What Nobody Tells You About Being a Mother

What Nobody Tells You About Being a Mother

by Michele Howey

Founding Member, Bite'z Cookies

I wish this stuff had come with an instruction book. And if it did, I bet the thing would have read like stereo instructions. (Haha, Beetlejuice reference for the win.)

Don't get me wrong... I wouldn't trade any moment of being a mother for any reason. It's brought me my greatest joy and I have learned more about love and have loved deeper than I ever thought possible because of it.

Having them grow into little adults that I love so much it makes my heart ache, I'm proud of, and actually enjoy spending time with as people, has been the best work of my life.

But this is what nobody tells you: Motherhood will require every sacrifice from you. Also, no matter what you do, you will do it wrong according to someone.

Sometimes even your own kids.

But here is another thing they don't tell you: The job never ends and your kids will never know or begin to appreciate the sacrifices of your body, heart, and mind.

They will never know the joy coupled with worry, pain, and grief. They will also never know the overwhelming love you feel as a mother that directs your actions.

When I became a mother for the first time, it felt like I was barely more than a child myself.

I had complications during the pregnancy that led to bed rest. I laid there worrying, waiting, and wondering if everything would be okay. Welcome to Motherhood.

This is what they don't tell you: You will wait and worry the rest of your life.

I was now responsible for this other human being. This little person with so much potential and possibility. Who the hell was I to do this job? Let alone do it two more times.

I was totally overwhelmed with the physical recovery, the changes in a body I didn't recognize. Trying to figure out how to feed my child from the beach balls that had become my boobs (aka momma pillows) and wondering how all the women before me had done it.

I had none of the answers. I still don't. The truth is that I figured it out as I went. We all do.

That's something else nobody tells you: They don't actually have the answers either. They might think they do. But because every human being is different, so is every mother. Even for children with the same mother, they all had different mothers.

With my second son, I thought, I've totally got this.

Yeah, I felt more prepared. I knew how to do the basics. But this one was different. A totally different human being that required totally different things from me, especially as he got older.

As the middle child, he was spirited and funny, but also a handful. His needs and our relationship were and are very different than my first child.

The challenges were equally as frightening and just like the first time, I had to figure it out as I went. Especially as we hit the teenage years.

Sometimes I thought, I've totally got this. I had moments where I felt like I got it right. My kids might disagree. Other times I was screaming in my head, "Holy shit, I don't got this." I made mistakes. But I promise, I tried my best.

Then with my third baby, a beautiful little girl with my sass, it was all new, all over again. I finally thought I had it all figured out, just in time to go from a mom raising boys to having a little girl. Again, a whole different set of challenges.

Now that they are young adults, with one married himself, another graduating High School, and our youngest going in, it hasn't gotten any easier.

The challenges have just changed and I've been equally unprepared. But I've still done the best I could. Sometimes in very difficult circumstances.

So the last thing nobody tells you... no matter what you do, you will mess it up. And that's okay. Forgive yourself, and hopefully they will to.

Here is to all the mothers out there who give their all. Your children may never understand. But, if you are a mother, you get it.

It's okay. Take a deep breath and keep going momma. We know. We see. And we understand. You are doing a good job. Hang in there.