Challenges and Joys of being a mom

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Forget gray hair, I’m going to have no hair by the time I get done raising my kids.
I remember being newly married and so excited to start my family. I wanted a baby right away. Thirteen months later I got my wish. As I held my sweet little son in my arms I fell instantly in love.
I couldn’t wait to change his diaper, watch him crawl, see him walk, hear him talk and grow in so many other ways.
WHOA! Wait a minute!! Grow?!?
He’s going to grow up. The realization hit me like a brick.
I knew I had signed on for a baby, but I forgot about the toddler part, the middle school part, the teenage part, and the part where, no matter how old he got I would always be his mom.
Not that it would have changed my decision had I thought about it beforehand, but it seemed a lot to take in at that moment.
While the thought of his growing up can be overwhelming, it’s also very relieving.
He won’t be 5 forever, I tell myself often.
I’ll be tearing my hair out over different things in a little while. At least that will be a change of pace eh?
I love being a mom, but it is possibly the most taxing thing I’ve ever done.
Pregnancy itself has aged my body a good 10 years or so. And then there’s hearing “Mom” a million times a day said in so many different ways.
“Mooooom!” screaming in terror
“Moo-oooom” Tattle telling on a sibling
“Mom?” asking a questiton
“Mom!!!” usually said this way after I’ve channeled out the previous four Moms
Then of course there’s the fighting over toys, cleaning the crayon off the walls and the fruit snacks ground into the carpet.
Why do I do this again?
Oh yes.
It’s because of the wet kisses I get when I fix a toy, little arms around my neck before they get tucked into bed, their unabashed excitement about getting an ice cream cone, melted ice cream all over their chins and cheeks, the giggling I hear when they watch a kids movie, their tears and big eyes that say I’m sorry when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have.
For me, becoming a parent taught me unconditional love.
When each of my children was born, I knew that no matter what they did in their lives, I would always love them fiercely.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be bald by the time my kids grow up, but it will have been a small price to pay for the love I’ve gotten to feel, and the things they’ve taught me.