There is something you should know about me. I am not a Pinterest mom.
When I scroll through my Pinterest feed, I see a whole lot of ideas for adorable DIY projects that I will never attempt because adorable and DIY are not part of my genetic makeup. Also, I see list after list of things I apparently MUST do to be a good mom.
Heaven, help me because motherhood is not that simple. It is not a list of do’s and don’ts. It is a messy, yet beautiful, work in progress.
Motherhood is trying and failing and crying in the closet when nobody is looking. It is getting back up, squaring your shoulders, and doing your best when you feel like you don’t have a single ounce of energy left to give.
It is rocking babies, chasing toddlers, and braving tantrums in Target. It is dropping your babies off at preschool and then kindergarten, wondering how you can slow time to a crawl and savor their chubby cheeks for a little while longer.
Motherhood is reading the same bedtime story five times in a row, night after night, until you know every word by heart. It is watching your kids while they are sleeping, your heart overflowing with gratitude while dreaming of what they will grow up to become. It is joy and wonder wrapped in a package that gets larger with each passing year.
Motherhood is homework and endless carpools and piano lessons and recitals and cheering in the stands at soccer games until you have no voice left. It is drying tears, kissing skinned knees, and wiping fevered brows.
It is navigating a landmine of legos. It is playing board game after board game when you would rather read a book. It is impatience and frustration, followed by another apology. And another. It is wondering if you will ever overcome the weaknesses that keep getting in the way.
Motherhood is teaching until you are blue in the face, wondering if your kids will ever get it. Until they do, and all is right in the world for a few minutes. It is wondering if they really hate you when they say it with such conviction.
It is looking at your teenager, asking yourself when she transitioned from cute to beautiful. It is wondering how your son got so tall and started looking down on you instead of the other way around.
Motherhood is a roller-coaster of pre-teen drama and emotions. It is wondering what happened to your sweet daughter when she turns twelve and starts acting like a crazy person. It is assuring her that her hair looks great and her dress does not make her look fat, even if she doesn’t believe you.
Motherhood is trips to the mall with a car full of giggly girls. It is comforting the middle schooler who is always left out. It is taking every ounce of self-control you have not to give those kids a piece of your mind for being so mean to your child.
It is cleaning and managing and telling your boys that girls will not like them if they don’t take a shower. It is wondering what died in their room to create that unpleasant aroma. It is lost shoes and mismatched socks and endless piles of laundry.
Motherhood is saying, “YOU HAD BETTER GET IN THE CAR IN THE NEXT 30 SECONDS, OR YOU WILL BE WALKING” every morning of your life, causing at least one of your kids to cry because “YOU ALWAYS YELL AT ME!”
It is begging your teenagers to bring their friends over to your house, promising not to come out in your pajamas while they are visiting. It is dragging yourself off the couch at midnight to pick them up from a party. It is stocking the house with food, only to hear that “WE HAVE NOTHING TO EAT!”
Motherhood is clutching the car door with white knuckles while teaching your teens to drive. It is knowing that one day soon, they will use that skill to drive far away from you.
It is sleepless nights spent wondering if your kids will grow up and blame all of their problems on you. It is fear that you are parenting all wrong. It is worry and guilt personified.
Motherhood is holding yourself together at high school graduation because you have never seen your child so happy. It is being OK with his excitement to leave home because that means you have done your job well. It is saying goodbye and good luck, praying he will remember what you have taught him. It is letting go when you want nothing more than to hold on tight.
Messy. Raw. Vulnerable. Beautifully imperfect. That is what motherhood really is.