Saturday, May 9, 2015

You know you're a mom when...

You know you're a mom when... 
     ... it takes you 9 months to write this post!

Soon after a dear friend found out she was pregnant, I started thinking of ideas for this post, a collection of the joys and hardships of motherhood with hopefully a touch of humor. But, life happens, and I never really had the time to sit down and write out the lines that kept popping into my head. I determined, though, to make it happen as a mother's day post. Happy first mother's day to you, Jen! It's such a joy to walk through motherhood with one so close in heart.

So, here is a far-from-exhaustive list of things I've learned in 1 ½ years of mothering a little one outside of the womb:

 You know you're a mom when...
     … sometimes it feels like your basic human needs of sleep, food, and cleanliness are under attack.
     … your showers always seem punctuated by crying. It doesn't matter if it's before baby is supposed to wake up, right after putting baby down to sleep, while she is playing in her play pen, or while Daddy is watching her. At least half way through, she will wake up early, not fall asleep in the first place, get tired of her toys, or decide she really wants Mama, and start to cry.
     … you're really good at taking fast showers and dressing on the run.
     … you go half a day before realizing you're wearing two different earrings, because you never had time to look in the mirror.
     … you make it to church and look down to see that you're wearing brown shoes with a black skirt. In the rush out the door you forgot to check.'re sitting in church with your toddler in your lap and feel a hot stream go down your leg, somehow you manage to carry her out without giving any indication, and thank God for baby wipes and a polyester Easter dress.'re at a birthday party, feel the diaper get really wet, and then your husband asks you what the liquid on the floor – and all the way down your skirt – is. Baby wipes are awesome.
     ... you are intimately acquainted with another (little) person's digestive system.
     ... there are things that bring you immense joy that you never thought would... like a good poopy diaper after a few days of constipation and pain.
     ...even with all the mess, you can't imagine life without a little one depending on you so. find nothing smells so sweet as a freshly washed baby!

You know you're a mom when... those precious newborn days, it seems like whatever time of day you finally sit down to eat, baby will wake up demanding milk. And, being a mom, you feed her first.
     … you realize there's nothing like satisfying a needy little person with food from your own body!
     … and yet, sometimes you do wish that you weren't needed SO much all the time.
     … really, you wouldn't change it.
     …you get used to cold food.
     …you eat a lot of food really fast whenever everyone else - especially the toddler - is done.
     … sometimes it seems like no food is really your own unless you eat it in secret.
    … you give up dairy, chocolate, and a multitude of other things if necessary, if it means your baby is sensitive to those things.
    … but if it doesn't bother baby, sometimes chocolate is the best thing in the world.
    ... you find slobbery kisses from your baby even sweeter!

You know you're a mom when...
     … you're dead tired with your muscles completely refusing to move, but a baby's cry in the night will get you up.
     … you're SO tired with a newborn, that even though your baby has never slept with you, when you hear a cry you frantically start searching your bed, afraid you left her under the covers.
     … sleep seems like your most precious and lacking commodity.
     … sleeping in is a thing of the past. Or 6 AM is the new “sleeping in.”
    … you realize you don't really “need” all the sleep you thought you did!
     … you used to not be able to nap or fall asleep easily. But with a toddler and pregnant with #2, you suddenly find yourself falling asleep on the floor or while sitting at the kitchen table.
     … you never thought you would find so much joy or sorrow in how much someone else sleeps.
     … you try not to let it make or ruin your day, but good or bad nights or naps affect and direct a lot!
     … you can't wait until nap time to have some time “off” and yet by the end of it, you're missing your little companion.
     … if baby wakes too early, you feel personally responsible for making the slightest noise that might have caused it.
     … and yet, she sleeps through fireworks, lawn mowers, noisy trucks, door bells, yowling animals, the neighbor's upstairs piano, and loud parties.
     … sometimes you just stand there and enjoy how peaceful she looks sleeping... because she is growing too fast.

