“Hey mom, look at this!”, my son yelled as he jumped off the couch onto the floor. I looked up just in time to see a flash of a Spiderman t-shirt fly through the air and land with a thump. My son looked up at me, his eyes beaming, and said, “Wow I can jump just like Spiderman! Do you want to see me shoot my webs?” At that moment I realized how my life as a mama was so much different than I ever planned.
And so much better.
I laugh now as I write the word planned, because before kids I thought I had a lot figured out. When I’d see clothes covered in characters like Superman and Mickey Mouse at the store, I’d think to myself, “Wow my kids will never ever wear something so ugly…” Little did I know that those character t-shirts would one day make or break my sanity!
And jumping on the couches? I never thought I’d let my kids potentially ruin my comfy and cute furniture. But as they pile pillows onto the floor and jump onto them with glee, I realize why not?
It’s just stuff.
Until having kids, I didn’t understand the highs and lows of parenting until I was living it. Sure, I listened and tried to relate my sister and friends as they talked about their struggles with things like nap schedules, breastfeeding, child care and tantrums. But I realize now that I had no clue about what they were going through. I truly couldn’t grasp the challenges, the triumphs, the overwhelming sense of love and fear of motherhood until I had kids of my own.
And once I did, I realized I had to take back all of those “never ever” promises I made to myself. It’s really for two reasons: the first being survival. Some fights just aren’t worth the trouble. Bribing dessert to finish dinner? Yup that’s a standard over here. Ending a screaming fit with a fourth episode of Paw Patrol? Guilty as charged.
But you know what – the other reason is happiness. So many of the “never evers” I swore off before kids were due to the fact that I just didn’t get it. After seeing the joy in my son from wearing his Spiderman costume in public, I just decided to go with it. And, honestly, I kind of love it too. I love the looks people give me when they see my Super Hero, or the high fives he gets from strangers – because who can’t help but smile seeing a three-year-old dressed up for no good reason other than it makes him happy?
I honestly don’t recognize myself sometimes, when I look around my house littered with toys, the couch cushions on the floor and my sweet babes tucked into Spiderman and Minnie Mouse sleeping bags watching the once-thought-to-be-forbidden television!