Inside: Being a Mom is no picnic! But the moment you have a child, you become a sister in the motherhood sorority. This is my open letter to moms.
There’s something special about being a mom. It’s like an all inclusive sorority. If you put two moms in a room together, it won’t be long until they are talking about the joys and struggles of being a mother.
Today I want to salute you, my fellow Mommys. We’re in this together!
An Open Letter to Moms
Dear Mom Who Is Still Pregnant,
You are just learning what being a Mom is all about. You’re reading everything you can get your hands on. Learning how to diaper your baby without going broke. Should you bottle feed or breast feed? What type of pediatrician should you be looking for, and how can your body possibly get any bigger than it feels right now?
This is the hard part.
Everyone is telling you that you’d better sleep now, because you won’t when the baby arrives. That sounds great, if you could just avoid getting up to pee every 3 hours.
You’re hearing scary stories of babies who never ever sleep through the night and unthinkable stories of SIDS.
Take it a day at a time. You don’t have to enjoy being pregnant to love your baby.
What you’ll remember. Your body did an incredible thing. It grew a whole other human being that you’ll love for the rest of your life!
Dear Mom of a New Baby,
You have been launched into a whole new world, and you don’t even know which end is up. For some reason, the nurses at the hospital turned you totally lose with a tiny human. Now you’re responsible for figuring out this baby raising thing on your own!
You never knew a baby could cry so much. Except for when she doesn’t cry and sleeps for so many hours straight that you worry. Should I wake her and feed her? If I let her sleep now, will she sleep tonight? Is she even still breathing?
This is the hard part.
Everyone is telling you to cherish every moment, because it goes by so quickly. But every moment just seems to bring another thing to worry about. Diapers and feedings. And how to use that bulb thingy to suck out his nose. Who has the time to cherish these confusing moments?
If you are struggling to cherish every moment, try to remember that these moments do go quickly. But the good thing is that the moments that totally drain you go quickly, too.
And if it feels like the tough times will be around forever, remember that the days are long, but the years are short. One day you’ll wake up and realize that you’ve kind of got the hang of how to raise your baby. Your way.
What you’ll remember. The moments that your baby was content and snuggly will bring a smile to your face. How you would watch Dancing With the Stars, because it’s the only show you could enjoy without the sound on. You needed that, because your colicky baby screamed in your ears for hours. The scent of a newborn baby will always bring you right back to cuddling your own tiny baby.
Dear Mom of a Toddler,
You had no idea what you were doing to yourself when you encouraged your little one to learn how to walk. Now they toddle around behind you all day long, destroying the cabinet that you had just Kon Maried.
You were proud of yourself for choosing a library book and carefully reading it and pointing out pictures…until you discovered that your little darling ripped it in half. (Why did they tell you that board books were toddler proof?)
And honestly, the fact that they destroy everything in your home is something you could get used to. But you’ll never get over the heart stopping moments when they come running towards you with a sharp knife in their hands (oh, by the way…he figured out how to open the dishwasher). Or the moment she yanked out of your tight grip and ran towards a busy road.
This is the hard part.
Everyone smiles and says that you certainly have your hands full! Part of you wonders if they are judging your abilities as a mother. Meanwhile, you are just desperate to get out of the store before she eats another stick of butter from the back of your grocery cart.
What you’ll remember. The first glimpses into your child’s unique personality. One day they suddenly sang every word along with the radio, and you discovered that they’d been paying attention to small things all along. Some of your best stories about your child will be about that time when they were first learning how to walk and talk.
[Tweet “Dear Moms, This is the hard part. And the best part.”]
Dear Mom of an Elementary Student,
Remember when you thought you’d start saving money as soon as your kid was out of diapers and formula? Ah, the good old days. Nowadays you have to spend a fortune every month on fees, school projects, fundraisers, dances, uniforms, birthday parties, pictures, camps, and on and on.
Every night it’s a fight to get homework finished, pack a Pinterest worthy school lunch, make sure they are getting their chores done, and manage each of their special medical needs. Oh, and your third grader suddenly has to make a solar system out of recycled materials, and it’s due tomorrow. (Sorry, Mom. I forgot.)
Your head spins just trying to keep up with each child’s wants and needs, hopes and dreams. Let alone everything else that running a house requires.
This is the hard part.
Everyone says that you’re doing too much or too little with your kids. They are over scheduled. You aren’t doing enough activities with them, you must teach them these things while they are still young. They need more structure, more free time. The medicine you give them is poison. Why aren’t you/are you vaccinating??
