All those well-meaning mothers with all their time-tested advice neglected to let me in on the pain that is mothering. How many mothers told me when I was pregnant that one day I'll turn around and a half-formed man will be living in my house and my precious baby will be missing? How many mothers told me that the day will come when I can't coax him into bunny ears for a picture even if I promised him unlimited video game time? How many mothers told me how much my heart will hurt when I realize my baby simply isn't a baby anymore?
In many predictable ways having a second child has changed my mothering -- for example, increasing my forgetfulness while simultaneously decreasing my reservoir of patience. My second child has just reached his first birthday and with that celebratory occasion came a mountain of realizations for me about the differences between baby number one and baby number two.
Ever since our two sons began sharing a room, their bedtime routine has been the same. Baths, PJs, teeth, stories, cuddles. And every night as I leave their room, Eli always says, "Remember to come up, cuddle, and bring water!" I head down the stairs with a quick, "Okay!" knowing full well that the likelihood of following through on that promise is next to nothing.
We often start the day with the best intentions to get to the gym, go for a power walk, or make it to yoga class. Then life gets in the way. When we have to work late, fold piles of laundry and complete a mile-long list of errands, the workout is often the first to go. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to burn calories throughout your daily routine.
Perfect moms are everywhere these days, aren't they? You know the ones. They wear the perfect outfits, push the perfect strollers, respond to the needs of their babies at the perfect moment, and always flash a perfect smile. No? You're not familiar with the type? That's because the perfect mom doesn't exist.
A few years ago a mom emailed me about how she always felt like other moms were doing so much more and doing it better and it made her feel like she wasn't quite good enough at this mom thing. She referred to a photo on my blog that she said made me look like an easy-breezy cover-girl of a mom. I laughed when I realized what photo she was referring to, because there was more to that moment than was captured by the camera.
Let's not forget as parents to teach our kids, boys and girls, the devastating and enduring impact of their "joking" comments they tweet and post in comment sections on the Internet. It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that there is a real human with real feelings on the other end of anonymous comments made without thinking twice.