31 Days to Embracing Motherhood · motherhood

31 Days of Embracing Motherhood: When It’s Not What You Expected (day 2)

I didn’t read that book.  You know the one.  The one every other expectant mother reads.  And I didn’t follow my progress week by week and I didn’t chronicle myself in pictures and I didn’t make cute signs detailing how big baby was at week 27 and week 32 because by the time I got ready to deliver, I was pretty sure I was going to be pushing out a baby the size of a watermelon anyway.

The truth is, though, I really didn’t know what to expect.  I thought I did.  I’m the oldest of seven kids, so I’d been around a lot of babies.  In my mind, I figured if it was good enough for my mom, it was good enough for me, and I’d watched her and bathed and rocked and fed my sisters almost as much as she had.

So I thought.

Then I became a mother on a beautiful fall afternoon in mid-September and at first I thought motherhood was everything I’d expected and more.  I’d gotten my sweet baby girl with her daddy’s lashes and plenty of dark hair to hold a bow and now I was a mama and this was what I expected life to be.

Until the afternoon I sat in the floor of my bedroom and held her and she cried and I cried and I couldn’t make her content and I realized this is what motherhood really is.

It’s watching Michael Phelps win Olympic gold at 2 a.m. while your two year old throws up in twenty minute intervals.
It’s staying up all night to wake your sleeping baby after a fall to make sure there’s no concussion.
It’s holding down the screaming toddler to fasten the belt buckle in the grocery cart and ignoring the looks of everyone else because her screaming is not going to deter the fact that the refrigerator is empty and the diapers have run out again.
It’s rounds of spelling words and multiplication facts that you have to admit you’ve forgotten.
It’s Winnie the Pooh and Elmo’s cowboy song and the Llama Llama books over and over again.

I thought I was ready.  I thought I knew what was coming. I had expectations.

Thank God that eight years later I’m realizing that those expectations are so much less than reality.  At least, they are when I open my arms to embrace what I’ve been given.

I’m linking up with the Nester this month to write about one topic for 31 days.  If you don’t want to miss any of my ramblings on motherhood, scroll down and sign up to get Grits and Grace in your email inbox.  If you’re writing on one topic, comment and let me know, I’d love to venture over your way!  If you’re a regular or a visitor, I’d love to hear your thoughts on motherhood or anything else.

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