You know you're a mom when...
     … you feel like your whole “job” involves things that get undone: clothes get dirty and wrinkled, food gets eaten, bellies get empty, dishes get dirty just a few hours after being washed, and what takes you 20 minutes to clean is undone in a matter of minutes.
     … and yet you wouldn't trade your “job” for anything. Somehow, there is amazing reward in it (though there are times you just don't want to work on the SAME thing again!)
      … crumbs seem like a never ending plague in your house. How do they multiply so quickly?
     … sometimes you feel like you're raising a puppy... she prefers to eat off the floor, chews on whatever she finds, carries things in her mouth and crawl, follows you everywhere, and whines if she needs something.
      … but oh the joy when she grows and communicates more and more each day!

You know you're a mom when...
     … sometimes you just want some time alone, without your little attachment, but when you finally get some, somehow you can't stop thinking about how she's doing without you.
     … you wonder what you used to possibly do with ALL the time you had to yourself before you had a child!
     ... for your birthday, you ask for an hour alone to journal and think!
     … it takes you ten minutes to get out the door, and you still forget things.
     … because your little one has what she needs, you choose to just do without your jacket or umbrella or whatever, because it's not worth it to go back inside when you finally made it out!
      … you are amazed at the amount of stuff a tiny person requires!
      … you used to carry a purse, but with the huge diaper bag your baby now needs, you realize all you really personally need to get by is your wallet, phone and keys.
      … you find more joy in buying cute things for your tiny than in buying things for yourself.

You know you're a mom when...
     … you catch a glimpse in the mirror or see a picture of yourself and wonder how you're possibly old enough to be a mom.
     … you've never been so connected and attuned the needs of anyone. And it's wonderful.
     … you would do anything to protect your child.
     … you hurt almost more than they do when they get hurt.
     … you spend so much time when they're young trying to prevent pain, that when it comes time for discipline that is a little painful, it's harder to give than you ever thought it would be.
     … you see more clearly and up close that everyone is born with a sinful heart. 
     … the responsibility to train and guide and point to the Lord and the cross is a weighty one.
     … there is no greater joy, than to be their teacher and example and guide.
     … there is nothing like your little one lisping a Bible verse you taught her. 
     … her singing melts your heart.
     … her “reading” with all the sound effects and actions you taught her makes her realize how much she watches and repeats.
      … and to be that one... is amazing.

You know you're a mom when...
      … the thought of anything serious happening to your little one gives you fear.
      … yet, you know you have to leave her in the hands of God, who created her and just entrusted her to you for a short time.
     … you are thankful for the short memories and quick forgiveness God gives little ones, as you learn and grow and don't always interpret their cues correctly.
     … sometimes your job seems like the most thankless one in the world.
     … smiles and coos and slobbery kisses and squeeze hugs give more reward than you would ever have thought possible.

You know you're a mom when...
     … the feel of a little hand in yours depending on you is the sweetest thing in the world.
     … sometimes you feel like motherhood is hazardous work, as you have to teach someone not to scratch, bite, pull hair, pinch, or poke eyes.
     … there's nothing like the feel of a little one's soft cheek
     ... you know how to make a little one giggle like nothing else, and that sound is the best music in the world!
     … you have multiple children's books memorized. But that's a good thing, because then sometimes you can get a few minutes of shut-eye while you read to your child. :)
      … you are convinced sometimes that your child has a sensor that wakes her up the minute your feet touch the floor, no matter how early you get up to try to have devotions!
     … sometimes you feel like you have no clue what your child needs.
     … usually you do know what she needs when no one else does – and that is so rewarding!
    … you sometimes feel like a bad mom. But, it's an amazing opportunity to grow and be refined, and you are so thankful for God's grace.
     … you are so thankful that you have a perfect Heavenly Father to point your child to.

Thank you, God, for making me a mother. Please continue to conform me ever more to your image, as I grow in this weighty and awesome and exhausting and exhilarating role.

Moms, what would you add to the "you know you're a mom" list? :)

*Photos courtesy of our friend William, who blessed us with a photo shoot!*


  1. As a woman who loves children but is not a mom, I loved this. It doesn't matter what state God sovereignly ordains for you, all women are lil mothers and this filled me with joy and gratitude for motherhood.

  2. As a woman who loves children but is not a mom, I loved this. It doesn't matter what state God sovereignly ordains for you, all women are lil mothers and this filled me with joy and gratitude for motherhood.

  3. Haha! "Sometimes feels as though you're raising a puppy . . . " Yes!! I have one of those too. :) Such a beautiful tribute to this special calling, Anna!