I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. I started babysitting when I was eleven and continued working with kids until my early twenties. I really thought I knew what to expect of motherhood. I was so excited when I finally became pregnant; I read all the parenting books I could find. Then my daughter arrived with an acid reflux problem, which is very similar to colic. She had an excessive amount of acid in her stomach so when it was empty it would cause her discomfort. She would nurse for 45 minutes, sleep for 10 minutes, and then wake up crying. So I would nurse her again and the process would repeat. This continued day and night for three months. My first three weeks of motherhood were sleepless. What an introduction to motherhood. I would like to say that my son was easier since he did not have an acid reflux problem – he wasn’t. He would not sleep unless someone was holding him. So I sat in a recliner all night holding him trying to catch naps in between his feedings. My children are now two and four. I wish I could say it is easier now, but it really is not. As my mother says, “it does not get easier as they get older, the challenges are just different.” So, now while I sleep through the night, my days are filled with squabbling children who get into everything. My daughter will torment my son just to get him upset. They both will pull chairs from our dining room into the kitchen so they can reach the things on the counters. These are things I have learned the hard way: honey is impossible to get out of carpets, brown sugar becomes very sticky when played with and requires an immediate bath, baby powder is not good for DVD players, and pen marks do not come off walls.
Having two children is like having two full time jobs where each job is seven days a week with 15-hour days (if you are lucky), no time off, no vacations, and no pay. In addition, you can’t quit if it gets too difficult. Nothing prepares you for the awesome responsibility of raising your children appropriately. How you raise them as children will determine their character as adults. This is the hardest job I have ever done, but I would not trade it for anything. Despite all the difficulty, this job is highly rewarding and fulfilling. There is nothing better than the bear hugs and sweet kisses from your children. Even though I had no concept of how challenging motherhood was going to be I would not change a thing, this is still the most important job I can do.