Hi there! Welcome to my column, where you will find my thoughts on motherhood and family. If you had told 18-year old me that I would later have two babies, who would be fifteen months apart from one another, I would have laughed at you. Here I am, twenty-eight, and learning SO much about what this role ‘mommy’ means. The heart behind my posts is to portray to you what an average day or moment looks like in our household. The current season of life, while my son is almost four and our daughter almost three, is definitely all things Mommy. My husband is a superstar; in that, he is our biggest source of laughter, positivity, and is always ready to pull his sleeves up and get our kids creating and giggling. We’ve always rotated who puts which babe down, but if you ask either of them who they want to tuck them in, it’s Mommy. But this won’t always be the case. And while so much of this job is exhausting, I dread the day that they may not ‘need’ me (as much) any longer. In ‘Mommy Put Me Down,’ you’ll see the first glimpse into my heart—and hopefully, will see why it beats for all things Motherhood.
“Mommy put me down!!!” are the four words we hear in our household every.single.night.
Our two and three year old have gotten accustomed to asking for me, each and every night. “I want MOMMY!” Reese will say. “It’s Daddy’s turn, Reesie,” I gently respond. Her arms shoot up, giant tears well in her eyes as she reaches for me. Sometimes it’s a little more smooth sailing, and she is okay to give me a giant kiss with some crocodile tears. But lately, no.
Why? Is it because I am a really fun Mom and they think I just put them down better? Nope. Dad is the giant toy here. It is with him that they crack up laughing as they Hulk smash each other, as soon as he walks in the door. It is Dad who makes us smile and helps us get out of our afternoon funks. Is it because I am super patient and selfless? I’m sorry to admit that it would be for this reason even less…I think. I was a semi-patient kid, but it started dwindling in my adolescent years, and by the time I was an adult, it’s like something snapped. Noise, chaos, incessant tapping, whistling…oh boy. I better stop admitting all this. But toddlers fighting? Shoving each other? Demanding which toys are whose and stomping their feet through it all? What patience? Another high five for Dad on this front. And if there is anything motherhood has taught me, it is how quickly I crave selfishness. I don’t remember what it’s like to pee alone. When I come home from work, my husband still has another two before he joins us. I get the kids a snack, a drink and I allow for a few minutes of TV or i-Pads so that I can change clothes and clean up. It takes all of three minutes for me to do this and the entire time I literally pray, “Please don’t kill each other.” Some days I can count down– “5, 4, 3, 2….”
“MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!” Pierson screams at an ungodly pitch. Reese screams back. Something knocks over. Feet scuffling on the hardwood floors. Silence. “Oh, CRAP, one of them is dead.”
So it’s not my selflessness they’re attracted to. But it never fails. This phase of life is all about Mommy. Mommy put me down for a nap, bedtime; Mommy to hold me when I’m upset, Mommy I run to for tattling. That doesn’t mean they each get me every night. My husband and I are great about taking turns, and Pierson may soon be on the verge of being completely okay with this. When I put down Reese, he does Pierson, and vice versa. But there’s still the asking, on repeat. Usually before dinner starts, a few times during the meal, in the bath, and then the battle begins. All day long I’ve spent seven hours pouring into other children- attempting to teach them all the core subjects in school as well as how to love and respect one another. I get a mere four hours with my own, and I will be 100% honest; when I walk in the door, my heart is often heavy, my feet are tired, my bra comes off, and the last thing I feel prepared for is motherhood. But this hat comes first: Mommy. I may be exhausted, my brain might be a little (okay, a lot) frazzled, and some nights I have actually cringed at the high pitch cries of “Mommy put me down!”
But it’s all becoming so real- the fact that they won’t be toddlers forever. I know they will be able to do their bedtime routines themselves and after they do, they will be perfectly okay with a simple hug and kiss for the night. Their little bodies won’t fit so perfectly nestled against mine; Reese won’t beg for me to rock her a little longer, and Pierson won’t need me to sit in his chair to sing “just ONE more song.”
Most days I don’t feel worthy. I’m insecure, and I often doubt who I am, what I was created for. But then I hear their voice and Mommy Put Me Down assures me that I am doing something right.