Sunday, December 15, 2013

Why I Love Being a Mom

Sometimes I look back on pre-baby life with a blend of wistful longing (entire days devoted just to me!) and confusion (what did I do with all that time?).  I remember my first pregnancy was very different from this one, I had time to read dozens of books, listen to podcasts, indulge cravings, shop, and take luxuriously long naps whenever the desire struck.

Honestly, it wasn't that great.  I've found that days spent in a lazy, self-indulgent fashion end in exhaustion, only it is missing the self-fulfillment and pleasure of the exhaustion at the end of a day of hard work.  I'm glad for the time I was able to research and study child-rearing, on the time to fill my relaxation tanks, and on the surplus of 'me-time' so I could realize how empty it is.

Where Cadence is stationed anytime someone is
 in the bathroom.  She looooves to practice
 her knocking skills.
Now, life has changed.  With the exception of my waking hour before she wakes (I have 50 minutes left!), nap time (two hours which I usually also spend in slumber), and post-bedtime (2-3 hours), my time and life is devoted to being Mommy.  I love it!  A chubby-cheeked cherub knocking on the bathroom door? Privacy is overrated!  Spilling her cereal (always dry, I'm no dummy) all over the floor?  Great, she can practice that pincer grip and extra motivation for me to keep things clean as possible.

I love my husband more.  Never before has his arrival home from work filled me with such joy and anticipation.  Daddy gets a few minutes to change, then the baby enjoys a buddy with renewed energy and enthusiasm for reading books Mommy has thoroughly memorized and is ready to chuck out the window.

It is God's work.  I just feel it.  I missed the feeling of working for and with the Divine that permeated my missionary service when I completed my mission and went back to school.  Imagine my surprise and joy as that feeling crept back into my life when Cadence entered the scene.  On many fronts, I simply have no idea what I am doing.  My personal stores of patience and understanding have not undergone massive reconstruction since having my own child.  But where I lack, I feel the Lord making up the difference.  I reach what would have been the end of my rope, only to find it extends much further than I could have imagined possible.  When my darling baby is in distress or my husband's child has reached the pinnacle of naughtiness, inspiration flows and I'll be able to implement an idea of how to fix it with a cool head.  None of that is me, I'm not cool under pressure at all.  It is the Lord reaching out and helping me in my weakness.

Everything is exciting and full of joy.  Toddlers are great!  There is nothing better than my kid's excitement to see me in the morning.  No matter how poorly I slept, or how lengthy my to-do list, or how warm and comfy my bed seems, it is eclipsed by my anticipation to get to see her cute little face light up and shout "Hi, Mommy!"

My kid thinks I'm hilarious.  Never was there an easier audience, but I still feel like a million bucks (and a creative genius) when I've devised some new way to elicit giggles.

She may be a harsh food critic, but when she is pleased there are lots of delighted vocal "Num, num!" and "Mmmmmm!" noises as she dives face-first into a supremely delicious dish.  Totally worth putting up with the 'Blah!' and tongue scraping when she doesn't like something (which is adorable in its own right).

I do what I want!  I am living the dream.
SIDENOTE- Well, my dream.  With fading youth and beauty have come age and wisdom (and believe me, I'd trade them in if possible).  I have come to realize that just because a situation is perfect for me and my ideal doesn't mean it is for everyone.  So, I'd like to just preface and say that I understand that being a full-time mom isn't in everyone's programming, realm of possibility, or preference.  I have no desire to hoist my preferences on anyone else, I am just writing out how I feel and what I am most grateful for this year.
OK, back to this bulletpoint.  My whole life I have wanted to be a mommy!  A career has never held the same sway, nothing seemed to hold the same meaning as personally raising (a hot button word, but sorry, what I do is a lot more than what a paid 'caretaker' does) my babies.  While I love my business, hanging out with my kid is so much better.  Every day I get to play chatelaine of Martineau Manor.  I manage the cleaning, cooking, laundry and other drudge chores, but hey- I'm the boss!  We rarely "stay at home", either.  We are out at the library, zoo, dog park, taking walks, aquarium, art museum, playplaces, mall-walking, running errands, meeting Daddy for lunch, playing at the park, or any other activity we can think of.  I manage my time how I see fit and thus get to plan out wonderful days we really enjoy.  Well, most of the time.  Cady is good for about 15 minutes of thrift store shopping before she wants out of there.  The point is, I love the freedom of being a Mom and being boss of my own day and life.

I love the show Parenthood, and recently a character was pointing out that in the workplace he knew he was good at what he did and received the professional accolades and salary to prove it.  As a parent, he wasn't so sure of himself and didn't have that positive feedback.  That resonated a bit with me at first, but I am learning to reject it.  There is a negative voice that loves to pipe up "Wow, you're a crap mom!" whenever I do something sub par, resort to screen time, my kid tastes anything processed, etc.  But where is that positive voice when I totally rock it?  No such voice, as that would be prideful, right?  Well, I reject that too.  I am an awesome Mom!  I don't need a boss to promote me because my kid is healthy and happy and, hey, lets face it- alive!  I don't need a paycheck, either (not that I'd be opposed if Ben were to start presenting me with bonuses).  I get paid in snuggles, kisses, pudgy arm hugs, huge smiles, every time my kid says "Mommy!" in that tone that seems to say you-are-my-favorite-person-ever!  I pat myself on the back for utilizing learning opportunities, having my kid in matching clean clothes, disciplining in a calm way, giving my kid a bath, successfully introducing her to new foods- you know, any part of doing my job.

Diapers are not as bad as I feared.  OK, if Ben is around when a stinky diaper situation presents, I happily delegate the changing to him.  But it is really not THAT bad.  And wet diapers are cake!  There is nothing cuter that those freshly cleaned buns, ready to be re-diapered.  Same thing with snotty noses and even vomit.  Yeah, I wouldn't mind if my kid's nose never ran or she never got sick, but clean-up is not nearly as atrocious as it would be with someone else's kid.  She is an extension of myself, in a way, and I love her to pieces and love taking care of her.

Every day is different.  She is growing and changing, quickly enough to keep things interesting but slow enough that I can get a handle on each stage.

My kid thinks I'm an awesome singer.  I return the favor by praising her as a top-notch dancer.  I am her biggest cheerleader and it is great because- hey, if I'm not, who will be?

As a mom you get to experience your favorite things all over again as for the first time.

You have to appreciate thing fleeting moments.  The days with a sometimes-cranky two year old can seem long, but the time is passing so quickly and she is getting so big!  Soon we will have more tiny babies in the house and she will be my big girl.  There is nothing I can do to stop the relentless march of time, but I can appreciate the little moments and everyday joys of being Mommy.


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