My daughter turns ten today. Ten. TEN!!!!!!! That means I’ve been a mother for a decade. The most intense, beautiful, crazy, scary, exciting, exhausting, amazing, fulfilling, messy decade of my life. And as I reflect on these past ten years, I realize there is a lot that motherhood has taught me. About myself. About my kids. And about life.
- I am incredibly capable. Nothing has challenged me more or made me grow as much as motherhood has. Over the past ten years, I’ve realized how much I am truly capable of. I can survive on three hours of sleep for months (years!) on end. It’s not pretty, but I can do it. I can multitask like, well, a mother. I can create HUMAN BEINGS and love them and raise them and show them how to navigate this crazy, big bad world. I can do so much more than I ever imagined I could. I mean, I can even install a car seat!
- My heart is huge. I loved before kids. I loved hard. And deeply. But I never truly knew what it was to love someone so much you’d do anything, ANYTHING, for them before I became a mother. I would literally give my life for my kids. Literally.
- They are who they are. Before I had kids, I figured the whole business was about 90% nurture and 10% nature. Sure, my kids would be born with certain traits, but my stellar parenting would mold them into awesome humans. My kids are awesome humans. But they are their own, unique, distinct awesome humans and I’ve come to realize that the ratio is more like 90% nature and 10% nurture. They are born who they are and my job is basically not to screw them up too badly. And to get them snacks.
- Time is precious. My time is precious now that I’m a mother. I’m incredibly busy and don’t have time or energy for the stupid stuff in life. I don’t have time for girl drama. Or lousy friendships. Or doing things I hate. This lack of time has allowed me to focus on what’s important and chose only those things and people that bring me joy.
- Messy is OK. My house is a mess. My car is a mess. I’m a mess. And you know what? It’s OK. Despite the judgment of some, it’s OK that my house doesn’t look like it should grace the pages of a Pottery Barn catalogue.
- The simplest moments are the best moments. There’s a moment that will forever be etched in my memory. The kids were little. We were sitting on the front lawn doing absolutely nothing. The sun was shining. I took out a bubble wand and started blowing bubbles and the kids started chasing them, laughing with sheer delight. We sat there like that for hours. Chasing bubbles. It was a simple, magical moment and so much more special than any big, elaborate, expensive event ever was.
- I can’t do it all. I can’t. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. The end.
- Yoga pants are the best pants. Before kids I believed it was better to look good than to feel good. Now I couldn’t care less how I look. It’s all about how I feel. And yoga pants feel good!
- My body is amazing. My body made two people. It fed two people for months. It carried two people in it’s arms for years. It gets up every day and helps me be here for my kids. Motherhood has taught me to love my body in all of it’s lumpy, stretch-marked, saggy glory.
- Imperfection is perfection. I’m not perfect. My kids aren’t perfect. My marriage isn’t perfect. LIFE isn’t perfect. But it’s perfect in it’s imperfect, flawed perfection. And I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Happy Birthday to my big, little girl. I love you more than words can ever say. You are my heart, Miss A. All my heart.