Before I had children, I would sometimes picture what kind of mother I would be to my kids one day. I really really wanted to be the “cool mom” from Mean Girls as long as I could be respected by my kids as well as listened to. I imagined being a working mom of two beautiful, well-behaved children who never threw a tantrum, and read books all the time (rather than watching Frozen over and over and over.. and over).
Next thing I knew I was two kids deep into life and reality finally set in.
I’m not the mother I thought I would be.
And there’s a secret side to motherhood that I never knew existed.
I never wanted to be the mom who said “no” all the time, or the mom who constantly yelled about things that don’t actually matter at the of the day.
Or the mom who took her frustrations out on her kids some days because she’s only one person and can only take so much.
I wasn’t aware of the sleepless nights and how impossible it is to catch up on sleep when you’re a mom. I never thought of the challenges that came with raising two kids and I never knew how scary it could be when one of the babies gets sick.
I never knew I’d be that mom who let her toddler scream in the checkout line while everyone stared at her.
I’m certainly not excited that I turned into this nagging monster who just nags nags nags through the days like it’s a full-time job.
When I was young and pictured myself as a mother, I never imagined crying in the pantry for a brief second so my kids couldn’t see.
It never crossed my mind as a child that I would be the one who was in charge of keeping the house tidy and the laundry done, or what we were having for dinner and how it was getting made (which might be the hardest part of this whole job).
I swore to myself I wouldn’t be like my mother (by the way who is great, I was just a dumb kid). There was no way I was going to tell my kids to be home by dinner and they couldn’t go out on a school night. I remember telling myself I wouldn’t be that strict with my kids.
I’m not the mom who plans her child’s outfits out the night before and hangs them on their door with a cute little note attached to it. I’m not the mom who gets pictures done for every holiday and season. I’m not the mom who knows what she’s doing at all most of the time.
I’m not going to lie, at one point in my life pre-kids, I seriously thought I was going to cruise around town in my white SUV, blasting music from the 2000’s and sipping on my caramel iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, all while my daughter was in the back seat bopping her head to the music. I pictured us doing mommy-and-me yoga three times a week and afterwards hitting the local cafe for lunch, just the two of us.
I imagined us going on play dates at the park with my best friends and their little ones, and sometimes having sleepovers with kids sprawled out on the living room floor and the moms in the kitchen sipping on wine and reminiscing on old times. And while I wish this were true sometimes, it’s just not.
I’m not the mother I thought I would be.
But yet, here I am.
Yelling at my toddler for dumping her whole bowl of cereal onto the fresh vacuumed carpet. Feeling guilty after every little mistake I make.
Throwing my own tantrums because I’ve just had enough for today. Saying “no” to just one more piece of candy.
I knew I was impatient before, but I was never this bad, was I?
I’m not the mother I thought I would be. And I don’t plan on ever being her.
There’s so much I wish that I wasn’t, but there’s so much more that I’m happy I am.
I never thought I would laugh as much as I do with my kids. I never imagined sitting on the floor with them, hooked on an animated movie, while playing with blocks.
I never knew it’d be so hard to watch my babies grow into little humans, and get so so old, but I also never knew how wonderful it would be hearing your “baby” learn new words and phrases.
The little snuggles at the end of the night and the random hugs when I’m cooking dinner, or the sound of laughter coming from your kids playing together are some things too magical to ever know when you’re picturing your “perfect family” at a young age.
I’m nowhere near the mother I wanted to be when I was young. I’m full of random acts of love & fun, but also outbursts of tears and angst. I can’t be seen bopping to music of the 2000’s in my high-end SUV, and you definitely won’t find me at mommy-and-me yoga three times a week. Maybe you’ll see me in the kitchen sipping on wine, but I’m usually alone and my kids are in bed. There’s not a clean house and the laundry is practically never folded and put away.
I don’t strain to be that mother my young self wanted me to be because I don’t want to be her anymore.
Instead, I’m just me. A mom to two beautiful, wild children whom I love more than anything in this world. And all that’s that matters, is that they know I’m trying my best and that they are deeply loved. However, I do hope to one day hear my kids say I’m like the “cool mom” from Mean Girls.
I’m not the mother I thought I would be, but I’m so much more than I ever could have imagined.