"Today I am a surgeon," I told myself, and soon enough I was able to pry those little suckers out of his nose. Day accomplished. This is something I have been telling myself every day after becoming a mother; another day achieved.
Parenting does not come with an owner's manual. It does not come with instructions or any how-to videos on YouTube that can quickly help you get through it. You just, get through it. When I had my first son, Major, I felt like this parenting gig was a piece of cake. Calm baby ate his food, played great by himself, fantastic! I could do this! I could have more of these little humans with NO problem. That all came to an end when Major turned 3, and I gave birth to my second son, Harlem. I understand that each child is different. However, the difference between my two boys was drastic! Harlem. Ohhhhh Harlem. Not only did he test my patience, but he also motivated Major, my once calm and relaxed child, to test my patience as well.. The cutesy parenting gig had indeed come to an end.
Despite how many articles out of parenting magazines or insight I received from other parents, I felt that I just could not get it. There is something new every day! I recall a time where I was going through so many things. Major at the time was beginning to potty train, and every parent understands how exciting this is. No more diapers! Saving money! Whoo Hoo! However, potty training was a nightmare. After accomplishing peeing in the toilet, I was so sure that the next step would be a breeze. "Don't poo on yourself! Poop does not go in your undies ok?", I would tell him. Well, I shouldn't have been so vague. I recall a time when Major was 3 and Harlem had just begun crawling. The kids were quiet, too quiet. I went into their room to find that Major had taken poop from his underwear and smeared it all over the walls in his room, AND the baby. I could have died. Here I am, standing in shock as my three-year-old paints his wall with poop. I prayed to every God imaginable that day I swear I did. After that day I found myself running into all types of situations involving Major and poop. Hidden poop in toys, shoes, Harlem covered in it. I was going through so much!
Be mindful; I am a complete single mother. I have to be alert at ALL times. I have two small boys who are now mobile. Moms don't get days off and that's the reality of Mom Life. There were days where I wanted to sleep in and I just couldn't. Imagine closing your eyes for 15 minutes. Oh, how grateful I was for that short amount of time. However, I woke up to a baby covered in paint. I prayed to the Gods again. Toddler tantrums, a kid locked in the bathroom, poop-explosion in the back of my car, you name it, and I PROMISE you I have been through it all with these two boys.
Harlem is now two and Major is now five, and I promise you things have not gotten better regarding the tiny terrors but I do know this, these little people love me. They love me more than anyone and anything. After countless nights of 'Bubble Guppies' and 'Paw Patrol' in addition to the days where I have to drop dead on sight when my two years old shoots me with his toy gun, or the many owies I have to heal with a kiss, I love being a mom. Motherhood strengthens you and builds character. Being a mother is a tough job and anyone with children reading this should pat themselves on the back because Lord knows if it wasn't for prayer and wine, lots of wine, I don't know how I would have made it this far. We have our days. Good and bad. I will say that we are past the crappy days and that's a blessing, but I'm doing this mom thing and I'm doing it well.
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Growing and evolving is something that I’ve found myself doing a lot of now that I’m a mom. I used to get upset when my sister’s kids would come over and wreck havoc on my property. A broken article of some sort and crumbs on the floor are typical when children are involved. I am talking about this because my son has now graduated and inducted me into the carefree IDC (I don’t care) Club that mothers find themselves in.
The Inner Artist
Writing on the wall with markers, no problem. So your kid likes to draw on walls? Encourage them by investing in chalkboard paint and create a safe platform for them to become the next Picasso.
A pair of suede CL pumps scratched during one of Tre’s exploratory escapades, cool. So the little one has a taste for the finer things in life like your designer shoes? You better hide your precious items like Columbian drug money.
My son has finally managed to snap the chain on one of my favorite nameplates, and I didn’t bat an eye. What I learned is when you’re a Mom you’re going to learn not to sweat the small stuff. Just tuck your chain in like Debo from Friday is coming and let go and let God lol.
What They Don't Tell You
I was writing a message in a card for my boss as she welcomes her baby boy and as I was writing, I figured hey I should probably blog about this. I started the letter talking about all of the things people don’t tell you before having a baby but probably should.
Be prepared for that thing called privacy to be completely taken away from you. I mean I can’t even use the restroom unless:
a) My son is in there with me.
b) I’m singing the ABC song loud enough for him to clearly hear me.
c) I'm playing peek-a-boo, popping my head out of the bathroom door to let him know I have not abandoned him for the 45 seconds it took me to pee.
Yes Tre mommy is still here, but it’s extremely difficult to wipe and hold you at the same time.
Laundry becomes a daily chore. My son goes through more outfit changes than Beyoncé performing a 4-hour set. He hasn’t mastered the whole staying clean thing. I found him yesterday bathing himself with apple sauce in the family room.
Which brings me to my next subject…
In Glen Garry Glen Ross they teach their sales associates the A.B.C's of business, Always Be Closing. Well when Momming, A.B.W. Always Be Watching!! It doesn’t matter that you only turned your head for less than a minute, man babies are sneaky little things. I hid his yogurt puffs, and 20 seconds later I found him making it rain treats all over the microfiber couch. When he gets older I know I’m going to want him on my team, all the magical stuff he pulls off.
Your meals are their meals. I’ve tried feeding my son before I eat to get him all nice and full, but there’s just something about me wanting to savor a meal or beverage to myself that obviously drives him crazy. I’m like dude trust me you do not want this lemon wedge I’m sucking on, but yeah he does. You shall never eat your favorite plate solo so make sure you make enough for two or be prepared to share.
Make It Rain
You think you have that extra money for guacamole, don’t you? Not with a kid you don’t, children are expensive. I only bring this up because I looked at my bank statement the other day and realized I probably shell out 2-3k a month on this tiny human. Food, clothes, diapers, toys, care, tools, activities, and medical expenses OH MY!
Sleepless In America
Sleep? You’re going to have to look up the definition of sleep in Webster’s Dictionary within your first week of being a mom. How soundly does Tre’s father sleep as I have to wake up to feed and comfort our son after working a 9-hour shift, cooking dinner, and doing laundry all with a cold. I’m lucky if I get 6 hours of sleep but hey I guess I signed up for this when I allowed him to hit me with that extra pelvic thrust.
Panic Attacks Are Normal
You are going to worry and panic like nothing you've ever encountered! Suddenly you'll crave for the now slight anxiety you felt when your college professor announced, "POP QUIZ" and you weren't in the slightest prepared. SIDS, RSV, colds, a cough, a sneeze, a blink or even a slight variation of breath will warrant a trip to the ER.
I don’t want all of these things to scare expecting mothers because, with everything I mentioned, I wouldn’t change being a mother for the world. I am blessed to be a Mom! My son gives me a sense of purpose, fills me with love, motivates me, and makes me happy beyond belief. For everything that has to be sacrificed, there is the reward in the form of hugs, smiles, and kisses… Love from your child is the best thing ever!!
Juanita C. Clare
Just a new mother to an amazing little boy learning things as we grow.