I don’t know that anything at all really can prepare one for motherhood. Being a mommy is not an easy thing to be, let me tell you.
I have spent the better part of the last decade doing for these young people I live with, these sometimes saccharine sweeties who in a moment can turn mutinous.
“Motherhood is a choice you make every day, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong,” wrote American author Donna Ball in her “At Home on Ladybug Farm.”
Ain’t that the truth, sister. And some days it seems as though you can’t get a single thing right.
Another truth about motherhood comes from another American writer, and also a mother, Rebecca Woolf: “Thus far the mighty mystery of motherhood is this: How is it that doing it all feels like nothing is ever getting done?”
Through the years, I have come to think on many things, many tasks that seem undoable to the average non-mommy person as a mommy thing, even though it doesn’t always add up to digging out from under all the to-dos that rain down.
For example, carrying in a trunk load of groceries, a 50 pound bag of dog food, and a toddler and all their stuff all in one go. It just has to be done that way, because when you’re in charge of keeping the troops in line, you can’t take the time to make 20 trips to the car. The sooner you’re done, the better.
Which brings me to something from the late, great Milton Berle who wondered that if evolution really worked, why do moms still only have two hands? Good question Uncle Miltie.
With kids in the house, an uninterrupted night’s sleep is commonplace, though as the children grow the frequency of interrupted sleep is curtailed some. But such interruptions could be anything from a kiddo needing a drink of water and seeking permission, to a nightmare, to cleaning up said kiddo’s stomach contents while trying really hard to not lose your own.
It is certainly a full-time job, and trying to juggle a non-mommy full-time job and a household on top of it all really gets cumbersome, grueling, even punishing at times.
And trying to understand how the husband does not understand, well, I have yet to accomplish this understanding.
But then, maybe he does understand. Maybe he just doesn’t take it all so seriously. Maybe he just knows better how to keep an even keel without bothering with all those pesky emotions. Maybe he just doesn’t worry about anything because I worry enough for the both of us. And maybe he really is just blind as a bat. Who knows?
But as hectic as it all gets, there are times of absolute clarity where I wonder where I would be without these growing humans and the possibly blind-as-a-bat husband and I know that I am right where I ought to be.
My cup runneth over.
We grow together, have ups and downs together, eat together, rest together, love together, explore together, learn together. We become more intertwined with each passing moment. We make each other crazy, but we’ve got each other’s backs, too. There is security. There is safety. There is always a soft place to fall and a hand or two to help you up when you do take a spill. Despite all the sticky times, there is a whole lot of lovely.
Being a mommy has been on my mind a whole lot more lately as we Shepherds prepare for another addition, something that I have not made public because this is our thing. This unexpected event occurring in my advanced maternal years I have wanted to hoard a bit, and thanks to my already not-petite frame and my love of loose clothing and sweaters, I have been able to closely guard until the warmer temps have made it impossible.
Now, here we are a month away and my mind is full of what is to come, and still not quite able to fully grasp that there is going to be an infant demanding my time in the very near future.
The job of mommy is one that, at one point in my life, I had no desire whatsoever to hold. The position is so often thankless. It is never ending and you are on 24/7. It is frustrating beyond measure at times. It is dirty and sticky and smelly. The hours are absolutely abysmal and the pay utterly lousy. But then God made other plans for me and showed me that, while motherhood is indeed arduous, it has rewards beyond explanation, blessings far too numerous to count, and love — great big, magnificent love like nobody’s business.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.