Motherhood- A True Story.


The greatest calling I've ever answered. 

And the most disgusting adventure I've ever taken. 

All wrapped up into one chaotic, never-ending, beautiful, messy, love-filled, crazy package. 

Er, four packages.

Since there are four children. 

I've been reflecting a lot on motherhood recently. Specifically over the last four days. 

I have never felt so deeply entrenched in motherhood. Which says a lot since I've been doing this for a while.

But here's the thing. I'm potty training. I'm potty training my littlest child. The last one still in diapers. The strong-willed, independent, his-way-or-the-highway, stubborn, adorable, cocky little ba.... baby. 

And it's not going well. 

Understatement of the freaking year. 

To be honest, it's not going AT. ALL. 

This child, this sweet, beautiful, smart, headstrong child, straight out refuses to learn. He will not even begin to make anything resembling progress. 

Sure, he'll go if I threaten him with my arsenal of mom threats and physically put him on the potty. But I'm not kidding you, this child has no issue with just peeing wherever he pleases. Including on his brother's toys. He will literally sit down on the potty for a half hour, stand up and pee on the floor directly in front of the potty.  

He doesn't care that I make him clean it up or change clothes six times a day.

He doesn't care that I'm near tears and frustrated beyond what my sanity should have to suffer. 

He does. not. care. 

And the worst of it? The very worst of it??? He has the Peter Pan Complex of a lifetime! 

I say, don't you want to be a big boy??? He says, I'm a baby!!!

I say, don't you want to go to school? You have to be potty-trained to go to school! He breaks down into tears and cries, "I don't want to go to school. I don't want to be late!" 

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a direct quote. 

Let's not examine too closely that he's apparently heard the phrase, "WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE!!!" shouted one too many times during the early morning rush so that he is now assuming he will be late to the school he's not even old enough to go to yet. 


We'll save that for a different blog. 

Moving on. 

The truth is, I've been through this rodeo more than once. I know better than to push an unwilling child. Especially one so damned determine to have it his way. But the thing is... I'm on a deadline. I leave for Orlando at the end of this month and he cannot be in diapers for the three days he'll have to spend in daycare. 

I have ten days to get him in underwear full time. 

Ten days to work a freaking miracle. 

Or come up with Plan B. 

Obviously, I'm working on Plan B. But it would just be SO much easier if he would just do things my way the easy way.

And yet, I know that's asking too much. That's asking way way way too much. 

And so all of this has me pondering the point of life... my sanity... motherhood. 

There is nothing else like it in the world. Never are we asked so much. Never are we expected to sleep so little, perform at our 110% every second of every day. And never ever are we required to love so deeply, from the very center of our bones, with all of our hearts and souls and lives. 

Motherhood is the greatest thing I have ever done. And yet sometimes I wonder if it's not also the worst? 

I am, after all, a human being. A flawed, faulted, messed-up human being. And I'm in charge of raising four little human beings. That will one day (God-willing) be independent, voting, functioning adult human beings. 

I'm responsible for that. 



This person right here. 

The person that recently tripped over a toy dump truck, skidded across the kitchen floor, landed on a different toy and sliced open the bottom of my foot while also severely bruising my arch. Then not two hours later, I stabbed my thumb with our sharpest knife and bled all over my dishwasher. 


I'm the person in charge of four little people. 

But that's how motherhood is. It's both sides of the coin. Of every coin. It's a dichotomy at it's finest. It's both joy and heartache, beauty and chaos. It's love and fear. And hope and worry. It's all of these things and so much more. 

And so during my philosophical freak out examination, I devised a list of five different multiple personalities contrasts that Motherhood is. 

What does it mean to be a mother. 

1. It means that you are simultaneously the most anal germophobe on the planet and yet somehow have become desensitized to every disgusting bodily function there is.

