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Becoming a Mom Was a Huge Reality Check

Photograph by Twenty20

Once upon a time, I was just a young thing keeping house, hitting up happy hour and enjoying married life. Though I disliked my commute, I loved my job. I had spare time to pursue my graduate degree. Life was really good. When life is like that, you start dreaming of what might come next. For me, having kids was going to be the next best thing and I could hardly wait.

I actually thought about growing our family often. Becoming a mom was going to be SO AMAZING! Everything about motherhood sounded sweet and cozy. Before kids, I swear, I lived on a cloud of simplicity and ease.

Truly, the me of back then needed a reality check. Motherhood was going to be great (I know, because I’m living it now and wouldn’t trade it for anything), but motherhood was not going to be all sunshine and proverbial walks in the park, like I thought.

In my pre-baby world, I needed an alarm clock to rise on time, and one of my biggest daily worries was whether or not I'd be making breakfast at home or stopping by Starbucks on my way to work. Then came a baby.

Then, another baby, when my first baby was still practically a baby.

Talk about a reality check.

Target has become an official vacation destination.

Life was no longer about me—ever. It still isn’t. If you asked me if I would go back to that thesis-writing, happy hour-loving girl, I’d emphatically say, "No way." I love this crazy mom life. But still, holy wake-up call! Here are just some of the mom realities I had to face.

- Showering is very low on my priority list. Long live the 5-day-old messy bun (that actually looks pretty voluminous)!

- I usually finish my breakfast around the time my kids are asking for lunch. Yum, room temperature oatmeal and some kid’s leftover (and now brown) apple slices always make me feel top-notch.

- I feel tinges of jealousy about my husband’s lunch break that he will inevitably spend alone or with another adult.

- Target has become an official vacation destination. Seriously, give those kids an iPad, buckle them into their red "airplane" and cruise the aisles while checking out the scenery. Don’t forget sunscreen—those lights are bright!

- Reading a complete sentence without interruption is a total luxury. Let's be honest, how many times have you paused while reading this? Have you even made it this far?

- Every day there is a life-changing decision to be made. Sleep while the children sleep or use that ticking time bomb of an hour (or 17 and 1/2 minutes) to catch up on life?

- Cleaning up someone else’s bathroom business is no big deal.

- I have a chosen life blood. Do you? Maybe wine, maybe La Croix. Whatever it is, even your kids know what fuels Mama.

- I pretty much run a restaurant. Everyone has specific requests and personalized dipping sauces and needs their food chopped and served on a plate color of their choosing. Honestly, I think I deserve a hefty tip!

Oddly enough, when I am alone like I used to be in those pre-kid days, I find myself missing the people who now fill every moment of my day. Their wild, crazy, love-filled energy is so much more than I could ever ask for. My children are the reality that makes me feel like I'm living a dream. So, I’ll take all the quintessential mom jokes and Target "vacations." The mom life is the good life for sure!

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