things your mother never told you

May 01, 2014

We don't care if you've read What to Expect, A Girlfriend's Guide, BabyCenter and every blog on pregnancy and motherhood (actually we do, good for you), no one tells you how becoming a mother will change everything. And we mean everything.

how many ways can you shower

A mother among us came across an article while she was pregnant that said having kids would even change the way you shower. Shower? How many ways can you shower? But it's true. Sometimes you forget if you've used conditioner because you're busting a move to get out of the shower before your baby wakes up, or crawls out of the crib or has to be driven to soccer practice.

Sometimes you make notes or sign permission slips in crayon. It's all that's handy. The emotional and behavioral changes sneak up on you. The way you can't watch CSI or any show with stories about children who are missing, sick or even worse - scenarios you won't allow yourself to consider.

dinosaurs

You start collecting box tops and yogurt lids like they're currency. You learn the names of all the dinosaurs and monster trucks. You wash and recycle plastic sandwich bags (yes, really). You really do cry over kid art. It's not pretend because your kids are watching. You're not putting on a show. (You wondered about that before you had kids.) This is the stuff of tears.

You grab handfuls of napkins for everyone and stash them in your glove compartment just in case. You hold out your arm to stop the imaginary kid in the passenger seat when you have to slam on your brakes.

You'd really rather be nowhere else in the world than being cozy together, eating snacks and watching Tangled for the 7th time.

mom

You'll run out to the bus stop with bed head and flannel PJ pants just to be sure your kid doesn't forget her permission slip or sack lunch. You ran through your son's test questions on the Revolutionary War so many times together you could probably write a book, or at the very least a blog. You cried so hard when a friend's daughter left for college you thought you'd hyperventilate.

You have become your mother, my friend. We have become our mothers. And can you think of anything better? For her flaws, for your flaws, you are doing what she taught you . . . plus more, and less and all the things you improvise in between.

You have gotten past being mad at her for the things she didn't do, overdid or had no idea mattered. And if you didn't, you're fully aware that now is the time to make your life the way you want it to be. It's up to you.

You are there for your kids in your way. Doing the best you can. You make a mother proud.

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