motherhood: not what I expected, yet so much more

people say it all the time: being a mom isn’t what i thought it would be. but i can’t think of any of my life experiences that have really turned out the way i expected or planned.

lovemy first kiss?
super awkward. why did our teeth just hit? i don’t recall this scenario when i watched leonardo decaprio and claire daines get their smooch on.

my first out-of-college job?
i’m not seeing spring break, fall break, and flag day, as well as the entire summer marked out on the calendars as holidays. is this a typo?

being married?
ohhhhhh, let me count the ways this has not been a hallmark channel love story.

having my first baby?
um. why can’t i have an epidural? wait. i’ve decided i’m just going to keep the baby in here. no? i mean, there’s always a first person to do something, right?

and the same goes for being a mother.
it’s not a montessori experience everyday, like i pictured it. we’re not painting daily or having circle time to share our emotions every afternoon. i mean, everyone’s sharing emotions, it’s just the really loud, chaotic kind of sharing usually characterized as “tantrums” (sometimes including me). and things are certainly getting painted, like that time my little girl painted the basement couch a lovely maroon color in an incredibly short period of time. note to self: acrylic paint isn’t that  washable.

as mothers, there are too many unplanned experiences. too many sacrifices to count. too many things we give up. too many situations that are unfair. too many unanswered questions. too many worries to battle. too many spills to clean up and playground scuffles to mediate.

yet, this is exactly what being a mother is: a lot of unplanned and difficult. and for some reason, i look back and cherish all of that because it has made me become the person i am. it’s made me laugh as hard as i ever have. it has made me more compassionate toward others. it has made my love for my children grow even deeper and it makes what i had planned for my life seem silly and unfulfilling.

so no, mothering isn’t  what i thought it would be. but it’s so much more. not in an overly sentimental, vinyl sign way. in the way that shows we’ve seen the worst of each other and yet, we still choose love. this deep love is better than anything i’ve seen in the movies and anything i could have imagined. all from something unplanned and unknown, difficult and daunting. and i wouldn’t go back for the world.

jami-natoJami Nato is a wife and mother to three with one in the oven. When she’s not blogging or speaking, she enjoys not doing laundry, drinking margaritas (when not prego), and long walks with usually screaming children. She blogs at From the Natos.

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