‘The time will come too quickly, when they’ll be out the door.  Before you know it, those 18 years fly, and you’ll be wishing for the time back.’: Mom urges ‘take every day for what it’s worth’

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“‘Being a mom is easy,’ said NO mom ever.

Mom life. No one ever tells you how hard it’s really going to be. And the reality of it, is no matter what we deal with as a mom, we wouldn’t change the opportunity to have that title for anything.

A new baby…They bring an array of change into our normal everyday routines.

It means hearing crying, changing diapers, dealing with a significant lack of sleep, and feeling like a total mess half the time. Really, how many days in a row can you use dry shampoo?! It’s trying to keep straight what day it is, late-night feedings, and trying to catch a nap yourself. It’s acting like a stealth ninja to get out of your little one’s room after trying for hours to get them to go to sleep…and did I mention crying? That baby of yours and sometimes us mamas too!

But having a brand-new baby also means lots of wonderful things too. There’s nothing like that newborn baby smell. The snuggles, wrapping your arms around them, watching this child you helped bring into this world by the grace of God prosper and grow. It’s awesome. And what about that fuzzy feeling you get, seeing daddy’s sweet gaze as he looks at his new baby? It makes you love him even more than you did the moment before.

Then a few years pass and our babies aren’t babies anymore. Gosh, are they growing! They are now little toddlers running around, exploring this crazy world.

They are curious and mischievous, all in one. But boy do they have big hearts. They wear their feelings on their sleeve. They learn to walk, then run, and they test, oh they test, what they can and cannot do in this world around them.

Being a mom to a toddler is no easy feat. Sure, their chunky cheeks and adorable laughter could melt anybody in an instant, but this can be an ever-so-challenging stage as well. They love to question ‘Why?’ They go from a sweet and happy three-year-old to having the attitude of someone who’s turning 16. And oh, the tantrums! Who would have thought by telling someone to brush their teeth, could ruin their day? Come on now moms, how many of you have witnessed this one?! I’m pretty sure it’s their job at this age to fight you on taking a nap and having an answer of ‘NO’ to everything. Oh, and let’s not forget how the meaning of a ‘booty call’ with your husband has suddenly taken on new meaning when you hear your kid shouting from the bathroom, ‘Mommy I’m done pooping! Come wipe me!’ Ha-ha oh the joys!

And then there’s that bittersweet year they enter school. You thought five years, maybe six, felt like a lifetime when you delivered that sweet baby. And now as a mom, you’re faced with handing off your little one for someone else to step in and care for. I don’t know about you, but this mama had a heck of a time when kindergarten rolled around. But just like them, you learn to adapt too. This for sure, starts the crazy busy running around we all come to know. Practices, sports, extracurricular activities, homework, tests, this strange new thing of being around people you don’t know…All new beginnings. Being a mom to the school-age kid is about helping your child to grow. Helping them to learn who they are, and teaching them to lead by example and not to follow, which is not always an easy thing for them to do.

Mom-life brings new meaning in grade school. It’s kind of funny to see how your kid gravitates to somebody and as a result, you gravitate to making new friends as well. There is nothing like having a group of good moms you can talk to you about the joys, triumphs, challenges, and accomplishments of your kids because they know what it’s like to be in your shoes. They get you!

Then there is the dreaded ‘Middle School Years.’ I’m not going to lie; this one is hard. As a mom, I want to follow along and protect them from everything. But I’ve quickly realized I can’t. I am a Mama bear. I’ll own up to it any day. But I’m trying to let my kid find his way. This age is funny. They need us but don’t always want to admit it. They deal with mean kids. Can I tell you how much I can’t stand to hear how mean some kids are? They get their feelings hurt easily and don’t always know how to deal with what they’re feeling on the inside. Suddenly, they want to be ‘grown’ and have a girlfriend or boyfriend. They want to be cool. They spray on loads of cologne but don’t want to be bothered with showering. I wish I could put a shower in a can sometimes! And can we talk about dealing with the interest in the opposite sex at this point? Texting, social media…I can’t stand the drama sometimes. As a mom, I’m so not ready for this stage of the game. (Insert dad advice here). They are moody one minute and kind the next. I know I want to loosen the chain, but this age is also about proving they can be trusted. Did I mention I hate technology sometimes? What I’ve learned is to take all the hugs you can get, even if it’s not in front of their friends. They still need them and never forget to tell them you love them.

