Before kids, I had grandiose visions of what motherhood would be like, and what type of mother I was going to be. I thought I had it all figured out as I played classical music to my unborn bundle of joy. I was already making him smarter, and he wasn’t even born yet.
Cloth Diapers, homemade baby food and the PTA, that was what I envisioned in my future. Leisurely strolls through the park and baby sign language would occupy our free time. The only thing missing from my fantasy – the other Stepford Wives I hadn’t met yet.
You see, somehow I was under the impression that upon the birth of their children all mothers were granted newfound wisdom and a healthy dose of super-human energy. How else was I going to raise the next Einstein, keep my house Pinterest perfect and cook three healthy home-cooked meals every day?
Needless to say I was in for a rude awakening. I was not visited by the motherhood fairy. That infinite motherly wisdom that I was counting on…nope. I was forced to let go of my Type A perfectionism, and wing it.
I was used to exceling in everything I took on, and not knowing what the hell I was doing was devastatingly unsettling. Those cloth diapers -never happened. I have complete admiration for those of you who are able to make that work, but my world was rocked to the core. And this motherhood thing was not as easy peasy as I daydreamed it would be, so those eco-friendly cloth diapers were the first of my lofty visions to get cut from the team.
My vision and my reality could not have been more different. I was lucky to get one meal on the table a day, who was I kidding with three? Neither me nor my house was perfectly put together. I considered it a win if I was wearing a shirt without spit-up on it.
Expectations aside, I settled in to my new role of motherhood when I wasn’t even looking. Between feedings, diaper changes and severe sleep deprivation it just happened -naturally. To my surprise the wisdom came naturally too. Just like all mothers before us promised it would.
I realized that motherhood isn’t an instant shift, it is a gradual transformation. The instinct and knowledge is hard won, and the motherhood badge is valiantly earned. I was learning just as much about myself, as I was about this little stranger. I learned to let go of my expectations and trust my gut. And that I was braver and stronger than I could have ever imagined.
Seven years and another boy later I am still learning.
I am sitting here in my living room, with Legos and Pokemon on the floor. The reflection upon the journey that has brought me here, to this moment, in this noisy, messy boy-filled house makes my heart overflow -like the laundry baskets waiting to be attended to. I barely recognize the daydream I used to have, and laugh out loud at the absurdity of it.
So, I’m not the Mom I thought I would be -I’m still me. I don’t have a Pinterest worthy room in my house. I struggle every single week with what the hell I am going to make for dinner. I didn’t suddenly discover an undying passion for jeans that reach my armpits, and never once have I cleaned my children’s face’s with my own spit. I’m a crafty mom, and sometimes a sweary mom. I’m the mom next door. My journey was not nearly what I had planned or expected, and I wouldn’t change a thing.