As a young girl growing up, I had my life planned out to the Tee. I saw things I wanted. Life's experiences showed me what I didn't want and from there my awesome planned derived. I was graduating high school at 17. I would obtain my bachelor's degree from a HBCU no later than age 22. I would be married by 24 and by 27 I would have my first child. Ha!
Real life didn't come to anything remotely close to this plan. I didn't have my son until I was 32 years old. I am so glad I wasn't 27. I can't recall all of the things that were going on when I was 27 but I am sure I was not ready to have a baby.
Over the course of the past 4 years I have learned so much about motherhood. In 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Mommyhood, I wrote about a few things I learned that those freely handing out unsolicited advice neglected to tell me about while I was pregnant. I have learned so many lessons since then. It would be remiss if I actually attempted to list them all. My son is only three and I am sure I have tons of lessons to learn before he even turns 10. Therefore, I am no super mom expert. I don't claim to know it all when it comes to motherhood. I actually know not much at all. What I do know... Motherhood has probably been the most impactful thing I have experienced in my entire life.
In the hustle and bustle of life's winding turns, motherhood has its awesome perks! Moms always have an excuse to leave anything... "I gotta go, my kid is _____". I do all the time. My child is also the excuses I use when I am opting out of attending an event. "I can't. My kid". And that is all I have to say and most seem to understand.
At the end of the long, grueling days, which is pretty much every day for us, I can always count on my little guy to get real close to my face, look me straight in the eye and... cough, sneeze or do something horrendously gross but funny at the same time. It's the most conflicted time. I don't know rather to be grossed out, upset or amused. I guess in hindsight, it's pretty hilarious.
Being a mom, a good one, gives me the opportunity to impart wisdom, teach things, you know. But the good thing about motherhood is, I get to learn. My son teaches me things every day. I observe how he handles certain situations and people and I am in awe of how clever and responsive he his sometimes. Alex started praising himself after completing a task, very early. If no one else claps for him when he has completed something he has set out to accomplish, he will clap for himself. He's taught me not to wait on others to celebrate me. Clap for yourself.
On our walks, he ALWAYS stops to pick flowers. Yes, they are out of someone else's yard most of the times but there is still a lesson in that. As cliché as it is, he's taught me to stop and smell the roses. My three-year old son has taught me that it is perfectly fine to take time, while you are on your journey, to stop and admire the beautiful things that are surrounding me. So profound.
And while I would like to believe that motherhood is all love, smiles and funny moments that make laugh so hard you snort, there are some not so good things about it.
They grow up! I look at Alex every day and think... "one day you are not going to want to have anything to do with me". And for a moment I rejoice. But then I think about all the snuggles I will miss out on. He doesn't even want to kiss me anymore and when I kiss him, he wipes it off immediately. BRAT!
The Truth/My Truth
Motherhood is hard. No, like, seriously. It's no walk in the park, as my mom would say. Every decision I make affects my child. Yes, every single one; from the small ones to the big ones. They all matter to him too. That's hard. Motherhood is doing my very best to make each decision a good one. Sure, I am going to make some bad ones and maybe even some dumb ones. But the thing about being a mother is that those decisions will impact Alex at some point, if not right away. So what I am learning is to try my best to make sound, wise decisions on the daily basis. Decisions on what we eat, what he watches on TV, who he is around, what books to read, what relationships to entertain or not to entertain. I have someone I am tied to for the rest of our lives. I heard somewhere that motherhood is the true marriage. That actually might be true.
Yes, motherhood is hard. It's even harder when you have to do it alone. And if I were to be completely honest, I would say that sometimes I want to give up. Yes. there. I said it. Sometimes I want to just run away and come back on his 21st birthday. Surprise. But who am I kidding? That is not what motherhood is about. It's about love, yes. It's about nurturing, yes. But it is also about sacrifice and responsibility. There were plenty of other times I could have gotten pregnant. But I have learned to trust that God knew what he was doing to bless me with Alex and the time that he did. I am being entrusted to raise the little guy to the best of my ability and I am owning that responsibility. So, nope, there is no giving up. Motherhood is a journey. It's probably one of the most, bumpiest yet adventurous rides I have ever been on but I am so grateful I get to do it with the little brown boy that calls me Mommy.