Then there are the high school years. Our family hasn’t made it there yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be fully gray by that point due to the stress of all the practices, projects, tests, driving, common core math, new friends, first relationships, their first kiss, first breakups, failures, successes, and all the small things in between. Teenage years bring it on…with all your eye-rolling, sighs, and sarcastic comments. As a mom, I just want to be there to see them through it…and I pray for the patience that I don’t rip my hair out at the same time. I’m excited to see them grow, learn of their perspective on life, and watching how they evolve into a young adult.

As for what happens next, whether college or career, I want my kids to know I am proud of the hard work they have put in. The time will come too quickly, when they’ll be on their way out the door, to start their own journeys. Gosh, just the thought makes me want to cry…but it also puts so much into perspective. We raise our children for such a short period of time…Cherish it! And I hope as they grow and age, they know mom will always be there with her door wide open.

So, all of you out there who call yourself mom…you wear so many different hats. You are a nurturer as you calm down your upset child who had their feelings hurt at school. You are a nurse who cleans the scraped knee that occurred while she was rescuing polar bears in the jungle during her imaginary expedition on the playground. You are the educator who is learning and studying alongside him as he works to succeed on his next big test. You are his coach, helping him to see just how awesome he can be and to keep encouraging him to work hard. You are their cook, their chauffeur, and their safe place. You name the hat, and we put it on. Mom life, plain and simple – is one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding roles we may ever play throughout our lives. So, own it. You are an amazing woman!

Understand things will not always be perfect. As moms, we feel like we must live up to the false perceptions this world invokes on us. Don’t ever feel like you aren’t doing enough. Just be there. I too, need to remind myself of this. I know  you may not always have your sh*t together, even though on the outside you appear to be a ‘perfect mom.’ And you need to know, that’s okay. Trust me, we’ve all had those moments…Missing a practice, getting locked out of the house and having to walk to school, sending my kid without lunch…these are just a few of my mom fails, but the list could go on.

So, as you stand on the sidelines of your children’s lives cheering them on, guiding them through the ins and outs of life, just realize every mom around you is working to be the best mom they can be too. And I get it…

Mommin’ ain’t easy!

We need to understand there are so many women around us, often going through many of the same issues we are experiencing as a mom. We need to remember to bring kindness and support, rather than the judgment of each other because we all are facing our own challenges and battles.

Mom life, the amazing and often scary responsibility of raising a child. Take every day for what it’s worth. Don’t wish for one stage to end and for another to begin too quickly. Before you know it, those 18 years fly, and you will be wishing for time to be given back to you. There will be good days and challenging days at each stage of the game. We will always be their moms and they will always be our babies, no matter how old they get. Take every hug you can get, kiss every boo-boo, listen to what happened during their day, give advice when they need it and a listening ear when they need to vent. Be their confidant.

And let’s not forget to take care of ourselves too. Learn to lower your expectations. You won’t do this mom thing without error, that’s for sure. You will make mistakes. Remember when you are thinking about the ‘perfect’ mom friend of yours…well she’s screwing up at times too. Mom-life is wonderful even in the wake of all the chaos. And don’t forget to pray, pray, and pray some more. I don’t know about you, but I am making it through this life by the grace of God!

So, to those of you who are mommin’ it, run forward with your head held high. Find the humor in life. Know between the yelling, swearing, and frustrations…there is love, laughter, and awesome memories being made with your kids. And to all the daddies, you are awesome too. This post was just for us gals this time around.”

Courtesy of Amber Lee

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amber Lee. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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