Mothers drive the market in antibacterial soap. We might be the only people buying it actually. Other than hospitals and doctor's offices. And actual germaphobes. It's really more of a life philosophy. We don't believe soap is just for the bathroom and kitchen sink. Oh no. We clip that shit on everywhere. I have 481 travel bottles of antibacterial soap in my house. They go in my purse, on my purse, in my diaper bag, on my kids backpacks, in our coolers, on our trips, to the pool, to the park, to the grocery store, to the mall (Ick. Especially to the mall. That place is a bacteria breeding ground.), to every single restaurant, to the doctor's office, to grandma's house, on every freaking play date because we can't possibly know what kind of plague that other child is carrying and who knows when his mother last bathed him, to church- Jesus takes care of our insides, but He does not wash those door handles white as snow. And let's not even talk about the nursery. *violent shudder* 

The point is, we power wash our children in antibacterial and yet, we are completely fine with every disgusting, grotesque, slimy, mucousy, poopy, snotty, slobbery thing that comes out of them. I am elbows deep in poop and pee. And I'm fine with it. Snot? Here, let me get it with my fingers. Oh, your pacifier dropped on the gas station bathroom floor?? Let me just suck on it for a second. It'll be fine. We're having lunch right now and you want to talk about the upcoming election? I'm going to stop you right there because my four-year-old has explosive diarrhea like you would not believe and I'm going to need to tell you all about it. In detail. With pictures I took with my phone and uploaded to Instagram. I hope you're enjoying your enchiladas. They look delish.

I'm a professional at shmutz scrubbing. Do you know what shmutz is? It's the crusties you get on your face from a variety of different things. And I'm the real deal. All I have to do is lick my thumb and wipe your face and you look picture perfect. You're welcome random stranger I met at the DMV the other week. Your face needed it. 

2. It means you both love school. And hate it. 

You love it because... the children!!!!!!! There are so many of them! And you cannot possibly be the only one responsible for their upbringing. You need someone else to blame. You need for their future therapist to be able to point fingers at someone else. You need them to learn things that you cannot possibly be expected to know yourself! Like math for example. Or spelling. 

You also need for them not to kill each other. 

You guys, it is survival of the fittest around here and if my children do not get a break from each other, someone is literally going to lose an eye. 

Or a toe. 

Possibly a larger appendage.

But you also hate school because... THE CHILDREN!!! And every time they go, they learn more and grow more and become more of these people that they are supposed to be. They leave you in the morning and when they come home, they are older. And wiser. And they're one step closer to flying the nest and entering into adulthood. And that sucks. Also sometimes they come home from school and suddenly know more than you. 

And that is not okay, because you have got to remain the final authority in your household. You cannot have independent thinkers running around thinking that they know better than you!! That is for later. Much later. When they move out. But right now, you need them to think you are the smartest person they've ever met so that they still believe you when you tell them that you're in charge.  

But let's get real. Let's have a moment of honesty. The honest-to-god reason we hate school is because it is EVERY FREAKING DAY. For nine months out of the year, five days a week, we have to be up early. Way too early. We have to be ready to go. We have to have eaten breakfast. A good breakfast. Not just half a pop-tart and a handful of M&Ms. But like a legit breakfast. With milk. We have to leave the house. And sometimes it's raining. And sometimes it's cold outside. And sometimes it's actually snowing. And we have to go to school. Every day. And then in a couple hours- way less hours than you thought it was going to be once upon a time- you have to go back to school and pick them up.

The people at my kids' school have seen me in ways that no living person should be able to testify to. Hair out to there. No makeup. No bra. Wearing three day old sweats with the worst coffee breath. And they see it. Day after day after day because school is five full days a week. 

It's the worst.

3. It means that we can multitask as if we had eight arms but we can't remember that the trash goes out tomorrow. 

There is this hour of the day that is so chaotic... so out of control... so completely packed with mayhem, I'm honestly surprised I have survived for this long. 

This hour is called the Vortex of Hell Dinner Hour. 

