I was not born to be a mother. I was not the little girl who dreamt about her wedding or the white picket fence that she would live her life in. I was not the girl who carried around baby dolls or Barbies, brushing their synthetic hair or kissing their plastic faces. You know what I played with? Dinosaurs. And mega blocks. I actually built dinosaurs out of the mega blocks.
For a while, I debated whether or not reproducing tiny versions of myself would be in the best interest of the world. I mean, I’m a pretty okay person but do I really deserve to be replicated?
My best friend had her baby when we were 22. I was in the waiting room with the rest of her family while she was in labor. I’ll never forget walking into her room and seeing that little girl in her arms for the first time. It was like magic. It was magical until the moment that she held her up towards me and asked if I wanted to hold her. I responded by throwing my hands in the air and quickly back pedaling, as if I were a child being handed the dreaded hot potato.
First of all, I didn’t want to her break her. And second? Well, at that point in my life I was oblivious to what motherhood entailed and was afraid that if I touched her that I might catch the baby fever too. It is contagious, after all.
My mother passed away when I was very young, so most of my life I have lived with only my dad. While I believe he did an exceptional job, there simply is nothing that can truly replace a girl’s mom. I learned that the hard way, one awkward encounter after another, after another.
Understandably, being raised by a southern, military man made me feel less than maternal. I thought I would have made a great dad- but a mom? Well, that was up for debate.
Eventually, I did get the baby fever (I said I wasn’t born to be a mother, not that I didn’t want to be one). I now have two boys under the age of two. And while I’d love to tell you that motherhood is all yoga pants and brunches, that’s not a fib that I’m willing to tell.
80% of the time, I’m okay. I’m more than okay, almost euphoric. If fueled with enough RedBull, I’m a rock star of a mother- making home-made, organic lunches while teaching manners and the ABC’s.
The other 20%…ha let me just tell you about the other 20%. The other 20% of the time is spent tip toeing around tiny blocks and crayons like I’m in a mine field. I wipe butts while holding my breath until I turn purple, and sometimes hide in the bathroom to gather my sanity. My reading material is light on the Emerson and heavy on the Seuss. My soul dies a little every time my toddler tosses my Home Goods throw pillows on the floor to make room for his Hot Wheels track on the arm rest of our once pretty, stainless couch. I chase around stubborn, hard headed boys and argue about juice. I work all day, yet accomplish nothing.
There are those moms out there that will judge me for this and wonder how any human could possibly take any second spent with their children for granted.Go ahead and judge me. Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn. I love my boys more than I could ever possibly put into words but I will never yearn for the day when I can wipe another butt.
But what about the other 80%? The other 80% of my time with my boys is spent laughing and playing with dinosaurs. It’s spent playing old records and dancing to James Brown. It’s spent jumping in puddles and racing tiny cars. The other 80% of my time is spent in awe wondering how I got so lucky. I spend that time watching them learn and grow and discover our big world. I spend that time thanking God for giving me these tiny tornadoes that are my sons.
Motherhood certainly isn’t for the weary. If you’re not ready, wait. Your ovaries are not going to spontaneously combust. Figure it out first. Nothing makes you realize what a selfish jerk you are quite like having a tiny human’s existence depend on your every move. It’s not for everyone, but as it turns out- it IS for me.
No, I wasn’t born to be a mother. I was born to be their mother.