I am thankful for Sharpie on my walls.
I’m lucky for spilled yogurt all over our couches, for 5am wake up calls and for late night tantrums. I’m lucky to have nights when Ava screams for 40 minutes in her high chair, refusing to ask us if she can be excused as we sit there holding in our anger. I’m lucky for the 6 hour road trips where Ava cries half of the time, for the potty training accidents in pubic and for the toddler who will scream in my arms at the top of her lungs whenever she doesn’t get a lollipop at the checkout line at Vons. I am lucky for so much more than all of that too but I am lucky for the hard times because:
I get to be a mom. I am a mom.
There are women out there who don’t get to be moms and who long to have that title and I will never know what they’re going through but I sure can be grateful for the spilled yogurt on the couch and the late night tantrums that interrupt my 9pm bed time. I sure can be thankful for all of that.
When I got pregnant with Ava on the first try, I honestly thought it was normal. And then we tried for baby number two and boom — pregnant again on the first try. This is not me trying to brag or make anyone feel as though their bodies are less than mine, because they’re absolutely not. This is me showing how naive I was and continue to be as a mom. I’m naive to this day and I take for granted what I have. This is me proving to you how lucky we are to be moms, no matter who we get to call our baby.
You hear those stories of women trying for months and even years and not being able to get pregnant, struggling with miscarriage after miscarriage or even trying IVF with no success. Those used to be “stories” but now, I realize they are not just stories — those are women in my life. They’re all over my life and it just shows me how lucky I am to be a mom. Yes, there’s IVF and there’s surrogacy and there’s adoption and there are other means to being a mom other than getting pregnant “the old fashioned way” but if we’re being honest with ourselves, so many women just don’t have the means for any of these options. For so many moms it’s "get pregnant” or “don’t become a mom.”
This absolutely breaks my heart.
Here I am getting frustrated with Ava for spilling her smoothie all over the couch this afternoon, for taking too long to get her clothes on before school this morning, for refusing to let me put her hair up and clenching her mouth shut as I attempt to brush her teeth. Here I am annoyed at the fact that my child is refusing to go to bed one night, seriously hurting the beauty sleep that “I need” right now. Boo me — I have to snuggle my baby and comfort her for an extra hour, an extra hour less sleep I am going to get tonight.
Key words: my baby.
I have a baby who is mine and I am so lucky for that.
And you know what? There are women out there who are losing more sleep than I am over not being able to get pregnant or staying up all night mourning a miscarriage or yet another negative pregnancy test. There are women out there who have it a lot harder than I do. Yes, parenting in hard but not being able to parent when you want to parent, that’s even harder.
So next time your kid throws a tantrum or needs extra snuggles or colors with permanent Sharpie on the walls, just think — You now have the chance to spend the day re-painting a wall with your baby. You get to spend the day painting that wall with your baby.