Let me set the scene for you. We've made it home from school (again.), I'm helping my girls with their homework as they sit at the table while I'm trying to potty-train the three-year-old. I'm also trying to keep my four-year-old from eating us out of house and home before I get dinner on the table. (He's a locust, I swear. He walks into the room and just starts consuming everything within reach. I'm worried he's not human.) I have to shout to be heard over the subtle roar caused by four children being in the same room as each other. I'm shrieking spelling words, math problems and in the stickiest, sweetest voice imaginable, screaming, "Did you get your pee pees out? Don't get up until your pee pees are out!" He's up. He's so up. Now he's running around the house like a maniac clothed in only a shirt. Hopefully by this point, he's decided to press his half-naked body against our front windows so that the entire neighborhood can check out his junk. I abandon the dinner I'm furiously making- so that the savages don't starve to death and start eating each other- to chase down the baby, plunk him back on the potty and threaten him with everything I can think of. And when that doesn't work, I start bribing. He's got me up to a brand new car and thirty-six straight hours of Paw Patrol. And I don't care. I will do anything at this point. I go back to dinner. Make a snack for the four-year-old just to get a moment of peace out of him(aka, put something in his mouth to quiet him for five whole minutes), start up with the spelling words again and the math and oh, shoot!! I have to take a casserole to church tomorrow! Start working on that too. Why not?? I'm already in the kitchen and it's dirty. I'm probably also involved in at least three text messaging conversations, phone tag with my mother and mentally plotting out the next chapter of my current work in process. BOOM. Homework gets done. Dinner gets on the table. The baby is not potty trained, but he did sit on the potty for a full three minutes(Success!!!) and I have just devised the hottest makeout scene between two supernatural teenagers of my life. 

I am a multitasking goddess. 

Just don't ask me my kids' names. 

Or my name.

Or who the president is or what the date is or where my husband left his keys??? 

But if you could remind me that Friday is picture day, that would be fantastic. Because I've definitely just filled out the forms but already forgotten about it so my kids are most likely going to show up in their rattiest clothes with their hair dangerously askew and red-Popsicle teeth. 

4. It means that I am the sweetest person on the planet until you mess with one of my kids. Then I will cut a bitch. 

You guys should know that I love Jesus. I really do. But if you so much as look at my kid wrong, I will run you over with my minivan. And if I go to prison for vehicular manslaughter because of you, who will be there to raise my babies???? 

Do you know what I mean? I am a nice, decent human being. I smile at my neighbors. If we pull up to a four-way stop at the same time, I wave for you to go first. I don't scam Groupons. I buy Girl Scout Cookies. I am an upstanding citizen. 

Until it comes to my kids. Then I am Mama Bear. 

I can't help it! There is a switch that is flipped when someone messes with my children. My eyes bulge, my breathing speeds up and I Hulk-out right there on the playground. I don't want it to happen. I would love to remain a rationally thinking adult. I would love to continue swapping recipes with you and talking potty-training tips. But woman, if you don't get your psycho child off my sweet, adorable, innocent one, I'm going to have to say things we will both regret. You probably more than me. Because this shit is about to get real personal. 

Okay, that is an exaggeration. I'll own up to it. But in truth, I have never been an aggressive person until I had children. And even if I don't viciously attack your fashion choices for the afternoon, I never knew I was capable of protecting something like I am my child.  

5. It means that you love them so much that you completely structure your life around them, that all you think about is their well-being and how you can improve their quality of life and give them the best childhood imaginable. But it also means that you cannot wait for them to get out of your house. 

I love these children like I have never known love. They are my life. I mean that. Everything I do, I do for them. But there has been a silent count down clock in my head since the moment of their birth and it constantly ticks down to that blessed day of high school graduation. 

It has it's own theme song. (That okay, slightly resembles Jeopardy.) It has neon flashing lights and a sparkling border. And it is always there. 


And it's counting down to one significant moment. 

When hopefully they will remove themselves from my house, go off to a good college and never move back home again. 

You guys, if I am doing my job right as a parent that means one day they HAVE to move on. One day they must become grownups and learn to fly on their own. They have to figure out how to find housing and pay bills and drive cars and get married and raise children of their own. 

That means I only have eighteen short, precious years with them before they leave me forever. 

And I am both so incredibly excited for that day and dreading it like a death sentence. All at the same time. 

How can they leave me??? After EVERYTHING I've done for them??? 

Although, I suppose it's better than, WHY WON'T THEY LEAVE??? WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG? 

They're beautiful and opinionated. And I want them to one day be successful in their own right. So I have to eventually let them go. I have to relinquish my control and hope that they really do know more than me. 

But it will be okay if they come home too. 

I might even do their laundry if they bring it. 

And that's motherhood. The good, the bad, the ugly. But also, the oh, so beautiful. I love these kids. Even though they gave me split personalities and severe memory loss. I love them so much, I'm willing to keep living in these dichotomies, both sides of them. 

I even love them enough to potty train them. 



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