1.23.2017

10 years a Mother

10.
Double Digits.
A Decade.
10 years being a Mother.
10 years of my heart beating outside my chest.
10 years of experiencing a different kind of love....the love for your child.
10 years of a love like this...that can bring you to tears:
One of my all time favorite photos, taken seconds after Kate was born. After 2 miscarriages & years of wanting a baby, there are no words to describe how I felt when she was born. I will never, ever forget this moment & so thankful for the nurse who took this photo. It feels like just yesterday, I can't believe it has been a decade.

Because I am emotional about Kate turning 10, I thought I would lighten up the mood and share some things I have learned.

Ten Things I have learned in 10 years of being a Mother:
 
1. Your heart will live outside of your body for the rest of your kids lives.
I remember the hours & days after Kate was born and I had this "feeling"
It wasn't stress or anxiety, but it kind of was.
Kevin & I were now responsible for someone besides ourselves.
The nurse would come in and would ask how long did she feed on each side for, how many wet & poopy diapers did she have, etc.
I remember thinking "I will be taking this baby home in a few days & we will be in charge of her for the next 18 years"
The nurse told me "Your heart will live outside your body now that your are a mother....you will always have that feeling of worry & responsiblity"
Once you become a parent, you are now responsible for someone else's life.
It is a huge responsibility but a huge privilege....one that I don't take for granted.

2. The Days are long, but the years are short.
I know this is an old saying, but it is SOOOOO true.
I used to hear this and roll my eyes.
Now I get it. 
I can't believe I have been a mom for a decade.
I can't believe that the majority of our time with Kate living in our house is more than half over. It has gone by SO fast.
Her newborn & toddler years seem like a blur. 
Claire was born 19 months after Kate.
I barely remember Claire's 1st year of life.
2 kids in diapers, 2 kids in cribs......it was all about survival.
Which leads me to my 3rd point....

3. The infant/toddler years are SO HARD. It will get better. You will sleep again.
I barely remember those years.
There was a lot of coffee & a lot of wine. LOL.
I LOVE sleep. I wondered if I would ever get to sleep again.
I wondered if I would ever be able to shower more than 5 minutes.
I remember wondering if I would ever have time to go on a date with my husband or have a girls night out or go on an actual vacation that doesn't feel like a "trip"
 Let me tell you....YES. Yes, you will. Those early years are SO FREAKING HARD.
But now? Now that are kids are 10, 8 & 4....these are the fun years.
They are little people with awesome personalities.
There are no diapers, no nap schedules, no cribs & no diaper bags.
We can all go out to dinner & it's fun and not stressful.
We can do family movies nights & family game nights.
They are fun to be around. They like to do what we like to do.
We decided to teach all of them how to ski this year and it's just so much FUN.
They all still believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy & the Easter Bunny.
This is such a fun stage in life and I just really, really love it.
I haven't parented teenagers yet (but I teach them) so I know it can be stressful, so I am just really enjoying the stage we are in right now....and they let us sleep in! Praise the Lord. Seriously. I love sleep :)
These are the Golden Years of childhood....it is so much easier than the early years.


4. You will learn more about Poop than you ever wanted to know.
Before I had kids, poop was just something you did everyday or every couple days. It was a private affair. With kids, poop takes on a life of it's own.
When your kids are babies, you have to pay attention to how many times a day your baby poops.
You need to pay attention to the color & consistency of the poop.
Are they pooping enough?
Is it the right color?
If your baby doesn't poop for a week, you will call the doctor and they will tell you will have to give them a suppository.
After you give them the suppository,  your baby will have a diaper blow out which is so massive that you will have to cut off their onesie and throw it away.
You might have an experience like I had & you go to get your baby from their nap only to discover your baby has taken off their dirty diaper and smeared poop ALL OVER THE CRIB and eaten some of it.
Then you have to potty train them to poop on the toilet.
They might be scared of that. Not naming any names, I had a kid like that.
This child would not poop on the toilet, so would only poop 1x a week.
This is not good.
You will have to give this child miralax, laxatives, etc.
When the child finally had to go poop after a week, the poop would be so large that they couldn't get it out and it would be stuck, so I had to grab the poop and pull it out.
Yes, I have learned a lot about poop in the past 10 years and it doesn't gross me out.
But, funny enough, dog poop totally grosses me out & it's Kevin's job to pick up all the dog poop in the yard.

5. Nature vs. Nurture
This is a funny thing. I always thought nurture played a bigger role  than nature, but honeslty, I'm not so sure.
I have 3 kids who have the same parents and these 3 kids are so incredibly different from each other.
It is shocking to me how different their personalites are.
Before I had kids, I just ASSumed my kids would have similar personalities & like the same things.
All 3 are unique & different.
Even though they have the same parents & are raised in the same family, they require different things from us and have different needs.
Maybe nature has a bigger impact that I thought.
We definitely have to parent each kid differently based on their love languages & their needs.

