I turned 33 last month and the month before that I had my first baby. In other words, I got started a little later than many of my friends. For years I was the single friend while they were all having their first baby and then I was the married-but-no-kids friend as they were working on baby number two or three (or more in some cases!). And honestly, I loved being that friend. It was great for so many reasons. I had the privilege of watching Godly women raise children and could take mental notes on the kind of parent I did and didn’t want to be. I also thought I was fairly empathetic and accommodating. I threw countless baby showers (which I love doing!), planned lunches around naps, watched children during bible studies, arranged dinners around bedtimes, and took meals to new moms.
But there was one thing I didn’t understand, and honestly, I probably didn’t try. I’d often see friends share articles on Facebook about how difficult being a mom was or post funny memes about parenting. I’d read comments referencing houses being in disarray or not getting anything done and wonder how that was even possible. One article in particular, titled This Stage of Life? It’s Hard, stood out. I remember reading through part of it and thinking, “Is it really THAT hard? And if it is, then why do people have multiple children?” Let the apology begin! I’m so sorry I didn’t understand. It is that hard! And I’m only seven weeks in. (This is the point where my mommy friend with multiple children smile and say, “Oh you have no idea.”) Foolishly, I thought I’d have it all together as a mom. I’d manage to still always be on time (Do they all poop as soon as you put them in the car seat?), I’d never get frustrated, and I’d have a ton of spare time. Welcome to reality! And oh how humbling it is.
…there are so many of these.
And suddenly the tiredness, the fact that my big goal of the day was doing two loads of laundry and I only did one, the art project I am having to complete in seven stages, and the spit up on my new sweater disappear. Everything fades away as she nestles against my chest. There is no higher calling than that of wife and mother. When I was pregnant multiple people told me motherhood would be the hardest and most rewarding thing I’d ever do. I’d smile and nod but I didn’t understand. I do now. Yes, it is hard, but it is so worth it.
So to all my mommy friends out there, I am sorry I didn’t understand. Thank you for grace. Thank you for being moms. I appreciate you!