"Are there enough veggies in here? ...more carrots it is," the chill from the fridge raising the hairs on my skin, "I know he needs to eat more protein and meats...water bottle--check. Extra clothes and bag--check. Clothes--check. Lunch--done." Midnight and I'm exhausted. I practically crawl up the stairs and ready myself for bed with a loud and exasperated sign, "Finally."
The comforts of my bed alarm me to reality when it strikes 6. It always seems colder when you make the motion away from the safe haven, sateen sheets. I shower, brush and dress. I brush and dress the stiff and still-sleepy James. We pack up the car and head to school with our hour and twenty minute commute in store.
From time to time, I peek in on him and see how he's doing.
Five rolls around and another two hour drive is in store. I ask him how his day went, give him snacks; we sing songs and dance to the stop-and-go traffic. When we get home, this mama relaxes a bit until dinner time calls. Spaghetti and meatballs sound good. I water down his juice. I try my hardest to get him to eat most of it...a never-ending struggle! We splurge with TV time--if he's good. And it's off for a bath. James cries when it's tooth brushing time, unless we count to sixty, twice. I tuck him into his own bed, play Disney Radio on Pandora and hold him tight. And that smile and those kisses goodnight tell me I'm doing a pretty okay job.
And sometimes, I wonder: am I doing a good job? What can I be doing better? How does that mama do it? It's an abyss of questions--a fight for answers.
No one ever really knows what motherhood is like. No one can truly be ready for it--even after you've had three years experience, even if you've had fifty! Mothering is as different to the individuals the mothers make.
Sometimes, James is a billion different things, sometimes he's just so much to handle. Sometimes I lose my patience and I'm on my last straw. Sometimes there is just no more gas in the tank. Sometimes, James whines for no reason, sometimes I'm confused what he's doing or where he learned that... Sometimes James is every emotion I feel in one second. I'm grateful for those times. I am grateful I have Mark. Because although I don't know where I'd be without James--I'd be completely lost without Mark.
Parenting isn't easy. There are no right or wrong answers. There is a commitment in time, a life you're dedicating to another, an amount of love that can never be understood. Being a mother is being everything--it makes me better for me and for him. And cheers to that. Being a mother is @#$%!@$$?%%^$?$?# because it is definitely indescribable. Cheers to being the best mama, and the best you, you can be.
So, cheers to the workaholic mama; the mother who wakes up at four thirty in the morning to prepare lunches, mama. Cheers to the single mothers and the single fathers who makeshift for the no-mothers. Cheers to the "I-said-no-100-times-and-you-did-it-anyway," mama. Cheers to the 16 year old mama, who doesn't care about being on TV. Or the adopted mother of six. Cheers to the potty training mothers and the loads of laundry they have to do everyweek, mamas. Cheers to the "five-second-rule" mothers and the strictly, only organic ones. Cheers to the best mothers, who are raising the Be the Best You, mamas. Here's to the mamas at the supermarket, with crying, tantrum babies, who want that candy bar, but you're sticking to your guns--no--mamas. Cheers to the mamas that answer a million questions everyday. And the mamas that have so much to be thankful for. Cheers to the mamas who haven't the time. Or haven't the sexy-time. Cheers to the stressing mama with more money going out than coming in; the laughing out loud, silly mama; the "HE JUST TOOK A STEP!" mama. Cheers to the cheery mama, the drive you to soccer practice mama. Here's to the step mothers, grandmas and the aunties. Here's to the generations of maternity and the future mamas. Cheers to the new mothers and the up until all hours of the night, new baby--I'm sorry we all know how you feel, mamas. Cheers to the tattoo'd mamas, the anxious mamas, the teachers who act like mamas. Here's to the older siblings that are there for you, mamas. Cheers to the happy mothers--or the "I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing" mamas, we've all been there, too! Cheers to the mothers with sweet potato in their hair, or the ones that are working on their fourth cup of coffee, mamas. Cheers to the mamas that tell their kids to "slide down and go around," mamas. Cheers to the mamas, with bigger and older, and graduating college mamas. Cheers to the mamas watching their babies have babies, mamas. Here's to the mamas across the world. Here's to the mamas that are being judged by strangers everyday, mamas. Cheers to the nipples that are sore and aching, mamas. Here's to the mamas that are selfless and loving, caring and unique--the mamas honestly trying their very best, everything that they are, to give you everything you could ever dream. Cheers to the mamas who now know what is means to love something and someone so much.... Here's to you.
I promise you're doing something right.