)  Motherhood is simply the most challenging thing I've ever done.

Yes, kid.  You are right.  Motherhood means cleaning up the puke all over the floor while comforting you.  It means picking up lots of spills, and food that for some reason the floor never seems to eat (although you keep trying to feed it!)  It's folding laundry, remembering school projects, and making sure that all private parts of your body are covered when you leave the house (and that you aren't mooning the neighbors through the storm door...oh wait, parenting fail on that one).

But it's more than the chores.  Everyone has always told me this, but I don't think that I ever really completely understood this until I had kids.  You'll never be so tired.  Or worry so much.  Or feel so connected to another human being before.  Oh, and patience...oh dear patience, how I wish I had more.....Yep, that's right.  Motherhood stretches me in ways that nothing else ever has.

2) Motherhood is also the most rewarding thing I've ever done. 

I want you both to grow in to happy, healthy, kind, self-sufficient adults, and I love watching you grow in that direction every single day. Someday you won't hold my hand anymore.  Or kiss me goodbye when I drop you off.  And I'll be a crying weepy mess.  But I'll be proud of you at the same time.  

3)  That mixed in with a lot of icky moments are some of the hands down best moments of my entire life.  

Do you know that you once smeared poop all over my face?  The details don't matter, but it was disgusting.  And I'm pretty sure I wore "spoiled milk" perfume for much longer than I really care to admit.  But mixed in with lots of icky moments are some pretty amazing ones.

Before I had you, I never imagined that a "best" moment of my entire life might be as simple as sitting at a park, on a picnic blanket, talking to you.  But it is.  But I'm pretty sure that you won't understand that unless you're a mom yourself someday.  Until then you can just think I'm crazy.  It's ok, really.  I don't mind being "crazy mom" until then.  And yes, Mom, I get it now.

4)   There's no "right" way to do motherhood.

Someday you're going to tell me all of the things that I did wrong as a parent.  And you'll probably be right.  There's many things that I probably could have done/ do better.  I hope you'll learn from my mistakes just as much if not more than what you learn from what I did "right."  You'll probably do things differently than I did, and that's ok.  There's no right way to do motherhood.  Stay at home vs work, breast fed vs bottle--it doesn't matter.  As mothers we share one thing more than any else, and that's to do the very best that we can for our kids.  So go ahead, make your own choices, do what's right for you, and what makes you the best mom you can be.  I won't judge. 

5) When I found out you were each a girl, I was both happy and sad for you at the same time.  

I think that's because at 20 weeks pregnant, I felt "being female" more than ever: the morning sickness that last all day (and into the second trimester), the exhaustion, the trying to keep up with my job while taking care of you too...all while your daddy just went to work.  Because yes, until we figure out how to grow babies in incubators, you'll have to bear more of the child bearing responsibilities than your hubby will.  Yet, you'll also be the first one to feel them kick, or get the hiccups, or do somersaults inside of you.  And that's pretty cool.  (But I'm not going to lie, those incubators sound pretty cool too...even if you were worth the sickness, pain, and weight gain.)

Every day I hope that I'm setting a good example to you as a woman, and as a mother.  Because being female is a bond we both share.   To my daughters, I hope someday that you'll get to experience this thing called motherhood if it's what you want. 

One more thing.  See that picture above?  Yeah, well, I have 1 (yes, only 1) picture that I like of myself pregnant.  It's above. The scientist in me says it should be an outlier and thrown out and replaced with a much more representative picture of me pregnant.  But hey, this is the internet.  Can you really blame me?

And finally, yes this article in in reference to my daughters.  Not because I'm leaving out my sons, but rather because I don't have any :-)

PS: This past weekend was Mother's day, and I know that it can be an emotionally charged day for people for some many reasons.  Maybe you want to be a mother, or maybe you miss your mother, or maybe you struggle with feelings of self worth or achievement.  If that's you,  I get it.   I'm sending hugs your way.

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