If I Had Known…

If I had known what sleep deprivation really felt like before I had kids…

If I had known the full measure of bodily fluids I’d have to clean up throughout my children’s childhoods…

If I had known how much the sound of “Mama? Mama? Mama?” could grate on my last nerve after hearing it every day for a decade…

If I had known that sometimes I’d take an extra long time on the toilet, just to have a few minutes to myself…

If I had known that those few stolen toilet moments would almost always be interrupted by tiny fists knocking on the door anyway…

If I had known how often I would have to repeat the same directions and corrections over and over and over and over…

If I had known that every “expert” remedy for whining, crying, moping, disobedience, disrespect, and laziness would be completely ineffectual half the time…

If I had known that loving your children doesn’t mean liking them all the time…

If I had known that I would sometimes cry in the shower because there was no other place to vent alone…

If I had known that I’d be so “touched out” by the end of some days that the thought of getting busy with the hubby would repulse me…

If I had known that I would never be able to truly, fully concentrate on anything ever again…

If I had known that it doesn’t get easier as they get older, just hard in different ways…

If I had known I would feel terrified almost every day that I am failing at motherhood in some way…

If I had known how truly unrelenting parenting was going to be…

I would have had my children anyway.

Because if I hadn’t…

I wouldn’t know how miraculous it feels to have a human being grow from a tiny speck to an entire person inside my own body.

I wouldn’t know that the smell of a newborn’s head is all the evidence I need that there’s a heaven.

I wouldn’t know the magic of having a baby fall asleep in my arms and never wanting to put them down.

I wouldn’t know the unmatchable thrill of watching a child walk, use the potty, ride a bike, or read a whole book for the first time.

I wouldn’t know how the sound of my child’s laughter could lighten even the heaviest of days.

I wouldn’t know how an innocent, wide-eyed stare could melt me right into the floor.

I wouldn’t know how awesome it is to witness the daily, gradual unfolding of a person I helped bring into the world.

I wouldn’t know the pride of seeing my children navigate difficult situations using the tools and qualities I’ve helped instill in them.

I wouldn’t know how much pure, unbridled joy there could be in seeing my child triumph.

I wouldn’t know how much unexpected, humbling grace there could be in the constant struggle of trying to be a better parent.

I wouldn’t know how the act of parenting my own kids could help heal my own childhood hurts.

I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey.

If I had known what motherhood really was like, I’d have had my children all over again.

(I’d just have slept more when I had the chance.)

 

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This post was originally published as a guest post on Scary Mommy.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 4

  1. Kristina Koleva

    This is amazing! Compliments! I’m crying in the moment because this is so true 🙂 ….Тhis is in my heart…in my soul… Тo be a mum is so great and unique… Thank you for these emotions 🙂

  2. Jess

    I can relate to all of the positives but very few of the negatives. Yeh it can be tough sometimes – we’re at the terrible two stage – but I cannot express how amazing being a Mum is. Don’t be scared – embrace the madness!

  3. Jennifer Good

    I hope this is true! I’m turning 30 this year and my husband and I have been married for three years (engaged for two, together for 4 years before that…but anyway)…We’re at that 3 year mark where we were going to “seriously think about kids.” And…we are. And it’s terrifying me. Like, I can’t sleep at night kind of stress. My husband, is of course, a guy. He doesn’t understand the stress this is bringing on me. I hear it’s worth it. I -know- it’s worth it. But I’m worried I’m not much for motherhood. Nevermind that! The mess and the cost and the internet! And bullies and terrible schools and sickness and cancers and all these awful things. How do you moms do it? How do you do it every single day? I’m scared and terrified only because I want this so badly, but I’m scared when it happens I wont want it anymore. Or something will go wrong, and it will shatter me into pieces.

  4. Tiffany prater

    im sad I cannot have anymore. Regardless of my heartships with my only(now 14yr old) child, I always dreamed of 3 or 4. But I’m great full for my beautiful daughter, nieces n nephews. They bring me more joy then ever thought possible.

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