Now let’s be honest, ok? Truly honest right now. And no judging. Who has yelled at one or more of their children today? *raises hand* Who is at their wits end with the whining and the crying and the general hissy fits? *raises hand* Who would like nothing more than to sleep 8 hours uninterrupted?? *raises both hands*
I would never trade my children for anything. I would never wish to go back to the days before them. I wouldn’t trade the sleepless nights or the permanent eye twitch that has set in due to the incessant whining or the little tummy pouch that sits right above my double c-section scar. Because even though those things aren’t my favorite parts of being a mom, they are made worth it by the two little people who depend on me.
But just for #tbt sake (and that’s “Throw Back Thursday” for you not up with social media hashtag lingo) let’s look back upon a time before children. Let’s just reminisce what it was like before the whining and the crying. Just for a moment, shall we?
Before kids I could watch TV without rewinding it 47 times in a 10 minute span because no one was asking for their cup that is 3 feet from their small person. Before kids I could take a leisurely shower whenever I chose to instead of waiting for the 15-minute span when both kids are asleep. Before kids I could talk on the phone without sounding like I have some sort of personality disorder. I could try on clothes or go to the bathroom without someone opening the door. Before kids I didn’t have to repeat myself 15 times or worry about yelling at someone because I got too frustrated and hurting their delicate feelings. Then feeling like crap about it after. Before kids I didn’t worry everyday if I was doing it right. Or if I was messing them up. I didn’t feel time slipping by at a lightning speed rate. I also didn’t always seem to be covered in barf or baby poop.
But before kids I didn’t know such love. I didn’t get to see every day the wonder and excitement and genuine love in the eyes of someone I helped create. I didn’t know such gut-wrenching terror at the thought of losing them. Yes, I probably slept more, but I didn’t get to feel little hands on my face or have sweet hugs from little arms. Holidays are so much sweeter with children. My days are busier, my nights aren’t as filled with blissful sleep, but my heart is full. Children, for me, complete something in my life. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people do not want to have children and that’s ok. Some desperately want them and can’t have them. My heart aches for them.
I sit here and feel so bad for yelling at Brother Bear earlier. I’m trying so hard to be patient but some days I just lose the ability to do so. Especially when he is trying my resolve at every turn. I need to respond with hugs instead of a raised voice. I need to remember he’s just a little boy who wants his mom’s attention and is still struggling with that attention being split. A little boy who might be tired or hungry or doesn’t understand why I’m asking him to stop talking or even really have the ability to do that. I hate the feeling I have after I have hurt his feelings by yelling. And I can’t take it back or even fix it. I can apologize and try not to yell the next time. I’m working on it but some days it’s hard. And I will fail again. I will yell again. And I will feel bad, again.
I suppose, like children, I am still a work in progress. As a mom I am still learning too. Just like my little ones I will have good days and bad days. I will struggle with my role just as they will. I will try my best to be patient and understanding and respond with grace. And sometimes, probably more often than I’d like, I will fail. But even with those struggles, even with the barf (and the poop) and the insane amount of laundry they create, I would never trade a day with my babies. I would love for more days. Longer days. Days I could have over again because they just went by too quickly. I will continue to try every day to be a better mother. To appreciate every second I have with them. To learn to apologize when I ‘m not sweet just as I expect Brother Bear to apologize when he’s not. And one day I hope to learn to forgive myself when I make mistakes just as I forgive my sweet ones when they make them.