Thursday, September 29, 2011

Answer me this.

This was the moment she realized she was becoming her mother.
Mia, my mother-in-law Judi, and I are speaking Monday night at a Mother Daughter Banquet at OC.  We are talking about expectations.  Basically I plan to share some thoughts on what I imagined motherhood to be like vs. what it actually is.

Mia's just going to stand there and look really cute.  And tell a funny story or two.

So, here is my question:  What was the biggest surprise to you?  Did you want a kid because the ones at church always look so cute (I did)?  Which expectations were met and which one's weren't.

And......go!

15 comments:

Dara Wills said...

I wasn't prepared for how much I would love them! And I thought parenting would be way easier than it is. Ha! I love that awkward family photos website, it's one of my favorites. Do you ever check out cakewrecks.com? It's the best.

Rachel said...

I never expected the raw emotion.... how seeing a news story about an abused child just wrenches my guts, when before... I'd just think "oh how sad."

Anonymous said...

I remember being upset that NOBODY told me how 24 hours a day it would be. I just thought oh we will be adding this cute little baby into the family and how hard can that be??? A few days into it and it was like WHAT?

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Wow. I've been a mother so long I don't even remember how I felt back then...I'll let you know if my brain kicks in...

Planning on being there Monday!

Alyssa said...

When I taught 2nd grade I secretly and not-so-secretly made fun of the kindergarten mommies sobbing while dropping their "babies" off for school. I have since changed my ways...

Ryan and Katie said...

I wasn't prepared for the thanklessness (is that a word) of the job of being a mother. No one tells you thank you for changing a poopy diaper...or cleaning up a poop smeared entired bedroom. No one tells you thank you when you stay up all night holding or nursing an inconsolable baby that can't even tell you whats wrong. No one says thank you for the meal that you spent time on that they didn't even eat but ran from the table and you didn't even get to eat it either because you had to chase them. Maybe your husband does but he more than likely has no idea what goes on when he's at work, so you have to figure out at the end of the day how to tell yourself thank you so you can stay motivated to do it all again the next day and the next....for a minimum of 18 years :)

Verna said...

I've always loved babies so I wanted one of my own to squeeze and hold whenever I wanted. ; ) I don't think I realized how easy it was with 1 infant. I should have savored it more. 1 toddler and being 9 months pregnant is pretty difficult! I was surprised how much I love the toddler stage. I've always loved infants, but as he learns more it is so much fun!! I really love being a mom!

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Had a chance to think...Gena's blog made me realize that you don't know how bad it is going to hurt you until your child is hurt or mistreated.

Another misunderstanding: Being a consistent parent in daily routine, discipline, etc. is so much harder than you think! I thought if I parented my kids all the same way they would all be wonderfully obedient but it doesn't take long to realize each child is a unique creation of God and sometimes our rules as parents have to be adapted to fit the child. I remember this shocking revelation when my 2nd child threw a big tantrum and wouldn't pick up a big bucket of crayons on the floor. My first child would have never done that. I literally took his little fist and smashed them into the crayons making him pick up each one. I think we were both crying over the crayons. It was a pretty big power struggle that day!

Gena said...

Obviously I'm going to second Robin. I would do anything, including needles in my eyeballs, pulling my fingernails out one by one, and any other horror I can think of if it would keep my child from experiencing sadness, pain, or rejection. I would do anything for my kids, including trading my life for theirs. I understand God's sacrifice so much more now.

Allison Harms said...

Wow, this is a very relevant topic for me :)
Can I email it to you instead of posting here? I have lots of thoughts. My email is allisondharms@yahoo.com if you want to email me and I'll repsond, or just send me your email on facebook.

Lita said...

I expected to have girls. But I had boys. So I thought, okay, less drama. Wrong. There's still drama, and there's the girlfriends'/wives' drama to boot. I expected to be pretty much done with parenting once they reached 21. Wrong. It never ends. And the grown-up hurts are way worse than the toddler hurts. I never even thought about being a grandparent. It's like being a parent x 100, or maybe 1000.

Kayla said...

I was a die hard going to be a SAHM. I thought staring at a baby all day would be the most precious thing ever and my life would be complete. I soon realized that it was much more draining than expected and getting out of the house and getting a PT job was the only way I could stay sane. It made the times of starting at the precious babies even more special because I had the emotional stability and refueled energy.

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine said...

Hmmm.... as you know, my brain is fried from party- madness. SO I can't think very well right now. But all I ever wanted to be was a SAHM. I knew it would in NO WAY be easy. My mom was well- known (at least by me) for saying, "Parenting is NOT for wimps! If you're going to be a parent, you'd better start mentally preparing now, as a teenager; because it takes a LOT of work, energy, prayer, grace, and lots of other things. IT IS NOT FOR WIMPS! But it is worth it." So! Having said that, all I wanted was to be a SAHM, and I thought I WAS prepared. Not that I expected smooth sailing. That's not what I mean. I just thought, "I'm ready for this." But I was not. After teaching for 7 years and suddenly being thrown into a completely different world, it was still a really tough adjustment. And every adjustment since then has been tough. I would not change being a SAHM for anything. It's been such a blessing. I just didn't know -- didn't really know -- how hard certain things would be.

I knew that children will be defiant or hateful at times, no matter how sweet they usually are. I did not know how much it would hurt.

Like many others, I did not know how badly I would want to hurt a mean child -- and more, how much I'd want to hurt that child's parents. But if we isolate them and try to keep them from any and all of that pain we hate so much, we'll have missed some of the point. (I'm thinking of an Indigo Girls song: The Wood Song.)

I knew, of course that I'd want to do whatever I could to see my children in Heaven. I've been a little surprised by how visceral that desire is. And I've been surprised by the terror I've felt upon completely realizing that at some point, their faith MUST become their own. They will have to choose. Terrifying. Maybe I need more faith myself, but it scares me to look at the world and know that with God anything is possible -- but at some point my children have to choose to take God along.

I was completely unprepared for the impact that the loss of two children would have on me. Didn't matter that neither of them was ever larger than a grain of rice. I didn't know it was possible for my heart to PHYSICALLY hurt (at least, that's what it feels like to me) so that at times I almost couldn't breathe.

But on the upside: I had no idea how thrilling it would be to see the "light" come on behind those precious eyes when a concept has been grasped. How proud I'd be to see a child of mine work hard at a difficult task. The satisfaction of seeing my child be kind to another child who needs a friend. The quiet pleasure of watching both of my children play and work together. How happy it would make me to hear one complement the other for being "the best brother in the world." How touched I'd be to hear them pray for each other, and for me and their dad. All of that, and more, has been surprising.

Maybe it could be summed up in the idea of scale. Maybe what's so surprising is the "big-ness" of all the emotions. That's a little simplistic, but it kind of works.

But... having said all this... who would do the job if they knew -- really knew? And while I feel a little silly at times when I think of my misplaced bravado in thinking I could totally do this job, I also think that some of that bravado going into it might be a good thing. Otherwise I may not have ever been brave enough to launch into the great wide Unknown. And my mom was right. It is not for wimps, but it IS worth it. (At least so far.) :-)

Bummed that I can’t make it. Scheduling is just not gonna allow it. But I’ll be thinking of you guys!

Holly said...

I was not prepared for the depth and range of emotions that being a mom brings. I feel like becoming a mother has just intensified something in my heart, yes toward my daughter, but also toward other children and life in general. When Olivia was born, it was like a part of my heart came alive.