what they never tell you.

As I lay awake at night...unable to fall asleep, I think about a lot of things.
One of the main themes, among others, are the things they never tell you about being a parent.

Yes, we all hear that it is hard.

Um, no.
Calculus is hard. Working out everyday is hard. Learning Latin? Hard.
Avoiding hideous fashion trends...hard. Leaving the last chocolate chip cookie for your cookie loving husband...hard!

Parenting is a whole new level of difficulty.
Parenting, when done right, is like a never. ending. marathon.
It is voluntary forced selflessness. When done right.

It is saying goodbye to sleeping in, worrying about yourself, eating hot food and being alone with your husband.

At least for a while...you DO get these things back, right? Eventually?

You say so long to eating treats during the day...I don't know about you but I eat nothing during the daylight hours that I am not prepared to share...now with TWO other mouths.

You say goodbye to the body of your youth.
You buy diapers instead of new clothes.
You live off of chocolate and coffee.
And less than five hours sleep a night.

You say hello to 24 hour job shifts.
7 days a week.
No sick days or holidays.
Forget pay.

You give yourself over to someone else completely...as completely as a human can.
If you are doing it right.
Your every moment is revolving around the needs of others.
Little others.
Impressionable others.
Who are completely dependent on you.
For everything.
For food, clothing and shelter.

And beyond that...love, kindness, patience, respect, guidance.

And beyond that you have to teach them everything.
What matters, what doesn't.
Who matters and who doesn't.
Colors, shapes and how to be kind to their brother.

They look to you for every answer. Big AND small.

You worry all the time and question every move you make.
You doubt yourself and your abilities.
You doubt you.

You worry and worry.
Are they eating enough veggies?
Are they playing well enough with others?
Are you going to mess them up forever?

You pray. and pray. and PRAY. and pray.
You learn more about God than ever before.

You become DESPERATE for Him.
Because this is a job that you cannot, should not, do alone.

You cuddle and love and savor every moment.
Because time really does fly.

You fall in love with your husband more...as you see the type of father he is.
If you are doing it right.

They never tell you that parenthood is a perpetual cycle of mourning and rejoicing.
You are so happy to see them growing and developing.
You are so sad to realize that they are not babies anymore.
You can't wait to hear them say your name.
You dread the end of being a nursing mom.

You give them everything you have.
Even the things you didn't know you had to give.
You really DO have a lot to give.

They never tell you that by having your own child you
will forever feel and understand the grief of any mother...anywhere.
That by having a child you will be forever baffled by the choices that some parents make.
If you are doing it right.
You learn a lot.
And I can't think of another way I would want to learn it all.
They are the best teachers. Kids.
They are hard on you and don't accept late work.
They demand your best.

And you can't afford to give them anything less.

And I PRAY that I am doing it right.


La TempĂȘte said...

It is truly exhausting. And a big gummy grin makes it all worthwhile, and then, we start afresh. I can totally empathise.

Cristi - 2 If By Sea said...

Wow, Crystal! Phenomenal post!!! I can SO relate to each and every post you do about raising your boys. Almost to the letter actually! I have 2 boys as well, 4 and 2.

I think as mothers we all struggle, because we take on so much and have to be the one that's there for EVERYONE. You know, "GMS", Guilty Mother Syndrome. In turn we forget about ourselves as individuals. That's where my burnout comes into play. I'm always left, at the end of each day of taking care of others, asking myself, what about me? Who's talking care of my needs? This is my biggest issue with motherhood.

I love my boys to pieces and wouldn't trade them for the world. I just hope I'm doing right by them.

Be blessed! You rock girl!

Nancy said...

Don't worry... you are in the depths right now. The sleep gets better. though you will never sleep soundly again. At least, that is my experience. But, I agree it is not"hard". It is a job that you NEED God to guide and support and give you his grace and understanding. Without that, I don't think I could do it. THere are so many days I am not Mother of the YEar, but I know that God gave me these specific 2 girls for a reason and I am honored to be chosen for the task.

1 Funky Woman said...

Oh I so agree. My kids are 5 and just turned 10. It is so exhausting since at every age there are new issues. There are certain things I miss about being childless, like showering, I still don't always get one its true, sitting and reading a book (more than one page without an interuption) but I realize that at the end of the day how lucky I am. I do love the questions they ask the sitting in your lap or needing a huggle as we call it, but I do miss the time with my husband because it seems that by the end of the day we just fall into bed and forget to see how each other is doing. In the end it is exactly where I am suppose to be, although I pray to God everyday and ask "Are you sure I'm the right person for this job!" I know this is his plan no matter how hard some days can be!

Hang in there Mom, you are doing a great job, they are darling!


Whimsical Creations said...

Fabulous post! Having kids is the hardest most rewarding job I have ever had.

kaylin rose and mara anne said...

i agree with you...it is the hardest job i have ever had in my life.

hang in there...it looks like you are doing wonderful!

Mrs. McKenzie's Monograms said...

I bookmarked your blog a while ago - can't remember why - but after deciding to check in and reading your post today, I realized it must have been because your writing is beautiful and your post made me remember what being a mom with young children was like.

My kids are grown; one is in college and the other works on the other side of the world.

You are right, being a mother is the ultimate teacher of patience, selflessness and love. Being a mother never really gets easier, just different, as your children grow and become adults. There will be times when your teenager tells you that you've done it all wrong and you'll have to remind yourself that you always did the very best you could and did it out of love for your child.

