I've only been a mother for about nine months, longer if you count those days I was pregnant, or my big sister mothering, or my nanny mothering. But I've been a mom in the traditional sense for about nine months, and I've learned a few things in that time.
I've learned that everyday mothering, especially this full-time gig that I've got, is a lot of mundane and never ending tasks. It is dishes in the sink and ants on the counters and toys on the floor and cheerios in the high chair and spit up on the couch and pee on the sheets and laundry in the washer and vinegar in the bucket and oatmeal. all. over. It is screams during diapers changes and fights at bed time and protests in the car and fussing in the grocery store. It is midnight wakings and not enough sleep and up with the sun and somedays down with it too. It is loneliness and frustration and exhaustion. It is all these things and more. Really and truly. But it is also other things, too.
It is first smiles and first teeth and goofy sounds and crazy faces. It is open-mouthed kisses and books before bed and drifting off in my arms. It is grins upon waking and excitement at lunch time and the joys and preferences and ticks and personality of a person developing before my eyes.
It is beauty and disaster all in one day. All in one hour. All in one moment.
And it is the snippets of joy in the mess that keep me loving it, keep me waking up wanting more, keep me choosing to be here day after day. At least, that's what motherhood is in the nine short months I've been doing it so far. Tedious and delightful.