Finally, the baby watch has ended for Kate and William! I wish the Duchess and her new baby well as they embark on the journey of motherhood together. Cassidy happens to be very interested in the royal baby. She was hoping that the baby came on her birthday which was this past weekend. Sadly, she will not share a birthday but it was close enough.
As Cassidy asked questions about the royal family and the new baby, she paused for a minute and then said “we should send them something for their new baby.” An incredibly thoughtful idea, however I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the royal family has anything that they could ever want. Instead I told her that maybe a letter to the Duchess would be a nice idea too. She agreed!
All this talk of new babies got me thinking about the journey from new mom to slightly experienced in almost nothing yet mom. It has been a long road, but I am finally sucking less at this whole mom thing. Truth be said, it takes a ton of work and patience and some days I don’t have a ton of either in me.
I stopped to think today of some of the things that have changed in my life since having children. At first I thought of the changes as a curse, but now I realize that some of these changes are the very changes that have earned me my “mommy stripes.”
That’s right, moms do amazing things and usually they go unnoticed. So they way I see it, we are all decorated with medals and stripes for our acts of selflessness on a daily basis.
My first stripe is a common one. It is earned for not ever having another good night of sleep again. This stripe you start earning from the second that you become pregnant. Slowly but surely the nights become more difficult to sleep until you finally have your bundle of joy. Now it is impossible.
Good news is that the bundle does grow up and learn to sleep the whole night through. The bad news is that for the rest of your life you will jump up out of a deep sleep at the tiniest sound for fear that something is wrong or has happened to your bundle. The worst news is, and I learned this from my own mom as I have not experienced it yet, that even when your children are grown and gone you will still worry in your sleep if you do not know that they are safe and sound.
The next stripe is earned for my new lack of modesty. No need to cover up with a towel when I get out of the shower because I have an audience for the majority of it. As little ones it was easier to just bath or shower with them. Suddenly, they were big enough to shower on their own and somehow my shower is still a public event.
Four times today the door opened with a little face in it as I showered. I had to hand out a time out while shampooing. It is also impossible to go to the bathroom by myself any longer. I could be ignored for hours but dare I have to use the bathroom…. well suddenly I become the most amazing thing since sliced bread.
So no, there is no longer any need for modesty. Yup, that’s the stripe that I earn daily.
Another stripe is earned for my ability to talk about poop and pee like it is my job. I am constantly wiping a butt or cleaning up a mess that needs no more explanation. I talk about poop and pee at any given moment and sometimes when I am back in the world of adults without children, I forget that it isn’t appropriate conversation.
My dinner table is often filled with conversations of who has gone or who needs to go. I assure you that if Jacob sees peas on his plate, it is his turn to go, because he hates peas. If Cassidy has finished her food first and no longer wants to sit with us, she suddenly feels an urge.
Yes the bathroom talk that was once only aloud in the bathroom is now in every room of my house every day. I ask on a regular basis “did you poop?” I have become a bathroom monitor, and so I proudly earn this strip.
I also proudly earn the heavy baggage stripe. I used to be able to go out on a moments notice and just grab my purse. It would take me seconds to walk out the door. Now, it is an hour process. Dare I plan to leave the house for several hours with kids. Now you are talking about serious luggage. Extra clothes, snacks, drinks, wipes, sanitizer, toys, books etc. are all on the list. God forbid we leave home without any of them.
We plan to do a weekend camping trip and as we start to think about what will bring, it is mind blowing how much stuff these little people need!
I earn a gold star for giving up the last bite. Never again will I know what the last bite of anything is. It seems that as soon as one of my children see that there is only one bite left on my plate, they want it. They hardly eat their own some days but for some reason my last bite is the tastiest. I usually end up cutting my last bite in two. One for Cassidy and one for Jacob. On a rare occasion it will be in three, Cassidy, Jacob and Brian.
Either way I’ve tasted very few last bites since I’ve had kids. You’d think that it would be an amazing weight loss plan but sadly I just wait till they are in bed to snack.
As moms we have all earned our share of stripes. Our feet are calloused from stepping on legos and our toes have been stubbed on many a toy. We have worn puke and drool like it was a fashion statement. We sit on the floor instead of the couch because that’s where the action is. We worry needlessly and excessively that we are doing the right things.
Every diaper that I have changed has changed me. Every mess that I have cleaned has done the same. I have earned so many mommy stripes that I can no longer count them. Every change that has happened in my life since I’ve had kids has been rewarding in some way or another.
I earn my biggest medal for the love that I have still to share with my two babies. Sure my life has changed and things are sometimes harder with kids than without. Brian and I do enjoy a night to ourselves here and there. All in all, though, I can’t imagine my life without these two little angels.
Cassidy was telling me about a story from the bible where there was a miracle. She asked me if I had ever had one.
I said “I’ve had two miracles in my life so far” and I pointed to her and her brother. She asked if having a baby was a miracle. I said it was without a doubt a miracle, one that I am thankful for each day. I earn my mommy stripes proudly, because each stripe represents how much I am in love with my babies. I plan to earn many more but in the meantime I am going to celebrate being a seriously decorated mom!!