What you’ll remember. How you managed to pull off that last minute science project. (After all, you kept it and it will hang in your hallway for years.) You somehow managed to figure out the best choices for your family. Life wasn’t perfect, but it was yours!
Dear Mom of a Tween,
What is that, even? A tween? Your child is learning how to be a middle schooler. He’s dropped those things that he loved doing not so long ago. Meanwhile, other habits that you thought for sure he’d have outgrown by this stage seem to have grown roots and will clearly be sticking around for a while.
The child who had great grades all throughout elementary school has suddenly decided to stop wasting time on things like homework and studying. Even if you make certain she is doing the work at home, you can’t watch her at school and make sure she doesn’t lose the paper in the bottom of her locker. She didn’t make honor roll for the first time ever, and now she has grades so low you aren’t even sure she’s going to pass the grade level.
This is the hard part.
Everyone says they are sympathetic to your plight of living with a middle schooler. Those moms that you have been in the trenches with over the years begin their sentences with “I love my child, but…”
What you’ll remember. The interesting sounds of the first band concert. Years of homework. The first real broken heart. The tough parts will stay with you, but so will the lessons learned.
Dear Mom of a Teenager,
You are watching your child grow into an adult. It’s a whole new world figuring out where and how to draw lines that let them grow and become who they are without letting them go too much so that they have no guidance. You don’t want them to make mistakes, but you’d rather they fail while they are still living at home and you can help them to get through it.
And sometimes they make a mistake so huge that you wonder where you went wrong parenting them. Did they absorb anything you’ve tried to teach them across all of these years?
This is the hard part.
Everyone says….well, not much. The Moms you used to trade war stories with over potty training and science fair projects aren’t sure how to talk about their teenage problems without losing the trust of their child. And you don’t know how to talk about the struggles with your child who was caught drinking while they are bragging about how their student got a full ride to college. Meanwhile, the other Mom doesn’t want to feel guilty for being proud of her daughter for working so hard to get that full ride.
What you’ll remember. You got.through.it. For better or worse, your child reached adulthood and is creating their own life.
Mama, I raise my glass of discount wine and a piece of my hidden chocolate stash to you.
Hey, at least let me help you plan a few meals!
Now let’s pop over to Facebook to celebrate the good and mourn the bad together.
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Love this, Jamie! Something for everyone! I’m a little shocked I had to go to the end of the list to get to “my” areas…when did that happen! 😉 Sharing!
Thanks for the share! It goes by so quickly, doesn’t it? Even though some of these sections seem to last for ages. The age old contradiction!
Beautiful and so, so true! I find myself in more than one of the categories. You are correct that this is the hard part. But it really is the best part, too. Thanks for the reminder!
Love it Jamie! I love how you reiterate, “this is the hard part.” I didn’t realize how hard mothering was. My kids are in college and I’m still saying, “this is the hard part.” Thank you for sharing and letting moms know they’re not alone! So important! 🙂
I suspected that it goes beyond the teen years! Thanks so much for reading!
They are all the hard part… and all the good part. 🙂 I have two teens, and some days I worry the hardest part is yet to come.
Thank you for these beautiful letters. I’m a mom to a toddler and it is hectic right now! I try to cherish these moments as I know we’ll be moving onto the next milestones here soon. Thank you for this reminder. I do hope that these are the moments we’ll never forget. #FFBH
This is so sweet! I have 5 kids, and some days are much harder than others. But I do try to always keep in the back of my mind that the hard days aren’t going to be what I will remember. It will be they way they looked, felt, things they loved, and the way they loved me that will hopefully always stand out! I found you on #FFBH and I am so glad I have!
I also have 5 kids at various ages. I have a lot of those same thoughts! Thanks so much for reading!
Mama, I raise my glass of discount wine and a piece of my hidden chocolate stash to you. Bwahahahaha!
Great post, and so true of every age. At least those I have survived so far.
Great encouraging ideas. Have a great mothers day.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.
author, Unlocking Parental Intelligence
I LOVE this post! Thank you so much. I am in the tween phase and feel like I am about to lose my mind daily. Thanks for linking to the Homestead Blog Hop!
Me, too! I always say that the kids make you crazy in different ways across the years. So you give different parts of your brain and body a little rest while you work out other parts. 😉 Thanks for hosting the Homestead Blog Hop, it’s one of my favorites!
My son is 19 and and my daughter 16 and this is so true and so, so beautifully written. Thank you <3 I remember and wish I could go back in time and just breathe in my children's beautiful milky smell when they were teeny tiny babies, the smell of sunlight in their hair when they've been outside all day, really listen to the questions they ask and the insights they give. Every moment goes by so quickly and before we blink they're independent gorgeous adults in the making.