On a Monday, motherhood might completely baffle me.
On a Tuesday, motherhood might amaze me.
On a Wednesday, motherhood might make me eat a lot of chocolate.
On a Thursday, motherhood might make me smile–all day long.
On a Friday, motherhood might hurt me.
On a Saturday, motherhood might heal me.
On a Sunday, motherhood might exhaust me.
Every day is different. But every day, motherhood teaches me something.
Seven lessons I’m learning:
1. Motherhood will never be easy (for long)-parenthood is surprising. It doesn’t matter how young or old they are, kids surprise us. Whether it’s poop in the tub or a hug in front of their junior high friends, kids have a way of keeping us on our toes. Just when we think we’ve got them figured out–or motherhood down, they keep us humble. Just ask your mom if she understands you. No matter how kids are, moms still mother. And our children keep us guessing. They keep us up at night. They keep us on our knees. They keep us.
2. There is no such thing as normal- or perfect or good. The secret behind those 3 magic words this is normal, is the truth, that there is no such thing as normal or right or perfect mothering. Some breastfeed. Some don’t. Some co-sleep. Some don’t. Some cook from scratch. Some don’t. Some work outside the home. Some don’t. When we look past our differences, we discover we are a lot the same. We love our children. We don’t always know what we are doing. We long to know we are doing okay. We are okay and that’s enough.
3. Laughter really is the best medicine-We educate, we motivate, we create. We worry, we fret, we stress. We work so hard at this mothering thing. At the end of a long day, with dirty laundry spilling over and a sink full of dishes, and the mediocre progress report we might give ourselves, laughter fills in the gaps. When a giggle turns into a belly laugh and the whole family joins in and tears stream and you catch your husband’s eye, you know everything may not be perfect, but everything is good. And that’s enough.
4. It’s okay to eat cake for breakfast (sometimes)- Motherhood is teaching me flexibility. I am not a new mother, but I am a slow learner. I like order. I like lists. I like control. I like to do things a certain way. And children like to jump in the puddles instead of walk around them. They like to hide in their sister’s room and jump out and scare them half to death. Regularly. They like to eat cake for breakfast. And every once in awhile, it’s good to let them. Because life isn’t a set of rules or a list of do’s and don’t’s. Some of the best day are the ones that go wrong.
5. We don’t have to have it all figured out-I live in this chapter of motherhood. I don’t always know what my kids need. Does my teen daughter need a hug or an extra chore or both? What’s best? What’s next? What do I do? I have more questions than answers. I am learning. I am making mistakes. I am asking questions. I am okay with what I don’t know today because tomorrow I will be one day further in this journey.
6. We can’t do it alone- Nothing makes me need God more than motherhood. As we parent our kids, God parents us, often teaching us both the same lessons–patience, forgiveness, steadfastness. We need the community of other moms, too. We need to be reminded we aren’t alone. Or crazy.
7. Every day is the perfect chance to begin again- Motherhood has consisted of a lot of new mercies for me. I get it wrong about as often as I get it right. Motherhood has taught me that my children forgive me more quickly than I forgive myself. Today is the best day to be a mom. It’s the perfect chance to start over.
Whatever kind of day you’re having- an amazing Tuesday or a chocolate-filled Wednesday, look for the lesson.