6. If (and when) your child barfs in the car....The carseat will never be the same....Your car will never ever smell the same.
We have had the good fortune (insert eye roll) of this happen more times that I would like.
Anything more than zero times is more than I would like....
If your kid barfs in their car seat & it gets all over the car seat straps & in all the crevices of the car seat, just burn the car seat or throw it away.
Seriously.
That smell never really goes away.
You are better off buying a new car seat.
Trust me on this one. I still get wifs of it & it has been years.
*Shudder*

7.   Never say never.
Before I was a Mom, I had a whole list of things I said I would NEVER do when I had kids.
What a joke. What did I know? 
 Chances are, you'll end up doing it.
A few years ago, I wrote one of my favorite posts....it was called:
"I was the best mom ever. Then I had kids"
I talk about the top 10 things I said I would never do when I had kids.
10 years of being a mom? Yep, I have done every single one of those things I said I would never do.


8. I hate the park.
There. I said it.
I've been a mom for 10 years and I can't stand going to the park.
I hate it. 
I have 3 kids, who want to go in 3 different directions at the park.
I just can't deal.
Sorry. Not Sorry.
The park is not my thing.
I realized this after Luke was born.
Years and years of going to the park.
Ugh. I don't like it.
I don't even remember the last time I took them to the park.
We play outside in the backyard, front yard & go on bike rides.
But take them to the park? NOPE. Not doing that anymore.
Sorry kids.
 One of my favorite things about getting the trampoline a year ago is that I don't have the mom guilt about not taking them to the park any more.


9.  Don't judge other moms.
 Try not to judge other moms who may do things differently than you.
Each kid is different, even my 3 are SO different from one another.
Who I am to judge how you parent your kids? 
What good does that do?
I don't live with your child, I haven't walked a day in your shoes, I don't know your struggles or your child's struggles, who am I to judge? 

Working mom vs. Stay at home mom
Breastfed vs. formula fed
Organic food vs. not organic food
 Pinterest mom vs. Non Pinterest Mom
Designer clothes vs. Clearance Rack
Home School vs Private School vs Public School
Vaccinated vs. Non Vaccinated
Just say no to the Mommy Wars.
Can't we all just get along?
You do what's best for you & your family.
Only you know the answer to that.

10. Give yourself grace.
This is hardest job you have ever done.
You will worry about every decision you make.
You will question yourself.
You will yell at your kids.
You will make mistakes.
You are not Mom of the Year.
There is no such thing.
You are doing a good job even if you don't feel like you are.
You can't do it all, so stop trying.
Motherhood....It's all about survival.
And, being the best mom we can be to our kids.
And you?
If you are doing YOUR best, then you are the Best Mom Ever for your kids. 
You are the Worlds Best Mom TO Your kids.
Why? Because you are YOU and no one loves them like you do. 
Period.

Since becoming a mother, I've realized I'm not the best mom EVER, but I'm the best mom I can be for *my* kids.

What have you learned about motherhood?

I know I have learned many more things than just these 10, but these are the ones that are sticking out to me today as I reflect on a decade of motherhood.

 It has been one of the hardest decades of my life.
This has been one of the best decades of my life.
It is a gift I will never take for granted.

 There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am the gift of being a Mother for the past Decade.
I am so thankful that God gave us our Katelyn Grace....He knew she was the perfect first born for our family.
 These past 10 years have been an absolute joy being her mom.
She is easy going, kind, sweet, smart & mature beyond her years. To know her is to love her.
I want to be more like Kate when I grow up.
It is an honor & privilege to be her mom, one that I don't take for granted.
We prayed for her for years & she was truly worth the wait.
Happy 10th birthday, Kate.
You are so loved.
Thanks for showing me grace as I learned to navigate being a mom.
Here's to the next decade!

7 comments:

  1. Happy birthday sweet Kate! What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl.

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  2. Happy 10th Birthday to your Kate! This post made me laugh and get emotional- I must be a Mom! And YES the car seat is never the same after the pukes. I still haven't gotten used to barf, but I am only 6 years into parenting. :) Thank you for sharing some of your heart!

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  3. Love your description of kids being our hearts living outside of our bodies! So true! Happy birthday to Kate and to you!

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  4. This might be one of my favorite posts of yours ever. Truer words have never been spoken. We are in the trenches right now with our five year old and two year old, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I, too, had a miscarriage before I had my healthy babies, and I don't think I had ever wanted something so badly as I wanted my first baby. I think that has made me "handle" motherhood even better than I would have, because I know better than to ever take it for granted. Happy happy birthday to your sweet Kate!

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  5. The hardest thing about Motherhood? several things: 1) watching them drive off in your car right after they get their drivers license. You can not even begin to know what that feels like until it happens. And it will with each child. It doesn't change. 2) the moment you drive away after leaving them at their college dorm. I cried with both of my daughters. It didn't matter that I had done it once already. I bawled like a baby! 3) what it feels like after said children graduate college. AMAZING! 4) And even when one child has to move back home after graduating college because she hadn't gotten her first Big Girl job. Life is never the same! HA! but I have 2 amazing daughters. Both college graduates and both have wonderful careers now! It is hard but it is so worth it! ALL OF IT! Happy 10th birthday to your sweet first born!

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  6. So beautiful. This post made me laugh & made me cry.
    Happy 10th Kate!

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