Guest Post by Christa Terry: The Biggest Thing That No One Will Tell You About Motherhood
February 6th, 2015

Is that it’s the little things. They add up for better or for worse. If you’ve ever wondered how children can be both so loveable and so infuriating, that’s why. It’s the same reason you adore your spouse but can still wake up some days asking yourself how you possibly got married in the first place. Why a really good doughnut can brighten your day as quickly as getting cut off in traffic can ruin it.

Becoming a mother is big. A huge change. Suddenly, as the saying goes, you’re carrying a piece of your heart outside of your body. Your life will literally never be the same. And yet so much of your old life has followed you. Maybe work. Definitely laundry. Hopefully good friends who are happy to sit with you on a Thursday afternoon while you wonder if you’re really a good enough mother.
motherhoodIt’s hard to say why no one tells you ahead of time that when you’re a mom the little things can drive you crazy. Like how you’re the only one who ever cleans the base of the toilet. The one who washes all the bottles. The one who gets up with the baby night after night. The one who is somehow responsible for feeding everyone else even though most members of your household should be perfectly capable of opening a refrigerator door and firing up the stove.

Being a mom will feel like a giant drag some days.

A lot of moms won’t admit it, but it’s true. The newborn days are magical but they’re also long and can be lonely once sleep deprivation kicks in and the first glow of motherhood wears off.
But don’t spend time worrying about it because the small stuff will make your heart sing, too. A baby’s first smile is such a tiny thing. So is the flutter of sleepy eyelashes against your cheek and the feeling of warm, sweet breath on your neck as your little one nestles down into the curves of your body like you were built for nothing else. The hundredth crayon-scrawled love note with atrocious spelling will make you smile as much as the first or the fifth.

Because being a mom is the best thing in the world on other days.

And yet as low as the lows can be and as high as the highs will take you, motherhood doesn’t change much from day to day. Life is what happens when the little things stack on top of each other. A moment passes and you’re suddenly a mother. You slip teeny little socks on teeny little feet and then suddenly those feet are barreling toward you like mad. And then those feet are walking across a commencement stage and you’re wondering how many little things you missed in between.
Which is why the little things matter. Motherhood is as much a first step as it is a coat thrown onto the floor right next to the coat hook for the hundredth time. As much a pudgy fist looped around your finger as it is a toddler who is going through a hitting phase. The truth is that motherhood as a whole is just a mishmash of all the small stuff that on any given day is either touching your soul or driving you bananas.

You won’t love every minute of being a mom but you’ll love the whole. The trick is to focus on the little things that bring you joy and to let go of the ones that bring you anything but. Someday your kids will hang up their coats when they step into the house that’s not their house anymore, and you may find you wish you’d spent less time mumbling grumpily to yourself about the pile of coats and hats and boots that for two decades never seemed to go away.

Time will fly by no matter what. But when you concentrate on the good, at least you can enjoy the ride.

motherhoodChrista Terry is mom to two rather small but incredibly loud humans and is also one of the founders of Mom Meet Mom, a web app that helps mom friends meet. She blogs at Hello, Mamas! (pro) and I Know How Babby Is Formed (personal) when she’s not otherwise busy making working motherhood look easy. She can also tap dance and speak German, which she’d like to believe makes her sound interesting but probably just makes her sound weird.

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