I was wrong about being a mother

So, in order to challenge its bloggers, Chicago Now invites us to participate in a writing exercise where we have 6o minutes to draft and publish a post. It’s sadistic. And fun. Kinda like sadistic fun. The topic chosen for us tonight is as follows: Write about a time when you made a mistake or were wrong about something.

I spent the first 10 minutes of this challenge living in a delusional land where I was never wrong and made no mistakes (and unicorns flew overhead). Then, I realized that I’m wrong about a lot of shit. Like, a lot. There was that time that I thought overalls were “trendy.” Or that time that I figured nothing would happen to my drink if I just went outside for a minute (holy hell, I was trippin’ balls). There were my five college majors. There was that time I called my now husband and told him it wasn’t working out. So, I’m wrong a lot and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Thankfully, I’ve got some insanely wonderful friends and family in my life, and they’ve forgiven me for most of it.

I think the implication here is supposed to be that a mistake is something you regret and being wrong is something you are supposed to feel bad about. Whelp, I don’t necessarily see it that way. And, I’m about to throw my biggest “I was wrong” out there. Ready?

I was wrong about just how difficult it is to be a mother. Remember that land of delusion I mentioned earlier? I was a resident for some time. I thought that my experiences as a teacher had prepared me for motherhood. I could control large groups of children—nay, even make them happy from time to time. I figured that it would be much easier to mother one child than it would be to teach 30. I was wrong.

I think that there is little out there that could simulate what motherhood holds. It seeps into every fiber of your being. It changes your eating habits, your sleeping habits, your foul-mouthed speech habits. You learn more about yourself and your sensibilities in one sleepless night holding a feverish baby to your chest and crying,hoping that everything will be okay. You learn to see joy in a different way. You learn patience (or just how little you actually have), you learn tolerance. You learn how to hold your own tears back to make someone else happy. You also learn a love that fills you so completely that you are very sure you might burst. And, you cannot imagine life without a little hand to hold.

I thought motherhood was going to be easy. It is not. It is so hard. But, it is worth every tear, every missed hour of sleep, every night in, and every sacrifice you can think of. Motherhood, thankfully, makes use of all my tragic mistakes—every failure I’ve endured or incorrect road I’ve traveled has helped me be the mother I am today. I’ll be able to spot a lie or smell a joint a mile away (you know, just in case I need to). I’ll know how to mend a broken heart, or calm an insecurity.  At least I think I will (please, please, please let me be able to do these things for my boys), but I’ve been wrong before, and I’m sure I’ll be wrong again.

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Filed under: Parenting, Uncategorized

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