This is what Mom’ing means to me. What does it mean to you?
What is mom’ing? It’s cleaning pee off of everything because your toddler is potty training, it’s cooking 3 different meals because of your kids pickiness/ food allergies/ deciding they hate the food they loved yesterday, it’s trying to get them to eat enough vegetables, it’s climbing up to the top bunk 700 times a night because your toddler needs water/ another hug/ another kiss/ his blanket fixed. It’s dirty, it’s squishy, it’s frustrating, it’s beautiful, it’s amazing, it’s snot, its boogers, it’s laundry. It’s poop. So much poop. It’s worrying about everything, including, but not limited to: are they eating right, are they sleeping enough, are they having too much screen time, are they being kind, are others being kind to them, do they feel safe, are they safe, do they feel loved, are we leaving them a messed up world, are we messing them up? Mom’ing is hugs and kisses, cleaning up toys, jumping on trampolines, jumping on the bed, jumping on the couch, jumping on each other. It’s climbing trees, riding bikes, skinned knees, dirty dishes, dressing up, telling your daughter to get her hands off her brother 3,000 times a day. It’s listening to the Gummy Bear Song and Baby Shark on a loop all day long, it’s tears (yours and theirs), separate baths because they get too riled up when they bathe together, it’s homework, roughhousing, blanket forts. It’s singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow every night for years, family dinners and playing 2 Truths and a Lie with your teenager to get him to tell you something, anything about his day. It’s helping your kids make good choices, yelling, apologizing, laughing, crying, worrying, stressing, laying in bed with your toddler when he can’t sleep, rubbing your 6 year old’s back when she can’t sleep, listening to your teenager complain/ whine/ cry about his homework/ teachers/ friends/ love life. It’s being your kids’ chauffeur, chef, maid, teacher, cheerleader, grief counselor, drill sergeant, activity director, nurse, therapist. It’s sneaking a piece of chocolate, trying to have a moment of privacy to pee or shower, it’s trying to plan a girl’s night/ mom’s night/ date night. It’s Band Aids, Kleenex, popsicles, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, Legos, Barbies, dinosaurs and LOL dolls. It’s farts and burps. It’s brushing teeth, brushing hair, sunscreen, wiping noses, wiping faces, wiping tushies. Mom’ing is drool, spit, slobber. It’s negotiating, arguing, listening, calming, comforting, reassuring, entertaining, nagging, encouraging, empathizing. It’s reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom so many times that you have the words memorized, it’s boo boos, pacifiers, bottles, sippy cups, diapers, pull ups, big kid underwear, ear infections, teething, breathing treatments, tantrums, attitudes, cuddles, breastfeeding, formula feeding, sleep training, co-sleeping, sleeping when the baby sleeps, waking when the baby wakes, nighttime feedings, fevers, naps, the pediatrician on speed dial, packing lunches, chores, dropping the kids off, picking the kids up. It’s tucking into bed, bedtime stories, lullabies and one last drink of water/ pee/ song/ hug/ kiss. It’s Santa, Hanukkah, the Easter bunny and Passover. It’s Paw Patrol, Daniel Tiger, Shimmer and Shine, Disney Princesses and Peppa Pig. It’s best friends, fights, birthday parties, pool parties, play dates, minimum days, summer break, babysitters, childcare, field trips, Epi Pens, Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, thermometers, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, nail clippers. Mom’ing is being gentle, tolerant, understanding, patient, annoyed. Mom’ing is the mental load: did I remember to make their 3/ 6/ 15 year well check appointment? Did I pay the water bill? Did I buy the toothpaste/ cookies/ energy bars/ yogurt they like? What am I going to make for dinner? Did I remember to buy their teacher a Christmas/ birthday/ teacher appreciation gift? Does the downstairs bathroom need toilet paper? Did I reschedule the plumber? Did I wash her yellow shirt because tomorrow is wear yellow day? It’s worrying if you’re a good parent, if you’re making the right choices, if you’re raising good people. It’s worrying about everything. It’s fighting with your kids and for your kids. It’s depression and anxiety. It’s the feeling in your heart when you look at you child. Mom’ing is funny, gross, weird, messy, lonely, exhausting. It’s the big things, it’s the little things. It’s all of the things. Mom’ing is hard. Mom’ing is real. Mom’ing is love.