In the end, though, you'll start to get time back for yourself, for what you and only you want to pursue. Some habits will be hard to change though. Everyday at 5:00 p.m. I feel I must stop whatever I'm doing to start dinner. Then I remember the kids are gone, my husband usually works very late and I can eat whenever and whatever I want! It's a delicious feeling!

Beth said...

this is so great! posting a link...

Heather K. said...

Very well said! Thank you for a honest, revealing and heartfelt post. Being a mother is an extraordinary experience, one that is hard to fully explain but you have done a stellar job.

Mama Thompson said...

Amen! It's nice when someone else can put to words exactly what I am feeling and experiencing...and to know...that I am not alone in all this! Just by what you have said...I hope you do know that you are so doing it all right!

Mama Thompson said...

Amen! It's nice when someone else can put to words exactly what I am feeling and experiencing...and to know...that I am not alone in all this! Just by what you have said...I hope you do know that you are so doing it all right!

venus said...

I am a mother, the adult. And I have SO much to learn. My daughters are the greatest teachers. I have learned a lot and continue to learn.

Your children are the greatest gifts you can ever leave behind when you pass. They are your legacy, an extension of you, to carry on the values you instilled.

I think there are key points in their journey of growing up that will let you know, you are doing it right. Sophia, is 12. It's her first year in junior high. There are pressures... mean girls... boys... friends... situations... all in which she has been completely open with me so far. Her actions and decisions on how to handle things has made me so proud of her... so far. This is one of the many "tests" they will face and what they do is how you will know if you're doing it right.

You are doing great. Keep doing what you're doing and eventually, you will know.

Have a great weekend, friend!!!

{malerie} said...

How beautiful! It's a hard job- but it's worth it. Thank you for the encouragement this morning!

The Sterks said...

So beautifully put! Motherhood is a lifetime job and unlike any other. Not a single one of us will ever/can ever be perfect. But God is so faithful to make up the difference for all of our shortcomings! You're so right: if we do it right...we will pray continuously for the supernatural ability to do it right. And being aware of and actively seeking all of this is a good sign that He is in fact enabling us to do it right :). Thank you for the encouragement and I pray that you are encouraged as well. ~Jennifer

sassypackrat said...

You ARE doing it right! And as a mother of teenagers I can tell you it doesn't get any easier but you will get more time for youself.

Vintage Creations said...

OMG!!! that post is absolutely beautiful and so so so so true!!!!! I have 2 girlies and i didn't have any thing i could think to add or anything! Perfectly written from one mother to another!

Susie said...

oh my goodness this was so beautifully written. I have been trying to find a way to explain this to my younger child free siblings. So eloquently put. With your permission I would love to link this on a posting of mine.

Amber said...

I'm right there with you. You said it perfectly. And I have to add, you seem to be doing it right. :)

I'm expecting baby #2 in July so of course come the worries times two. I pray every night that I can do better as a mom/wife and to give thanks for my sweet little family.

Happy weekend to you!

April said...

Just found out I am pregnant for the first time today. Your post was very sobering in the midst of my excitement. Thank you. I am praying God would give me strength and blessing for the journey ahead.

traci said...

What a great post and from what I read I think you are doing an awesome job. yo are loving but when you must take tough measures like with your oldest room, you did.
I admire you for being a young mom who finds joy in making money by working at home and being with your kids when you could easily go outside the house to work and only be a part time mom. Love your blog

Linda said...

Amen Sister!!
I couldn't have said it any better.
I'm the most exhausted that I have ever been in my life - but wouldn't change it for anything. :)
Happy Saturday~

Wendy said...

Oh, beautiful post and I completely agree with you. Interesting enought I've had these same thoughts lately and blogged about them myself. Feel free to swing by. And what beautiful kiddo's you have!

The Parrotts said...

Oh my, it's like you've just read my heart and put it all on your blog! You've hit the nail on the head, for sure. I'm sharing this with everyone I can!

Big Yellow Dog said...

How beautiful and so true!

Shelly said...

Great post! AND, I'll bet you ARE doing it right, because you're wondering about it all! I always say, if you're asking questions about something, you're heading in the right direction!

mommy2luke2008 said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful.

Petra said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. How come no one tells you how hard it is? I guess no description can do it justice. It is the hardest job I've EVER had.

The thing that bothers me the most? Mom's that put on a happy face and don't talk about how hard it is. I've come to realize that I'll never be perfect and that the best way to improve my job as a mom is to listen to what others are doing and always be open to change my ways. I'll never have it down perfectly cause everytime I think I have it figured out, my daughter changes! Go figure!

Hang in there and I applaud you for being so truthful about your struggles as a mom. It makes me feel normal as I go through the same thing with myself and my daughter.

Amanda said...

Oh my goodness! This is so true! Can I use this?! I love it! I would love to put it on my blog, and maybe hang it on my wall!

Lisa said...

Just found your blog yesterday and I love it. I can relate to this post so much. I'm going to add you to my blogroll. :)

Leah31 said...

Very cute post Crystal. Don't worry, you DO get to say hello again to sleeping in, worrying about yourself, eating hot food and being alone with your husband.

And after a few months of enjoying being alone with your husband, you find out you are pregnant with #3!! :)

And the cycle starts over. :) Love it.

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Blog hopped over here and have happily found this perfect post.

It's perfect.

I'm Mama to a 3yr old and a 1yr old. I too pray that I'm doing it right....

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